For all of the adventure in my life, I'm not an extremely adventurous person. I'm careful. I look both ways when I cross the street. I drink in moderation and I don't go down dark alleys. And even though flying from one destination to another is usually an essential part of my business and pleasure travel, I still get a few butterflies when I think that I am about to put my life in the hands of a total stranger, on board a few thousand pounds of metal, several thousand miles . . . UP. So I can empathize with those who white knuckle every flight.
First, you not alone in this, as the top travel fear search on Google is "scared of flying".
The fear, of course, is irrational. If you look at the statistics, study done by Sivak and Flannagan published in the January-February 2003 issue American Scientist calculated that you are 261 times safer in a plane than in a car. Yet, for some strange reason, the facts just don't seem to make one feel less nervous - I have explained the statistics to many of my white knuckled friends and companions, but they still have that rock in the gut - fear of flying. I found some interesting statistics while writing about this. What ARE the chances one will die in a plane vs by being attacked by a dog?
The chance that one will die of a heart attack 1 in 5
The chance that one will die by tripping over my own feet and falling down is 1 in 246
The chance that one will be shot is 1 in 325
The chance that one will die of a dog attack is 1 in 150,000
The chance that one will die of a snakebite is 1 in 100,000
The chance that one will die in a tsunami 1 in 5 million (but probably more since I live on the ocean)
The chance that one will die in a plane crash 1 in 11.5 million.
The chance that one will win the powerball lottery jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510 (yet I still buy a ticket)
My luck it that I would trip over my feet because as I was running from a gunman, I tried to avoid getting bitten by a snake and accidentally stepped on an angry dog's tail who bit me and I was so upset I died of a heart attack. (Oh how the mind does wander)
By the way, if you think that sedatives are the answer to a fear of flying, the World Health Organization recently published that passengers who use sedatives (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan or sleeping pills) when flying increase their risk of deep vein thrombosis. The risk, normally very small, doubles after you've been in your seat for four hours and you are still at risk even four weeks after your flight! Som stop thinking about a Xanax for your next trip.
OK, so the fear is irrational - I get it - you get it. People say to buck up and just get on with it. (Easy for them to say.)
Even though many of you are afraid, you may have to fly anyway. So how do you cope with the sweaty palms, the dread, and general dismay of flying? I have a simple little ritual that seems to help people through the take off and landings - which are the two scariest parts of any flight. It doesn't get rid of the fear, but it does seem to make it less. After you have boarded and are in your seat, close your eyes and envision the plane being cloaked in a white protective light. This large bubble of white is so thick and soft we could bounce like a rubber ball. Continue to cloak the plane until it is in the air. Don't let your mind wander, just keep it working patching holes and working itself around the wings into every cranny. While your mind is busy protecting us, the pilot will be busy getting the plane in the air. Once you are in the air, your job is finished. Ah. It's now safe. Then give up the fear, because really, there is nothing more you can do. Keep the conversation going. Don't let you mind dwell on where you are and if the fear starts to sneak in, just close your eyes and start patching that protective cloud. There. It's my little helpful ritual and it has worked for my clients time and time again. I'd love to hear if anyone else has a solution to the fear of flying. Do you fear flying, too? What calms you? Music? Conversation? Alcohol?
Hi Everyone! Having spent the past 20 years traveling full- time we are always looking for our next adventure and hope we can infect you with the travel bug! We travel Two by Two -as evidenced in our blog title, and hope that we can become your travel advisers or companions - with our many tips for your trip. Enjoy!
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