Flying is generally considered to be one of the safest forms of public transportation currently available. Statistics compiled by the United States' Department of Transportation concludes that airline travel is 29 times safer than driving a car. Here are other statistics about air travel:
* 21,000 people (on average) die on the road in the US in a 6-month period. This is approximately the same amount of all commercial air travel fatalities WORLDWIDE in 40 years
* More than 3million people fly everyday.
* A Boeing aircraft takes off or lands every 2 seconds somewhere in the world - all day, every day!
* Only 1 in 5 million plane crashes. How many car crash stories you read in the papers this morning?
* If you flew every day of your life, on average it would take you nineteen thousand years before you would succumb to a fatal accident. Nineteen thousand years!
Despite the safety statistics, and the fact that you are more likely to die from a bee stung rather than flying, many are disabled by fear and experience the symptoms that make flying a misery.
The fear of flying or aviophobia is a specific phobia and one of many kind of anxiety disorder. It has many components to it. It may arise from such as anxiety of height, crowd, terrorism, feeling of not being in "control" and height. Luckily this phobia is one of the most treatable.
The first step in overcoming the fear of flying is to arm yourself with adequate knowledge about the aviation industry. Get books and visit websites of airplane makers.
The suggestions below offers help to overcome the fear of flying.
* Visit an airport. Once there, find a vantage point where you can observe planes taking-off and landing. Look at the different planes that are parked and note the type and make. Listen to the sounds in airport. Familiarize yourself with the surroundings.
* Arriving early will prevent the unpleasant feeling of being in a rush. You also avoid unnecessary stress. It also gives you time too "cool down" and familiarize yourself with the surroundings.
* Expect to be nervous, excited and uneasy. This will allow you to relax and prevent panic.
* Get a front seat. The front seats are generally more quiet and smoother.
* Fly sober. Well, we all know what alcohol can do to the mind and body.
* Breathe deeply during take-off and landing. A good deep breathe spreads oxygen through-out your body. Deep breathing is known to release endorphins which, in layman's terms are called feel good hormones. These are natural pain killers in the body and help relax the muscles and nerves.. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, counting to six. Hold breath while slowly counting to six. Exhale slowly through your mouth, slowly counting to eight.
* Familiarize yourself with flight procedures.
* Act. Strike conversations with fellow passengers.
* Read or watch in-flight movies. This will take your mind off your fear.
* Fly with loved ones. By this you can hold his/her hand and be comforted.
* Fly frequently. Sounds absurd? Remember if you do the things you fear, the extinction of the fear is certain.