It is estimated that approximately 40% of all airline travelers experience some degree of fear of flying – or some other fear related to flying. With almost 3-billion people flying each year, that’s a lot of anxious travelers! And, considering that about 40% of all air travel is business-related, there are a lot of people who are afraid to fly but have to anyway. There is help for all you fearful fliers; and, believe it or not, the most effective way to freedom from flying fears may also be the safest and least expensive.

The reality is that flying is the safest way to travel; but fear has nothing to do with reality. Of course, when you’re the one who’s afraid, fear seems pretty real; and people have always taken steps to cope with fear of flying. Traditionally, people have used alcohol and cigarettes to soothe their fears on airplanes; but smoking is no longer an option – and drinking can cause more problems than it’s worth. Besides, simply sedating your fears is not the same as truly eliminating them – especially when the trade-off is your health.

Here are the four most commonly-used methods for overcoming fears of flying:

1. Pharmaceuticals – where a person uses prescription drugs to tranquilize or sedate themselves during the uncomfortable phases of travel. As with cigarettes and alcohol, this approach has many obvious downsides and does nothing to neutralize the underlying fear. Drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol all seem reasonably affordable; over time, however, this is also a very expensive alternative that carries its own health-risks. Of the more commonly used methods, this method is merely a coping-tool, and should probably be a last resort if used at all.

2. Cognitive Therapy – where a person discusses their fears with a clinical practitioner – in a clinical setting – in order to overcome their fears through rationalization, or other clinical approaches. This method is expensive; and, you could potentially talk about your problems for years without resolution.

3. Education and Desensitization – where someone with a fear of flying is educated about airplanes and what’s going on at various stages of flight, and/or gradually exposed to more and more realistic stimuli until they are used to, or comfortable with, airplanes and flying. This approach is potentially free, as you could educate yourself about airplanes and flying; and, if your fear is based on a lack of familiarity or understanding, this method can be very effective at helping you overcome that fear.

4. Energy Psychology – where a person uses simple, easy-to-learn and use, methods – such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) – to disrupt the stressful thoughts, feelings, and emotions that cause you to feel discomfort. This method is quickly becoming the clinical method of choice, as well as a popular favorite among frequent fliers, because these techniques are safe, simple, effective, and easy for anyone to use – anywhere, on practically anything. Best of all, once you know one of these techniques, you can use it on other problems in other areas of your life.

I have arranged these alternatives from my least favorite (1. Drugs), to my most favorite (4. Energy Psychology); but, if you are afraid of flying, and must fly anyway, do what you must to make your experience tolerable. Common sense says to start with the easiest, least-invasive, and most-affordable alternative. In the case of overcoming your fears of flying, EFT is definitely a good first choice; there’s no risk, and you can always use any of the other methods – EFT can potentially make other treatments even more effective. Do yourself a favor and find and download one of the many free EFT manuals available online; and you can check EFT out for yourself – and add EFT to your arsenal of self-help or stress-management tools should you encounter other stresses in life.

Author's Bio: 

To download your Free Illustrated Guide to EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), simply go to:

Pete Koerner is the author of The Belief Formula; for more information, or to download your Free Report on Making The Belief Formula Work For You, visit: