Manukau Courier : January 17th 2014
www.manukaucourier.co.nz NEWS MANUKAU COURIER, JANUARY 17, 2014 Battling the fear of flying Reporter Sarah Coddington talks to psychologist Grant Amos about her fear of flying. I’m a jetsetter. I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower. I’ve been swimming with sharks in Tahiti and blocked my ears at the intense roar of footy fans at a Liverpool football match. I’m lucky to have travelled to Europe, England, Scotland, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Buenos Aries and Tahiti and I’ve lived in Australia. And I still want more – next on the list is a honeymoon in Rarotonga. But there’s one thing hold- ing me back. Whenever I think of air travel I’m convinced I’m going to die. Every noise the plane makes terrifies me.My heart rate gets faster and my palms get sweaty. My fear dates back to when I was nine years old. We were landing in Sydney – the plane touched down and it leaned to the side. Everyone got into the brace position. I copied. The pilot managed to land safely but I never recovered. This really needs to stop. With a fiance from Eng- land I’m bound to be travelling halfway across the world for the rest of my life. I decided it was time to seek help so I got in touch with Flying without Fear programme director Grant Amos. The psychologist was asked to set up the course by Frequent flier: Flying without Fear programme director Grant Amos says his typical client is an expert worrier. But Grant assures me that Air New Zealand in 1982. Nowadays he travels all over the country helping people just like me. Most are in high-powered positions – lawyers, professional athletes, movie directors. A typical client is an expert worrier. Just like me. I’m always thinking ‘‘what if’’. ‘‘What if the pilot dies and we plummet out of the sky and land in the sea and then we are eaten by sharks?’’ isn’t going to happen – the plane cannot plummet out of the sky. It’s physically impossible but I need to learn how a plane works to understand that. And the scary landing I experienced was completely normal for Sydney. The plane was simply heading into a crosswind. Grant tells me there were 12 plane accidents out of 36 million take-offs worldwide last year. That puts my fear into perspective. Apparently I also fall into the category of people who don’t like to be out of control. I need to learn to relax and let others take charge. Tips to help me out on the plane include having nothing by my feet on take-off, practising relaxation techniques and learning to accept changes at the airport. Grant says there’s no quick fix to getting over my Photo: SARAH CODDINGTON fear. It will take work and changing my behaviours. Most people who seek help are like me and use air travel frequently. Some think that travelling often will help conquer the fear but it just enhances it. If they become more exaggerated my thoughts could eventually stop me from flying. So I’m taking my first step towards conquering my fear. Next time I go to the air- port I’ll try to take in its exciting elements, rather than enhancing my anxiety. I will take things to help me relax. And I’ll try to be reassured that I’m more likely to win Lotto four weeks in a row than be in a commercial plane crash. ❚ Call Sue on 0800 737 225 or email email@example.com if you want to conquer your fear of flying. 7 Reel fun: Kids vie for a range of fun prizes at the annual Kids Gone Fishin’ contest. Kids – let’s go fishing Young anglers are being invited to bait their hooks. The biggest ever TradeZone Kids Gone Fishin’ event will kick off at Wynyard Quarter this Anniversary Weekend. The annual event is held as part of the Auckland Seafood Festival and sees kids join television fishing celebrity Graeme Sinclair to catch a snapper or kahawai. Spot prizes will be given out and and one entrant will win the chance to ‘‘be a cop for a day’’. Entry is free and open to kids aged 13 and under. Each entrant will receive a half-price adult’s ticket to the festival for a parent or caregiver. The event is being held in conjunction with the youth charity Blue Light and New Zealand Police. ❚ Visit aucklandfoodfestival.co.nz to register.
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