Fear is an emotion. As such, it doesn’t follow logic or statistics.
Sharks kill about 10 people per year. Mosquitos are responsible for more than 700,000 deaths per year. But go ahead and ask everyone you know if they’re more afraid of a shark or a mosquito and see what they say.
Along similar lines, driving is much more dangerous statistically than flying. But try explaining away someone’s fear of flying by throwing out stats. It’s not very likely to work.
So how does one overcome a fear of flying?
How Do You Overcome the Fear of Flying?
Money expert Clark Howard owned and operated multiple travel agencies earlier in his career. He typically flies multiple times per month.
Does Clark have any advice for those who are afraid of flying? That’s what a listener recently asked him.
Asked Andy in Mississippi: “Since you have a lot of experience flying, how do you overcome the fear of flying? I’ve flown before, but each time I fly I feel so overwhelmed with worry about the planes and what may happen to them.”
Clark’s wife used to get nervous flying, he says. And Christa, who produces Clark’s podcast among other roles, considers herself a nervous flyer.
Clark, who has mentioned his son is interested in becoming a commercial pilot, loves to fly and doesn’t experience nerves.
“This year, I’ve flown more than once a week on average all year. And I know this is weird, but every time I get on a plan, I love it,” Clark says.
“I’m excited by it. I actually love the whole experience. Not just going to where I’m going. I love flying. And so for me it’s always been something that’s hard for me to understand.”
How Clark’s Podcast Producer Deals With Her Fear of Flying
Since Clark doesn’t experience fear while flying, he handed the question to Christa. How does she contend with her fear of flying?
“Well, there are a few ways. I have a tendency toward anxiety anyway. So getting help with that was very helpful,” Christa says.
“There are classes you can take online. Some airlines used to offer them. I don’t think many do anymore. But I know British Airways did. And Virgin offered one where you could take a fear of flying class.
“The important thing is they teach you what’s really going on and show you how everything works. So you can see how it’s so much safer than driving even is.”
Christa also mentioned she gets “a little help” from her doctor ahead of long flights. But this summer, on a flight to Europe, she took medication her doctor gave her. Then the flight got canceled.
“I had to get off the plane and get myself to a hotel a little woozy,” Christa says. “But it’s worth it, Andy. I hope that you can overcome it.”
Try Watching This Jello Video That Explains Turbulence
Clark also supports the idea that knowledge can help.
Specifically, he referenced a video involving Jello.
“Apparently it’s one of the best tools that’s ever helped people with flying. This video explains that bouncing you may feel in the sky from time to time,” Clark says. “And it apparently has been very helpful to people watching the Jello video about what actually is going on.
“It helps relieve that fear, that concern, that unknown for you.”
Here’s at least one version of the Jello video. It explains why you’re totally safe in a plane even when you experience turbulence.
“Let me know if anything you see or any of the techniques you find online are helpful to you,” Clark says. “Because it may be helpful to other people who also have anxiety when they fly.”
Whether you watch a Jello video, take a class, get help for general anxiety or get help from your doctor, there are a number of methods that may help you with your fear of flying.
It’s hard to completely extinguish fear since it’s based on emotion. But eliminating as much of the unknown as possible may help.