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Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying

Q: My anxiety is for air travel.  What could cause me to be afraid of flying?

A:  Fear of flying is mainly anticipatory anxiety – active worry about the future In our minds, we “ride the time machine”, boarding the airplane that will transport us to our destination; but then we become catastrophically afraid.  We may become caught up with any or all of seven different anxieties:

  • When the flight attendant turns that wheel and seals the plane, many people with this phobia feel trapped.
  • The plane completes its leisurely taxiing tour of the airport and is cleared for takeoff.  Suddenly, the huge jet engines are gunned and roaring at speeds of ninety miles an hour, and many people’s panicky feelings go right through the roof.
  • While the plane is in flight, many fearful flyers become acutely anxious about squeezing through to the aisle and the long walk to the tiny bathroom.  How often they plead with Mother Nature, “If only I can hold it til we land!”
  • Glancing out the window and viewing the landscape below from seven miles up in the sky.
  • TURBULENCE
  • The sharp, loud, mechanical thud of the emerging landing gear spikes a number of people’s anxiety.
  • Finally, landing and feeling trapped by the crush of people between you – the really really frightened person – and the exit.

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Mindfulness and Acceptance Can Ease Your Emotional Distress

Mindfulness is a two thousand year old traditional meditation practice for easing suffering and emotional distress.  The Buddha attributed suffering to our natural tendency to become attached to positive experiences, to try to prolong them, and to push away or avoid direct, open, and unguarded contact with what is unpleasant.  He taught mindfulness as a way to awaken ourselves  – to “know things as they are” – by devoting purposeful attention, without judging, to the unfolding of present-moment experience in order to counteract the deep-seated distress that can fill our lives.


Worry Too Much? – Sticky Thinking Drives Anxiety and Depression

Therapy for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Do You Worry Too Much? Sticky thinking is the culprit

therapy for anxiety and panic attacksSometimes we indulge in a moment or two of worry or feel a little down.   At other times, we might discover that negative thinking has a grip on us or that we’re really uptight or even panicky, our minds restless and disturbed.   Maybe we realize that we don’t seem able to stop worrying or that we’re gripped with fear.