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How to combat a fear of flying: Top 10 tips

For many of us, having to fly somewhere can feel like the end of the world, but here are 10 tips to help tackle your phobia

Utilise the rubber band technique

Failing other methods you may have tried, the rubber band technique is a simple yet weirdly effective way of muting bothersome symptoms. Snapping the band on your wrist gives your body a jolt of pain that snaps your mind back to reality, reminding you of how irrational your fear of flying really is.

Seek professional help

If you feel like you've tried everything, yet nothing has worked, then it may be time to seek some professional help. This can be in the form of an aviation expert, a therapist, or someone who specialises in helping people overcome common, irrational phobias such as your fear of flying.

Again, methods like hypnotism don't work for everyone, and it really depends on what sort of techniques you've responded to in the past. Sometimes, something as simple as taking a short course on flying so as to take away the mystery and fear of the unknown can eliminate certain concerns. If you suspect that there may be a deeper reason behind your worries, then talking to a therapist could be a better choice.

Don't indulge in bad news

Like hypochondriacs who Google every symptom they may or may not have, those who fear flying are prone to trawling news sites for information about any accidents and crashes that have occurred. Keeping in mind how rare these incidents are (which is why they're such big news when they do occur), consuming every morsel of information about them is only going to feed into your existing sense of dread.

There's nothing to gain from reading news about the thing you fear when you're consciously trying to get over your phobia, and it's especially important to avoid relevant stories in the weeks leading up to your own flight.

Don't drink during the flight

It's tempting to take the edge off by drinking during the flight, but this is actually one of the worst things you could do.

But doesn't alcohol relax you? That may be true initially, but that cheeky gin and tonic may also just make your anxiety worse in the long run. Phobias are tied to feeling out of control, and this is a feeling that alcohol exaggerates for most people.

The same goes for caffeine, which should be avoided before you board your flight as well as during the journey itself. Your senses are going to be heightened enough, so it's a bad idea to stimulate them further.

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