I love to travel, but I hate to fly. And while I've ever let my fear of flying stop me from going anywhere, I do know some people (including one of my favorite aunts) who have and I think that's a shame. At least one out of six adults is afraid of flying and get this—it's estimated that 35 percent of all airline crews (flight attendants and pilots!) also have a fear of flying, but according to travel expert James Wysong, there are some things you can do to get your fear under control.
1. Don't conceal it. Tell the gate agent, the flight attendant, and the passengers sitting around you—what you need is support, not added frustrations by suffering in silence. Some kind soul is sure to make a special effort to check in on you during the flight.
2. Treat the turbulence like bumps in the road. Don’t tense up or fight it, rather, let your body sway with the plane's movements.
3. Sit at the front of the plane. Turbulence at the back is much worse.
4. Take short flights on big planes. Don't try to overcome your fear of flying in a two-seater 15-hour flight. It probably won't work.
5. Distract yourself. Watch movies, read magazines, listen to music, do anything to keep your mind occupied.
6. Avoid coffee and caffeine. It will only make you more anxious.
7. Wear a rubber band on your wrist. Whenever you feel yourself getting agitated,snap it against your skin. The pain is a reality bite and will take your mind off turbulence.
For more ideas check out 10 Tips for the Fearful Flyer at MSNBC.
Are you afraid of flying? Do you skip it all together or force yourself to travel? How do you deal with your fear?