15/07 Turbulence zones – the most terrible nightmare for a person with fear of flying.
Turbulence is an amazing phenomenon. Hundreds of millions of people all over the world are most worrying about plane’s turbulence encounter, despite the fact that there was not any air crash because of turbulence. More than that, turbulence has never become one of many different factors, a combination of which can lead to an air crash. Turbulence is a natural event, which is just being taken by some people unnaturally. However, let’s think: why absolute majority of persons can continue having a peaceful sleep, reading or working in case of turbulence encounter while about 20% of passengers start convulsively grasping at the armrests and trying to see an expression of «imminent danger» on the faces of flight attendants?
The point is that all people are different. We have different genetics, and we have been brought up in various ways by different parents. And the turbulence is nothing but an unusual situation for most people, and their minds are incorrectly perceiving it as «a terrible buffet on a plane». When people constantly think and speak about the turbulence «is it buffeting or not», «where is the heaviest buffet», «when should we fly to avoid turbulence»,«what is the turbulence forecast for this flight» and so on – just increases the anxiety while flying in turbulence zones.
Fear of turbulence is most typical for overanxious people, especially for those who prone to perfectionism. It’s extremely important for them to have constant control over everything and have an opportunity to influence on situation. Such people tend to plan everything ahead to the full in their lives and try to conform to these plans. But anyway, turbulence is beyond their control, it doesn’t depend on them when it will start and when it will be over, it’s impossible to plan out turbulence’s onset and end. You can read my article on the connection between fear of flying and perfectionism here.
Understanding the reasons for turbulence solely also can’t help in getting rid of fear of turbulence, more likely it can even heighten the anxiety.
Generally, people tending to perfectionism demand perfect condition and behavior of themselves in any situation. Turbulence is not an exception, and perfectionists demand of themselves to be in an ideal state while being in turbulence zones. Both, physically and emotionally perfect. But because of their psychological type, this state can’t be reached, and as a result, the anxiety is being heightened, and it emerges a desire to avoid the next turbulence encounter. This avoidance happens not because turbulence is dangerous, but because they can not be perfect and establish essential for them full self-control. Next step is usually googling «terrible turbulence» or «dangerous turbulence» as an attempt to make own fear reasonable and thus, own condition in turbulence «perfect.»
At www.www.phobia.aero, we teach our clients both to understand the reasons for turbulence and develop the self-control skills in turbulent air areas instead of attempts to control the nature and airplane.