This Halloween, Face Your Fears

Halloween is coming near, and people of all ages start thinking about scary things. While being chased by a chainsaw-brandishing, hockey-masked psychopath through the woods is universally terrifying, most other fears are individualistic in nature. The fear of spiders, of confined spaces, of public speaking. And then there’s pteromerhanophobia, the fear of flying.

Now is a good time to address this phobia if you have it, especially with the holiday travel season coming up. Remember, you are not alone: 1 in 6 Americans say they have a fear of flying. Some pretty famous people also report a fear of flying: Aretha Franklin, Billy Bob Thornton, David Beckham, and the Dalai Lama.

Often, people discover that what they’re afraid of isn’t actually flying at all. For many, it’s the confined space that is upsetting, or they’re concerned they’ll have a panic attack. Others confess that they just don’t understand how airplanes work, which scares them. If that’s the case, always feel free to talk to your pilot, or learn how jets fly.

Symptoms range from dry mouth at take off to being physically unable to get on a plane. Obviously, this is a serious condition for some people. The good news is that this condition is treatable. Many people have found unique techniques that help them:

  • Eating during take-off
  • Listening to music the entire time
  • Meditating

Scott McCartney’s article for the Wall Street Journal offers a great starting place to tackle pteromerhanophobia. Even if you’re perfectly at ease in the air, some of these tips might help comfort others.

Treat your pteromerhanophobia so you can enjoy flying, not merely tolerate it.

If you’ve had any experience with the fear of flying, please share your tips with us!

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