By Martin Seif, Ph.D. ABPP
Catch Your Disturbing Thoughts As They Occur: “What if this smooth flight starts to get turbulent?” is a thought. This kind of thought will produce fear because you are sensitized. Even though such thoughts may be fleeting and barely noticeable, they can startle and frighten you all the same, thereby initiating an anxiety cycle. Try to identify such thoughts as they occur, before your fears become intense. Once you recognize it as only a thought, you can begin to focus on comforting realities in the presents such as, “the plane seems to be flying quite smoothly right now,” “I know that flying in turbulence is very safe, even though it triggers my anxiety,” or – best of all – “I have the skills now to manage my anxiety levels whether the flight is smooth or bumpy.”
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