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:|