Are you scared to death every time you step on a plane? There are things you can do to reduce your anxiety that don't involve Valium or a pitcher of Margaritas. Watch this video to learn how to cope with a fear of flying.
Step 1. Familiarize yourself with airplane safety
Familiarize yourself with airplane safety measures. Commercial airliners have more than one back-up system for every piece of equipment that could fail, and they receive 12 hours of maintenance on the ground for every hour spent in the air.
Step 2. Sit over the wing
Request a seat over the wing. The ride is smoothest and most quiet there.
Step 3. Bring diversions
Bring aboard as many diversions as you can think of—an engaging book, puzzles, good music, a stack of magazines, a variety of snacks, a DVD player. You want your mind so occupied that you won't notice every in-flight hiccup.
Step 4. Alert the flight attendant
Tell the flight attendant that you're a nervous flyer as soon as you board. He or she will take the time to reassure you about any odd sounds or sensations.
Step 5. Dismiss turbulence
Stop panicking that the plane is going down every time you hit a little bump.
Step 6. Meditate
Take some deep breaths whenever your morbid imagination begins to trump your common sense: Inhale slowly through your nose as your stomach expands, then exhale gently.
Step 7. Reassure yourself
Reassure yourself that the pilots are well equipped to deal with any situation—their training is comparable in time and intensity to that of a medical doctor.
Step 8. Repeat this mantra
If all else fails, repeat this mantra: "My chance of being in a plane crash this year is about 11 million to one." It's far, far safer than driving!
FACT: Passengers sitting at the back of a plane are 40% more likely to survive a crash than those sitting in the front. Take that, First Class.