15/07 «I can’t control anything while being on a plane»
People like thinking that they, and nobody else, have a control over a situation. Research suggested that many people filling in sports lottery tickets and playing roulette try to influence the winning odds by using some selection of numbers, which are allegedly «meaningful». People playing backgammon try to control the result throwing the dice stronger in case they need to get big numbers. Most people believe that the possibility of dying in road accident is considerably lower if they’re driving the car.
Needless to say that most people among thousands ones, who died in car accidents, thought exactly in the same manner. Such control need can be either mild or heavy. In the first case people want to control a situation, but at the same time they do realize the fact that each of us can have a control in a limited way, that’s why their attempts to increase the degree of their control over a situation are rare and unobtrusive. People from the second category hardly understand (or can’t realize at all) the fact of lack of the control in a daily life. Generally, such people live within narrow limits «right — wrong», which were created by themselves. And as our environment rarely conforms to these «standards», people often have to create the illusion of having a control over situation by fitting it up to the limits they created by themselves. So it’s obvious that usually we have only the illusion of having a control instead of the actual control. Unfortunately, there is only a low degree of the control over environment in our life and we depend very heavily on other people’s actions, machinery serviceability (just think about what kind of control do you have over AMTRAK train driver, or over nuclear power station operator…), natural conditions. Earthquakes, terror attacks, most road accidents, fires, crimes, falling icicles, lethal diseases, medical errors… All these and surely many other sad events are absolutely beyond the control of us. Through understanding the fact that our control over some situation is often nothing, but the illusion, we reduce our discomfort in cases, when we realize that we have absolutely no control over a situation (for example, in case of an urgent operation or a flight). We can’t lose something that is only an illusion of it, right? People trying to control a situation totally (despite the actual impossibility of such control) are psychologically much more susceptible than those, who can realize that the control is only illusion. People from the second category hardly can «let the situation go», they prone to be extremely nervous in situations when they realize the lack of control. Such people suffer from different types of phobia and panic attacks more often than others. A hypertrophied need for the control over situation inevitably starts controlling these people’s lives. Our mental health depends very heavily on our flexibility. If we constantly need to have a higher control over situation – we lose our fortitude in case of life challenges and enjoy the life less than a person, who does realize and accept the lack of control. While being on board of a plane people with a hypertrophied need for the control suffer both from the loss of control illusion and lack of the self-control skills. During the courses we teach people how to stop controlling a plane and start controlling the thoughts, behavior and physiology.