when I'm in the plane I am so scared that if Tom Cruise was sitting next to me I wouldn't even look at him since I'm so terrified of flying. My brain only thinks of bad things and incidents and I can't concentrate on anything except keep thinking that I'm going to crash. I can't take that thought out of my mind................
Before I had my daughter 10 years ago, I used to enjoy flying. Since then I have been terrified and eventually went to my GP to get diazepam, which didn't really help if I'm honest. I still knew I was on a plane and didn't want to be there. I have since bought and read Keith's book, and now I feel much better flying, although still not happy up in the air. I always take my MP3 player / Ipod with all my favourite music on it. I love instrumental music too, so that I can listen to it while trying to enjoy the view. I am going to Spain next week and have just downloaded some tunes I have wanted for ages, and I am saving them until I am on the plane. I also have some of the flying without fear podcasts on there, since hearing Keith's voice usually helps if I start to feel panicky :o) I also make sure I have my camera to take pictures of the view. I find reading doesn't help me as I need to look out and see the horizon, especially during turbulance just to check that the plane is not moving too much!!
Several years ago I bought a handheld game device (a PSP) which I would play to get me through turbulence... usually with the sound turned up very loudly in a set of earphones. I played a 4-wheel drive racing game that had a lot of bouncing itself, so the turbulence just seemed like it was part of the game.
This was the only thing that worked for me, since I could not watch a movie because that wouldn't take my awareness off of the turbulence.
However, the last flight I did from Los Angeles to New York, I did without turning on the game at all -- this was after I'd listened to Keith's CDs. I did listen to him during the flight to remind myself that turbulence was uncomfortable, but not dangerous. I was even able to relax and not put any mental effort into "keeping the plane aloft" -- which, absurd as it sounds, is how I spent my time before.
Flight back to Los Angeles is tomorrow. We'll see how that goes. But I have a good feeling about it and not the typical, "Oh crap, I have to fly tomorrow."
"I've found that keeping your mind occupied on something else during stressful parts of the flight (be it takeoff, turbulence or landing) seems to help alleviate the anxiety levels. "
Agree with this. I read like crazy during flights - I don't really take much in, but just fixing my eyes on the words and aiming for the bottom of the page helps. Take a couple of big fat books that are easy to read, and ones which make you laugh.