Orlando Trauma Counselor on US Airways 1549 – 3 Ways to Combat Fear in our World Today

911…Virginia Tech Massacre…Plane crashing…

How do you combat Fear in our world today? 
Although we hail the miraculous landing of US Airlines Flight 1549, the event still escalates many people’s anxiety about flying. Postings on Face Book, blogs, and other sites show just how many people are fearful of flying. Why is this? Perhaps it is because people are herded into a relatively small space and have no control over any aspect of their trip. Perhaps it is because other forms of transportation are grounded, and it seems unnatural to be 30,000 feet in the air. Maybe it’s because plane accidents usually mean certain death while people often survive automobile, train, or bus accidents. So we worry about all the possible things that could cause an accident – poor visibility, mechanical failure, pilot error – and now we need to add birds to the list?So how do we combat fear in a society where unexpected, uncontrollable events occur.

  1. Broadening our focus and looking at what we can control. Anxiety by its very nature tells us to expect the worst-case scenario and causes our attention to be narrowly focused on details that support that outcome rather than looking at the broader picture.
  2. Reflect on the meaning of the particular fear and its possible relationship to other things going on in your life.
  3. Seek out a therapist who can help us understand and deal with out fear. No one should have to live with constant fear. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a very effective means of dealing with the anxieties that interfere with your daily living.

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Author: Evelyn Wenzel, MSW, LCSW, CAP