Many of us fly with friends and family, and it usually helps make flights more enjoyable. But for anxious flyers it can also help alleviate their fear of flying. Here are four ways how:
Social Support as a ´Stress Buffer´
Traveling in a group provides an immediate support system, with the presence of friends or family acting as an emotional buffer, reducing the perception of threat and promoting relaxation. In fact, social support is one of the strategies that most helps calm anxiety in a variety of situations in addition to flying. Furthermore, the familiarity of a group can turn an unfamiliar environment into something more comfortable and safer feeling.
Sharing Experiences and Having Fun Together
Anxiety often decreases when people can share experiences, and travelling in a group allows you to discuss your feelings and expectations, which can allay irrational fears. Additionally, social interaction during the flight can serve as a distraction, diverting attention from potentially catastrophic thoughts caused by fear.
Positive Reinforcement and Celebration of Achievements
Every stage of the trip, from check-in to landing, can become a small victory, and for anxious flyers, positive reinforcement from companions can be a powerful motivator to experience the flights in a much more positive way.
The Importance of Joint Planning
Joining forces to plan trips together – getting other perspectives and sharing the “burden” – can reduce uncertainty and therefore stress. Coordinating travel details, such as flight times, seat selections, and in-flight activities, can be comforting and lessen the anxiety associated with the unknown.
As you can see, then, traveling in a group is the ideal option for those who still don’t feel very safe or are trying to overcome fear of flying. So if that is you, don´t hesitate to plan a trip with friends and start enjoying true freedom of travel.
Happy – and fearless – flying!