Thursday, 15 October 2009

Afraid of Flying? Try this

Well, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this but since having a baby I have developed an annoying fear of flying. Annoying because I live in the UK and that means that plane travel is an inevitability of my life right now. In fact, since this fear developed less than eight months ago, I have taken six flights and am about to make another trip in a few days. I probably would have just assumed that I was kind of crazy and tried to deal with it on my own had it not been for two things: 1.)I've now spoken with two other students/student spouses here who have developed a fear of flying (okay, so at least there are three of us!) and 2.) I found this course online designed just for people like me. Apparently there are thousands of us closet airplane-fearers out there!

My fears haven't extended into the realm of hyperventilating or having a panic attack or anything like that--I've just come to dread the whole experience--the lack of control, the unexpected noises, landings, take-offs, turbulence--it all makes me a little jittery. I've apparently done a good job of keeping it to myself, though. In fact, I mentioned it to my generally observant husband the other night and he looked at me surprised and said, "You're afraid of flying?" I was grateful at least that I hadn't appeared to be a nervous wreck!

It was in my desire actually to enjoy this next flight and not be gripping the armrests half the time, that I decided to see what help I could find online and that's how I found the course. It's called Fear of Flying Help Course and it's a free online course designed to help travelers overcome their fear of flying. Pretty straightforward. The course consists of reading through five lessons and watching short embedded video clips (also available on youtube) along the way. It took me an hour or two to complete. It was designed by an airline pilot and walks you through what all those noises are that you hear on a plane, what's really happening during turbulence, the construction of an airplane, maintenance requirements, etc.

I admit, parts of it were a bit corny and it would no doubt be silly to those who don't understand the fear in the first place, but I still recommend it to any other flying-fearers out there. It really is free, though at the end he gives you the option of donating if you want to. And, best of all, I can honestly say that after completing the course I'm not worried at all about my upcoming flight. It was definitely effective!

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  1. Hah! You can add me as a fourth fearful flyer. Nothing extreme but I always breath much better after landing!

  2. Well, I'm pleased to announce that this last flight was great. We even had some really serious turbulence and I just had to remember the things I'd learned in my course and I was okay. It's a great resource.

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