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How do you manage your fear of turbulence?  An expert offers his advice after the Singapore Airlines tragedy

How do you manage your fear of turbulence? An expert offers his advice after the Singapore Airlines tragedy

Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images How to manage the stress and anxiety that turbulence can cause?

Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

How to manage the stress and anxiety that turbulence can cause?

Flight – Images are everywhere, testimonies follow one another. On Tuesday, May 21, passengers on a flight from London to Singapore experienced hell when violent turbulence rocked the plane mid-air, killing a 73-year-old man and leading to several injuries. A very rare event, it can reinforce a fear of flying for some and create a new fear for others.

So how do you deal with turbulence when it happens? And, above all, how do you manage the stress and anxiety they cause? To answer these questions, Le HuffPost He contacted Xavier Tiedelman, co-founder of the Fear of Flying Treatment Center.

For this former military pilot, that’s the first element to remember “There is no danger to an airplane during turbulence”. “There is no danger to the device, He adds. It is so strong that it does not fall and pilots do not lose control. No accident will happen »According to him.

Keep your seat belt fastened

But the London-Singapore flight showed the dangers to passengers during violent turbulence. According to the testimonies, the injured were mainly standing during the shaking, who did not have time to sit down and fasten their seat belts:

According to Xavier Tiedelman, “As long as you’re strapped in, there’s no risk of injury. Generally speaking, while you are seated, you may have fastened your seat belt and there is no reason to undo it. » The expert wants to put the frequency of such shocks into perspective: “There are five flights out of thirty million a year, and there is such severe turbulence at that time. You should not focus your behavior on the possibility of experiencing this. »

Whether you fear danger or not, experiencing turbulence while traveling is not a pleasant experience. Among the tips to reduce discomfort: Choose a seat at wing level rather than in the back of the plane, where vibrations are a bit more intense and noise from the engines is louder and can contribute to stress.

Inform yourself, breathe and visualize

But the co-founder of the Fear of Flying Treatment Center is on point “T-Dramatis”. For those who have had an anxiety-inducing experience or are generally afraid of flying, he recommends three integrated approaches to reduce stress or end their fear.

First step: recall the facts. Turbulence does not cause accidents, the plane is strong enough to withstand it. We must ensure that these rational responses take precedence over our negative thoughts. “Our emotional brains that don’t like to fly, Xavier Tiedelman explains. Our rational brain knows the statistics and knows the plane is reliable. So you need to calm the emotions of the brain, which happens, for example, through breathing techniques. The cortex must be forced into action with cognitive techniques.Like writing in a notebook before and after the flight.

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A third step that can complement these methods: participate in a flight simulator to overcome your fears through visualization. “In the same way that a horror movie affects you negatively, a flight simulator affects you positively.”Expert assesses.

The latter gives us one last piece of advice: don’t use avoidance techniques during the flight, such as pretending you’re not on the plane or imagining yourself in another place to calm yourself down. “Denial of the situation, in the long run, reinforces the fear”He concludes.

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