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Help calm me down please, scared of flying and flying this week

(67 Posts)
HowWhenWhy Mon 16-Apr-18 17:27:48

Help!

Can anyone talk calmly and rationally to me, to help me overcome my fear of flying?

I fly about twice a year, usually, but get myself in the same state every time. This time it's a 7+ hour flight, which I have done quite a few times.

I get tablets from my GP, but the last few times they have done nothing.

Any tips to calm me down, gratefully received smile

maskingtape Mon 16-Apr-18 17:36:07

We can all tell you it'll be fine (it will be by the way) but we can't take away your fears. It's a really safe way of travelling.

mummymeister Mon 16-Apr-18 17:38:27

take diazepam. ask the gp how much you can take and when.

if they don't seem to do the trick then tell her/him this in case they can give you something else.

I have been gradually weaning myself off of them 20mg down now to 2.5 but still bloody hate it so feel your pain on this one.

BustopherJones Mon 16-Apr-18 17:42:49

HAve you tried breathing exercises? They can help you feel calmer and give you something to focus on at least?

You could also do something like concentrate on recalling something from memory - song lyrics, a poem you know off by heart, the periodic table, anything at all.

HowWhenWhy Mon 16-Apr-18 17:44:00

Thanks @maskingtape and @mummymeister, I know it is supposed to be safer than driving but I just feel so anxious that the trip is not pleasurable in any way and I arrive for my holiday so stressed.

I have been given Diazepam and it is these that have had no effect sad

HowWhenWhy Mon 16-Apr-18 17:45:53

Thanks @BustopherJones - it's remembering to breathe at all that I find difficult smile

hunterbear Mon 16-Apr-18 17:46:20

Keep asking yourself in the moment of fear 'is everything ok?'

If the plane is still flying in the air the answer is 'yes everything is ok and totally normal'

Keep repeating this mantra throughout the flight.

Helps me so much.

JoandMax Mon 16-Apr-18 17:51:13

Much sympathy, I’m also pretty terrified of flying.

One thing that really helps is lots of guided visualizations and breathing exercises. I saw a really great psychologist on a fear of flying course who reiterated again and and again that if your mind is relaxed your body relaxes and in turn when your body is relaxed your mind starts to relax. Also when you are doing calm steady breathes your body is unable to panic. I never really believed it but it is actually true! I still start to get panicky but doing the exercises calms me back down so it no longer feels like it’s taking over. Have a look on YouTube for guided relaxations and breathing exercises.

Much as I know you won’t believe it (as I’m the same) it really will be ok

BustopherJones Mon 16-Apr-18 17:53:22

Then breathing exercises may really help you, OP. It’s a simple task but will take some attention so less focus on fear. Something like breathing in for 3, and out for 6. It can help you slow your breathing down, which may help you feel calmer.

You can also relax all your body, one bit at a time. So start at your toes and work your way up. It just makes you focus on your muscles and check you’re not tensing up and making it worse.

madvixen Mon 16-Apr-18 17:56:02

I find this course really useful and I redo it every time I have to fly

http://www.fearofflyinghelp.com

Moonshine86 Mon 16-Apr-18 18:00:00

What is is you are frightened of?

Is it flying itself? Or not being able to get out of the situation (as in claustrophobic?). I thought my fear was flying but realised for me my fear was not being in control in a confined space.

I find that actually once on the plane I am fine but need diazepam, I get more worked up the day of the flight and the build up to it at the airport.

Try not to think about it the more you think about it the more heightened your anxiety will be. I always plan to keep busy, read a magazine or a good book.

Also having downloaded flight radar and seeing how many planes are in the sky at one given time is very reassuring!

Gazelda Mon 16-Apr-18 18:04:09

I agree with Moonshine that it might be useful to work out what your fear is. You can then investigate how to deal with those specific issues.
I did a Virgin fear of flying course recently and it was fantastic. I'm not cured, I don't enjoy flying, but in certainly more relaxed and can get through long haul without medication.

yellowmellw Mon 16-Apr-18 18:05:15

Have a few glasses of wine before you take off and that will help

chewybacca Mon 16-Apr-18 18:06:59

You can get an app to help with paced breathing. It really helps to focus on something other than the fear.
Fear of Flying course from Virgin cured me. It was excellent.
Good luck!

HowWhenWhy Mon 16-Apr-18 18:15:57

Thank you all for taking the time to reply and for being kind.

I don't think it is claustrophobia, it's more the fear of crashing/dying I think, although I'm not really certain what exactly it is, I just know I'm so, so scared.

I will certainly take up the helpful advice from you all, thank you so much.

Giovanna75 Mon 16-Apr-18 18:40:13

OP, I sympathize as I’m not the best flyer myself. However I can tell you this, my DH is a pilot and he absolutely adores his children so when he goes to work every day he fully intends on coming home. The standards for safety are so high within airlines and every pilot is checked on a regular basis. My own dislike of flying comes from the feeling of being enclosed but I really try to not let it stop me from traveling. You’ll be fine, just try to not think about it too much before you go. Good luck 👍🏻

HowWhenWhy Mon 16-Apr-18 18:50:05

@Giovanna75 thank you! That has strangely, given me some comfort smile I guess it has something to do with pilots and cabin crew happily going in to work each day, by choice! It cannot be that bad, can it, if they keep going back? Never really thought about it from that angle before.

Giovanna75 Mon 16-Apr-18 19:04:49

Im glad that helped a little How. It keeps me sane when I know he is in the skies multiple times a day. For what it’s worth my DH isn’t a great passenger himself but that’s more about him not being in control smile. I think the fear of flying is a lot more common than we think.

HowWhenWhy Mon 16-Apr-18 19:27:17

@Giovanna75 I imagine it probably is, but amongst my friends, no one else seems to be, it's just me that is the scaredy cat smile

I'm sure I would be fine if a nice member of cabin crew sat with me to reassure me, but I guess they have their actual job to get on with grin

Giovanna75 Mon 16-Apr-18 19:44:45

Lol, maybe you could ask nicely and hope for the best grin.

HowWhenWhy Mon 16-Apr-18 19:57:52

@Giovanna75 I may do that, got to be worth a try smile I seem to be ok once we have taken off and landed, it's just those bits I hate the most. There is a point, after take off, where the engines seem to suddenly go quiet, which makes me really panic as it sounds like they have stopped!!
I know I should be thankful and grateful that I can go on holiday, but I seem to work myself up into a frenzy every time sad I am officially the MN coward of the day!

himalayansalt Mon 16-Apr-18 19:59:45

What tablets do you get from your GP? I think someone in my family could benefit from these.

HowWhenWhy Mon 16-Apr-18 20:01:22

Himalayan, its Diazepam

Shortfatandangry Mon 16-Apr-18 20:32:05

I always wear earplugs, I don't seem to panic as much when I can't hear the engine noise. Choose your seat, over the wings is the safest place. If you're a reader have your favourite book/author to hand to distract yourself. Concentrate on what you're going to do when you arrive (safely!). Have a drink if you can ( I mean, if you do usually drink and just 1), a glass of wine or whatever your tipple is for a bit of Dutch courage. Let the stewards know how frightened you are, I've almost always found them very caring and attentive when they know how terrified you are.

HowWhenWhy Mon 16-Apr-18 20:55:12

Thank you @Shortfatandangry, that is useful to know. I will look for a kind face, who may be able to reassure me smile

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