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Being afraid to fly may be caused by claustrophobia, hearing about an airline accident, previously having a bad experience on a flight, or suffering from motion sickness. Called aerophobia, you can overcome your fear of flying.

You’re not alone if you fear flying. Famous people including Aretha Franklin, John Madden, Whoopi Goldberg, and Billy Bob Thornton all had difficulty flying. There are probably others who hide it under the radar.

So, how do you get over your fear of flying?

  • Get the Facts – Learn the facts about airplanes, the noises you may hear, what taking off, landing and turbulence feel like. Get the data on airplane accidents.
  • Take a Class – Some airlines offer courses. Videos and classes are available online.
  • Bring a Friend – Friends and family members can be extremely supportive. Explain beforehand what you need from them. For example, you may want them to just be there and not talk when you are worrying.
  • Arrive Early to the Airport – Rushing will only make fear and worry worse.
  • Pack Well – Bring along magazines, a mediation CD , or music that you enjoy. This can keep your mind off of the fear.
  • Choose the Best Seat in the House – Often aisle seats are the choice of fearful flyers because they lessen the feeling of being closed in. Seats by the wing and front seats help those prone to motion sickness.
  • See the Doctor – Visiting a mental health professional can help you learn the cause of your fear. You may be prescribed anxiety medication, take part in group therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. A medical doctor may prescribe a patch for motion sickness. Over the counter remedies are available including acupressure wrist brands, ginger tablets and Dramamine.

It may take some time to overcome your fear of flying, but once you do, you will open up the world of travel.

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