Self-help Lesson #21 Flying Phobia Worksheet To Reframe Anxious Thoughts

Flying Anxiety or Fear of Flying

Below is a sample exercise of how to flip anxious thoughts about flying into realistic statements: after reading the samples try writing down a couple of your own anxieties and flip them to more realistic perspectives. It took a whole group of us to come up with this many negative statements, you may only relate to a couple of them. The % belief was the average of the group.

Negative Statements % of belief in it Flip it to: Alternate Statements % you believe it
1 The couple of days before and especially the night before I fly I get so much anxiety I can’t sleep and worry about losing control on the flight. 80%

 

Flip it to: I may be anxious a couple of days before a trip but with the relaxation techniques I learn I can deal with it. 40%
2 When the doors close I can’t get out. 90% Flip it to: When the doors close I don’t really need to get out, I can use relaxation techniques when my heart starts to race to calm myself down.  There will be a start and a finish. 60%
3 What if I lose control because of the anxiety 25% Flip it to: I may become a little anxious but I won’t lose control and I will eventually be at a controllable level. 90%
4 What if  a plane crosses our path during take off? 1%v Flip it to: This could happen but with new ground control equipment this is very unlikely. 95%
5 What if the engines fail during take-off? 10% Flip it to: If an engine should fail during take off the pilots go through a lot of training in just such a occurrence and planes are designed to be able to complete a take-off and return on one engine. 80%
6 What if we have some other type of mechanical failure during take-off? 2% Flip it to: A mechanical problem could occur during take off but the pilots go through a lot of training in just such an occurrence and planes go through an extensive maintenance program before and after every flight. 80%
7 What if we hit any turbulence or heavy turbulence? 85% Flip it to: If we hit turbulence it is a natural occurrence which will have an ending 95%
8 What if a mechanical fatigue failure combined with turbulence cause some part of the plane to break that is needed to remain aloft or for control 1% Flip it to: We may hit turbulence but planes are designed and tested to with stand forces way beyond those created by even heavy turbulence. 95%
10 What if we lose cabin pressure because of an crack or structural damage 1% Flip it to: If we should lose cabin pressure planes are equipped and crews trained to handle just such an occurrence. 98%
11 What if one of the pilots tries to commit suicide 1% Flip it to: ? 2%
12 What if the plane catches on fire and smoke fills the flight cabin 2% Flip it to: If the plane should have a fire they are equipped and crews trained to handle just such an occurrence. 25%
13 What if we lose power or engines while we’re flying 10% Flip it to: If we should lose an engine, all planes are designed to continue flying and land on one engine, beside pilots train over and over for just such an emergency. 90%
14 What if we hit wind sheer on landing 10% Flip it to: Over the years new radar technology has been developed to detect and correct for areas of wind sheer on landing 90%
15 What if a plane crosses our path during landing 1% Flip it to: This could happen but with new ground control equipment this is very unlikely 95%
16 What if the plane can’t stop on landing 50% Flip it to:: ? 95%
Add your thoughts about flying.  Use additional paper if necessary.

Estimate your belief in each one, then flip them into more grounded and realistic thoughts.

Flip it to:
Flip it to:

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