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Overcoming fear of flying: Causes, symptoms, and treatments

January 30th, 2023,

5 min read

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While flying is a thrilling experience for many people, it can become a crippling phobia for others: fear of flying, also known as aerophobia. Fear of flying can limit a person's experiences and interfere with enjoyable traveling. If you know you fear flying, finding effective ways to deal with it is essential. This article discusses the causes of fear of flying, its associated symptoms, different treatment options, and helpful tips to overcome your fear.

Fear of flying affects far more people than you might think. About 1 in 3 people experience fear of flying at some point in their lives. It is a widespread phobia that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome your fear of flying and enjoy traveling again.

Causes of fear of flying

There are several causes of fear of flying. Some people are biologically more susceptible to anxiety disorders and therefore fear flying. Traumatic experiences can also have an impact, such as a turbulence incident or a scary situation during a flight, which can cause you to develop negative associations with flying. In addition, claustrophobia and the fear of losing control can also contribute to the fear of flying.

Symptoms of fear of flying

The symptoms of fear of flying can be both physical and psychological. Physical symptoms include sweating, palpitations, nausea, and shortness of breath. Psychological symptoms can range from panic and anxiety to feeling out of control. It is essential to understand these symptoms to effectively manage your fear of flying.

Treatments for fear of flying

There are several treatments available to reduce your fear of flying. Methods you can apply yourself include breathing exercises and thinking about positive things, which can help you control anxiety. If you need more guidance, therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and confrontation therapy can be very effective. In some cases, sedative medication can be prescribed to reduce your anxiety.

These breathing exercises can help you when you’re at the airport or on a plane:

  • The first breathing exercise is diaphragmatic breathing. You breathe deeply from the diaphragm rather than shallowly from the chest. This type of breathing slows the heart rate and reduces anxiety.
  • Another useful breathing exercise is the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Using this technique, you inhale for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. This exercise slows down your breathing and creates a feeling of peace and relaxation.
  • Box breathing is a breathing technique to control your breathing and create peace in the body. Put yourself in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Inhale deeply for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, and hold again for four seconds. Repeat this for several minutes.
  • A final breathing exercise is alternate nostril breathing. This is a breathing technique that balances the energy in the body and reduces stress. Sit comfortably and close your eyes again. Keep your right thumb on your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril. Then close both nostrils and hold your breath for a few seconds. Then release your right thumb and exhale through your right nostril. Inhale again through your right nostril and then exhale through your left nostril. Repeat this for several minutes.

Tips to reduce fear of flying

Here are some more practical tips that can help you overcome your fear of flying. Planning and preparing for your flight can give you a sense of control, for example by choosing a seat you find comfortable and booking your flight on time. Distractions and relaxation techniques, such as reading a book or listening to music, can also help take your mind off the flight. In addition, it is important to communicate openly with flight staff so that they are aware of your fear of flying and can support you if necessary.

It is possible to overcome your fear of flying and enjoy traveling by plane again. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatments of fear of flying, you can take effective steps to reduce your anxiety. It is important to remember that you are not alone and that help is available to overcome your fear of flying. So fly free, fly without fear!

How can moonbird help you with this?

We developed moonbird to help you overcome that fear through breathing exercises. Moonbird is a breathing coach you can carry with you anytime, anywhere. Moonbird expands and contracts in the palm of your hand. Follow its calm rhythm with your breathing and you'll feel more relaxed in just a few minutes. You get real-time biofeedback through the moonbird app, so you can see the positive effects of the exercises on your body.

Moonbird helps you rebalance your body and mind, relax, and fall asleep faster by intuitively guiding you with your breathing, combined with biofeedback. Anytime, anywhere.

Try moonbird for 30 days without risk and obligation. You only pay if you decide to keep moonbird. The most important thing for us is that moonbird really works for you.

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Test it for 30 days. Without any risk.

Calm breathing is an effective way to reduce anxiety, improve sleep and lower stress levels. It helps to get stress out of your body and calms your mind. Let moonbird guide you: easy, intuitive and effective.

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