The fear of flying is relatively common, but it can prevent people from traveling to see the world or for business. Overcoming that fear takes some time and effort, but it opens up a huge number of opportunities. It is worth the effort for most people, and there are a few different ways to get started.
Humans can get used to almost anything if they experience it regularly. Exposure therapy is a technique that uses that tendency to help people get over their fears. At the simplest level, people who use this method expose themselves to the thing that scares them, so that they get to realize that it isn’t as bad as it first appears.
In most cases, it’s best to take small steps with this technique. That reduces the risk of major panic attacks or other unpleasant events that can discourage people from continuing. It can also be useful to go through the early stages with a trusted friend that can provide emotional support.
People who fear flying might start by reading about planes, and then move on to watching videos that simulate flight. People who get used to that level of exposure can then move on to short flights or even use a flight simulator if one is available before moving on to the full experience. In some cases, it can be helpful to begin to go through each stage with a friend, and then move on to doing it alone before progressing to the next step in the process.
Exposure isn’t for everyone. Professional counseling services can also help a person to get over their fear of flying. There are a few different methods that a professional can use. They will choose one or more based on their assessment of the individual’s needs, and most can find a method that will help in each situation. This can involve a supervised form of exposure therapy, which is often more effective than doing it alone, relaxation training, or even medication.
This is a particularly strong option for people who have tried to deal with their fear on their own and struggled with the process. The professional support will make each exercise more effective and ensure that everything is done properly. That said, many people do choose to start with professional help, especially if they have particularly strong fears.