How to Actually Get Over a Fear of Flying
I am sorry to break it to you, this isn’t going to be one of those WikiHow posts listing 5 practically useless tips for getting you over your fear of flying.
For the majority of my young life, I have been terrified of flying in an airplane. I once screamed at the top of my lungs “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!” during landing. I was 5, and I may or may not have thought it was funny (this was pre-9/11), but it was 100% rooted in real fear that I was actually mere moments from death. At age 16 I was prescribed a low dosage of Xanax to help reduce the full-blown panic attack I had anytime I had to even think about boarding a plane. I could barely eat for days before a flight because I was dreading it so much. It was pretty bad, to say it mildly.
I tried everything to get rid of my anxiety. Deep breathing, distractions, medication, essential oils, alcohol (once I was old enough). My mom had a friend who was a pilot, who she had call me on the phone to explain to me how airplanes work, their safety features, etc. I’m telling you, NOTHING worked.
So you may be wondering where exactly I am going with this post, and here it is.
The only thing that got me over my fear of flying was myself. I don’t remember which day, but one day, I became so fed up with the drama I created for myself when it came time to go somewhere. I just felt done with putting off trips to see family, opting out of visiting or going places with friends, and not pursuing my dream of traveling to Europe.
I came to the realization that holding onto this fear was not worth me not living my life fully. So, I just decided to act boldly in-spite of the fear. The next flight I went on, I didn't even bring my medication (something UNTHINKABLE for me). It was a little uncomfortable that first time, but once it was over and the plane had landed, I felt incredible. Since then, I have been on countless flights. I do still get a wee bit nervous from time to time, which is completely normal, but nothing like it used it be.
Moral of the story, sometimes there’s not going to be an easy fix. Sometimes you just gotta put on your big girl/boy pants and decide enough is enough. Take control of your life, your fear, and GET ON THAT PLANE. There is a beautiful world waiting for you on the other side of your fear.