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How to not be worried about flying

Some people are just born to not care about flying. Me on the other hand, my mind and thoughts get stuck in a loop about flying being something bad.

Thoughts can flood the mind instantly. Having to sit in your seat on the plane for awhile and not move. Being higher than you usually are. Looking out at the tiny lands below. Whatever it may be, it’s just in your head. The thoughts. Easy or me to say, and extremely difficult in practice for someone to be able to get on a plane after a long while of brooding about it.

Thats the issue. Brooding. Take action.

The stoics are all about action.

If something is bothering you, take a step towards doing that very thing. Psychologists also talk about exposure therapy or flooding. Where you just go do it. The scary part for those that are worried about flying isn’t the flying, or the plane, or anything like that. It’s the irrational thoughts. Thoughts that are thin air, they take up zero space and have zero impact on the actual outcome. It’s easy for me to say this: just relax. When a worried person here’s that they get ramped up. It’s also easy to point to statistics and all that, those dont even help. The body makes us feel like something is wrong, so our mind follows that path and begins to believe it. We need an “emergency plan” when this happens. What do we do in the event of worrying about flying? Focus on your breath. Just start there, do that for a two or three minutes, it will help slow down the thoughts, it won’t stop them. Then, combating thinking with more thinking means we realize the thoughts are just thoughts. They aren’t going to cause us a heart-attack. Our body is fine.

In the late great words of Dr. Claire Weekes’, just let your body roll and don’t think too much into it. Don’t give it the space to grow. Much like a fire being put out by denying it the wind to grow the flames higher, do your best to let the thoughts flow, the body sensations happen, and don’t fight them. Just let them float on by. Again, hard in practice since a worrier wants to fix the problem and make it go away. By doing that, its just prolonging the feelings you don’t want. Do your best to let them go. Let them pass. Tell yourself: my body is fine, my mind is telling me something isn’t right, but everything is good and this too shall pass. The body sensations will subside, and you’ll be stronger after this time. And even stronger next time, and by the third time, youll be wondering why you aren’t having sensations and then that feeling will be weird since you’re not used to it.