These days it's almost impossible not to travel by air. That applies whether you want to make business contacts or simply discover the world.
So that you can take off in a relaxed frame of mind, we show you here what the causes and symptoms of fear of flying can be and what you yourself can do to fly relaxed. We also present to you a tried and tested seminar to overcome fear of flying.
Symptoms of fear of flying
According to surveys by the German Institute for Public Opinion Research, about 15 percent of the German population suffer from fear of flying, and about 50 percent feel uneasy when they fly. The anxiety can begin some weeks before the departure date.
Depending on the extent of their fear, sufferers can have the following symptoms:
- Sweaty palms
- Heart palpitation
- Loss of appetite
- A sense of nausea
What can cause such fear
People who fear flying are mainly those who suffer from claustrophobia, fear of contact with other people or fear of heights, or from a general fear of loss of security and control over a situation. These causes have an added effect on the sufferers when they fly, and generate a feeling of being helpless amid a strange environment at a high altitude.
But you don't have to put up with sweaty palms and a palpitating heart. For there are ways by which you can challenge and overcome your fear of flying.
What you can do about it
- Try to be as rested as possible before taking your flight
- Ask a relative or friend to fly with you
- Get to the airport in good time - that will help you to become familiar with the atmosphere and situation
- Ask one of our flight attendants to tell you about the aircraft and the journey. That will help you to calm any feeling of insecurity
- Occupy your mind during the flight by reading an interesting book, talking to your neighbor, or listening to music, and so on
- Try to relax during your flight and enjoy our great cabin service! Two simple exercises will help you to unwind:
- Flex all the muscles of your body at the same time and stay that way for some seconds. Then relax abruptly and let your muscles "hang loose". You can then enjoy your feeling of relaxation and repeat the exercise if you need to
- Breathing correctly can also have a good influence on the body's state of tension. Make sure that you breathe out in a controlled way for as long as possible!
Talk to your doctor before your journey. He can best judge whether he should prescribe a medicinal tranquilizer for you. If so, keep the pills in your carry-on baggage so that they are always handy should you need one.
In less serious cases, we recommend natural products such as St. John's wort and valerian, which have a calming effect. But please note that if you take St. John's wort you must begin to do so two to three weeks before your flight because it needs that long to take effect.
Seminars for relaxed flying
Taking part in a seminar for relaxed flying is right for you if you suffer from unease, fear or a feeling of panic when you fly and experience serious mental and physical stress. It makes no difference whether you have flown a lot or seldom or never.
The seminars can help you handle your problem constructively and reduce your fear of flying. In a quiet atmosphere in a small group of about 10 persons led by an experienced psychologist, you learn new ways to overcome your fear of flying. They include relaxation exercises, talks with people who have similar problems, psychotherapeutic advice and learning effective measures to cope with your fear.
The Seminars for relaxed flying have been implemented by the Texter-Millott GmbH agency on behalf of Deutsche Lufthansa AG since 1981.
Read more about the seminar contents and when and on what terms a seminar will be offered near you:
Seminars for relaxed flying (www.flugangst.de)