I am a frequent flyer and have been for many years. However, I have had a a few quite bumpy flights and since then have been a nervous flyer. I start getting nervous about flying a couple of days before the flight: I don't sleep well, I get short panic attacks and just general anxiety. While I am in the plane I am fine except when we hit turbulence. I start worrying and shaking. It takes me a while to calm down.
Tomorrow I am leaving on a flight the Los Angeles from London. The flight is very long and I am simply worried that I am going to be anxious for the whole 11 hours. Also I do not like not being in control.
I am hoping to one day be able to do one of your courses to get over this anxiety and be more confident in myself while flying.
Do you have any advice on how to calm down when I start panicking?
Yes, the best way to calm down is to use diaphragmatic breathing. You can find out abiout this simple technique on the internet...but you must practic eit and start to breath like this as soon as your panic attack starts.
Wwe look forward to seeingf you on one of our courses soon.
I was like you - flew everywhere (even had 16 flights in 3 weeks!) and yet I suddenly developed a fear of flying. It got so bad on one occasion that when we landed, I had tears of fear running down my face. It was bad.
I went on the course and I can honestly say, Laura, it was worth every single penny. PLEASE try and book yourself onto the course when you return. You won't regret it.
After the course, I took a flight to Dublin with my partner and I can honestly say that for the first time ever, I actually looked forward to the flight AND enjoyed it. It was all thanks to Capt Keith. Knowing how the plane flies, how it stays up, etc etc is what you need to know in order to help allay your fears. Once you know the facts, honestly, it's 'plane' sailing (excuse the pun!).
I have just been in a simulator and it was great. I have posted a 'blog' on this website in the hope that it will help you and others like you to feel more relaxed about flying.
I know how you feel and I, too, have had anxiety and panic attacks for days before my flight. In fact, I'm flying to New York from London this Thursday, 18 November. Mind you, I've flown many times back and forth, as I've moved to the UK from NY when I married my British husband. I've even flown alone back and forth 2x, and now I find myself a bit apprehensive about the flight. I think the difference now is that I don't crucify myself for feeling some fear - I know the fear will not prevent me from going, and I know that I've done it before many times. It's okay - and you won't feel that heightened sense of anxiety and fear for that long because your body cannot sustain that high level of adrenalin for endless periods of time. The CDs and the book are excellent - Captain Keith truly does explain what every noise, bounce, movement, etc. is and that gives you a great deal of confidence. It really, really does help.
Keith is right, a lot of anxiety can be controlled by breathing - and be aware if you are scaring yourself - which is something I do. When I feel myself getting wound up, I just say "Okay, Joyce, that's enough - you're just whipping yourself up for no reason." I do some deep breathing and try to distract myself, with a good book, some of the in-flight entertainment or I talk to my husband and tell him I'm feeling a bit "off" and could he just talk to me a bit. Distraction is the key - you can't scare yourself if you're otherwise occupied.
Remember - safety is of the utmost priority to all airlines, particularly in this day and age. You are stronger than you think you are - remember, do not get angry at yourself for feeling anxious, just say "Oh, there's that awful feeling trying to scare me - I've done this before and have not 'freaked out', I can do this, and I can try to be comfortable doing this." Think about your destination (hopefully for a pleasurable time!) and how nice and sunny LA is and the good time you will have there.