There are ways to temper your toughest critic and take constructive control of your feelings.
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How to beat aeroanxiety and more
Tom Bunn L.C.S.W.
Though the media can be expected fan the fears of anxious fliers, there is no reason to associate the two crashes.
Is it safe to fly on an airline when union-management strife is going on? The answer is likely yes, one expert argues.
Airlines must keep inspections up-to-date. Otherwise, they would face fines when FAA inspectors review their records when government operation resumes.
What is in your mind is not reality, but rather a representation of reality. If you fail to appreciate that fact, imagination can hijack your mind.
It is as easy - and as intuitive - to deal with unwanted operation of the stabilizer motor as it is to back off the accelerator when you realize you are driving your car too fast.
Why was the fault not cleared by maintenance? Why didn't the crew successfully deal with the fault as the pilots on previous flights had?
Low cost airlines trying to outdo each other at cost-cutting and at growing rapidly. Safety often suffers.
Knowledge can keep a phobic response from developing. But once phobia develops, knowledge is unlikely to alter the response.
Scared of flying? Meeting the captain may help you manage your anxiety.
Once links have been established to inhibit up-regulation and activate down-regulation, arousal is automatically regulated during flight.
"What if" thoughts lead to a cognitive trap. These thoughts release stress hormones that disable the ability to distinguish imagination from reality.
The more we do something, the less anxious we are about doing it. But, for fearful fliers, the reverse can be true. Why?
Flying makes us aware we are vulnerable. To feel safe threats must be controlled. But, when flying, we have neither control nor escape. What can do we to feel safe when flying?
While pilots in the cockpit are bored, some passengers in the cabin fear they are about to fall from the sky. Stress hormones cause feelings that make imaginary danger seem real.
After exposure to traumatic experience, the amygdala's "storage memory cells" are programmed to cause arousal when exposed to the same situation, or a similar one.
Anxious fliers feel safer when in control. Since someone else flies the plane, being informed is as close to being in control as they can get. Information rarely reassures them.
Though the amygdala is hundreds of millions of years old, it operates as it did eons ago in creatures with no ability to think. Here's how it gets in the way.
It's a standard procedure, but since it isn't used often, if you don't know about it, it could really frighten you.
The qualities needed to create a business may not be the qualities needed to publicize it, or even to run it.
Anxious fliers are not helped by statistics that only one plane in 11 million crashes. They imagine what it was like to be on the one that crashed.
Some believe the way to deal with anxiety is to replace uncertainty with certainty that what is feared can't happen. That is not the way the brain is supposed to work.
When threatened, escape offers safety. If we learned too well to live in our creative imagination, we find it difficult to escape imaginary fears that cause real feelings.
“My disastrous thinking is already playing games with me. My mind wanders to the scariest thoughts possible about what could happen on the flight."
We can't use our own two feet inside a car. But anxiety does not develop. The ground is immediately accessible. Imagination of a plane crash is the opposite.
Since cognition collapses when stress hormones rise too high, cognitive strategies fail when turbulence bombards fearful fliers with stress hormones.
In this holiday season, articles are showing up on the web with tips for fearful fliers, Though intended to be helpful, inadequate advise sets people up for failure.
You or I, after sending a bowling ball half way down the alley, might have a pretty good idea what will result. Ramakrishna Sarathy had an ability to do that with people.
Is this the most important discovery in psychology? In an “I-Thou” relationship, the vagus nerve slows the heart rate and calms, by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
Some therapists intuitively help clients develop right brain self-regulation. Therapists who are not relationally intuitive apply "paint-by-numbers" therapy learned in grad school.
On top of a building, the most direct escape is to jump, a thought that can trigger panic and make stairs and elevators seem impossible to navigate. The answer: alarm attenuation
Captain Tom Bunn, LCSW, is an airline pilot and author who has dedicated 30 years to the development of effective methods for treating flight phobia.
Fear of flying can start after a bad flight. It can also start for no apparent reason. Airline captain and therapist Tom Bunn, L.C.S.W. offers his understanding of the cause and the cure of flight difficulties