The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 1, 1996 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 1, 1996
Page 5
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THE SALINA JOURNAL LIFE TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1996 AS TRAVEL Plane scared Want to rid yourself of the groundless fears of flying? Here's how By CAROL COTT GROSS jVpic York Times Syndicate Are you driving to Florida for vacation again instead of flying to France? Do your knuckles turn white when the seat belt sign is turned on? If your answer to either of the above questions is yes, you're not alone. Although there is no official count, a study by the Boeing Company found estimated that about 25 million Americans are phobic about flying. And with the TWA flight 800 disaster still in our minds, this number is sure to have grown. This figure includes people who may have flown once and were so nerVous about the experience they never flew again and others who have never flown because their fears about flying have grounded them permanently. Then there are millions of folks who leave terra firma only when business obligations or family emergencies force them to fly. Otherwise, they take the train or drive, especially on optional trips such as vacations. Howard Weiss, a Manhattan attorney and self-described white- knuckle flyer, explains his selectively phobic attitude about flying: "I believe that I only have a certain number of safe flights in me," he 'says. "Why should I waste a flight, actually two if I count going and coming back, on a vacation which is just for fun? Why should I take the shuttle from New York to Washington on business when I can take the Metroliner? "But when my firm sends me to see a client in London, then I've got to fly. I don't have a choice unless they build a bridge, and to tell the truth, I don't really love bridges either." Weiss says he has developed a superstitious rationale for business flights, which somehow makes him feel more comfortable. "I call it my Jewish guilt trip," he says with a laugh. "I keep repeating, like a mantra, 'Look, Lord, I'm not having a good time up here! I'm flying for business, to feed my family. I'm torturing myself, so You don't have to do anything really terrible to me!" T RELATIONSHIPS The problem with being selectively phobic is that individuals eventually can't motivate themselves to get on the plane for any reason. Or if, like Weiss, they can force themselves to fly, they have already spent weeks before the flight with "what if?" worries. Or they suffer high anxiety during the flight, and immediately after their safe landing, they begin their "what if?" worrying about the flight home. A 1989 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study found that the risk of dying in an accident aboard a U.S. air carrier is 1 in 11 million. In fact, flying is the safest way to get from point A to point B. It's so safe that a commercial airline pilot or flight attendant pays a lower rate of life insurance than a New York City bus or cab driver. But do these statistics ease the anxiety of white-knucklers who see the skies as dangerous rather than friendly? Not at all. Barbara Moskowitz, a Long Island realtor, says: "The way planes are just dropping out of the sky these days, I don't pay attention to statistics. But to be honest, when my husband or my kids fly, I'm not really worried because I know they'll be safe, With my luck, my plane will crash. "And if by some miracle my plane stays up there, and the pilot turns on the seat belt sign because of some turbulence, I'll either sit "I keep repeating, 'Look Lord, I'm not having a good time up here! I'm flying for business, to feed my family. I'm torturing myself, so You don't have to do anything really terrible to me!" Howard Weiss attorney who flies only for business quietly and have a heart attack from anxiety or I'll go crazy and yell until the pilot lands the plane." Would Moskowitz fly fearlessly if planes didn't crash? "Sure, I'd like to have a written guarantee about the safety of my flight. Who wouldn't? But I think my fear of flying is really more about leaving home and not being able to control the flight or my own fear symptoms," she says. Tips for anxiety control If you have a business or vacation flight coming up and are plane scared or are traveling with a white-knuckler, here are some suggestions to control anxiety and fear symptoms during the flight. • Wear a rubber band to snap yourself back to the present when you begin to worry. • Make your own travel arrangements. This will help you feel more in control and less like a victim. If possible, fly a wide-body plane (747, Air Bus, DC-10). Book nonstop whenever possible. • When making reservations, ask for a special meal if that is your preference. Options include kosher food, kids meals and fruit platters. Also ask for a bulkhead or aisle seat toward the front of the plane where you'll feel less claustrophobic and where it's less bumpy. • Identify yourself to the airlines as a nervous or inexperienced flyer before you fly. Ask to have a passenger agent meet you at check-in and help you board the plane. The agent will introduce you to the flight crew and help with your seating. • Develop positive fantasies about flying to combat your bad- luck scenarios. • Avoid any negative news about flying. And don't see action movies such as "Fearless" (1993) or "Speed" (1994). • Practice a relaxation exercise weeks before the flight. It won't work if you try it for the first time the night before. • Pack a flight bag with on-board activities and munchies to keep you busy, • Avoid anything with caffeine! • Take a tape player with comedy cassettes, relaxing music and taped messages from friends. Or pack an electronic game in your carry-on bag. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Game Boy with Tetris is very popular on planes these days. • Take along a hanky doused with the perfume or aftershave worn by someone you love. Take a whiff when you get nervous during the flight. • Many flights have telephones on board. Use the in-flight phone to help you feel connected and to distract you from your fears. • Develop positive self-talk to increase your confidence: "I am not ready to flip out." • Practice this mantra: "Bumps in the air are not dangerous. They're just uncomfortable." • When you land, don't dash off the plane. Rushing out of a phobic situation reinforces the notion that you are escaping from a dangerous situation. • When you deplane, congratulate yourself on your accomplishment, even if you experienced some symptoms. And remember, you must fly on a regular basis or your fear symptoms will be aggravated by your avoidance. Carol Cott Gross is an East Northport, N.Y.-based free-lance writer and director of Fly Without Fear, a New York-based program for people with a fear of flying. RAIPH WEIGEL Bonds - Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron Starting At fur a limitrrl time nnl\ . 825-6273 nnaiiciiiE credit terms /• corner of South & Clark, Salina & layawny Performam INC. Don't allow skirmishes to smolder 713-823-6372 1-800-569-5653 651 S. Ohio, Salina Different Flavors Shakes SPECIAL OF THE WEEK! \ 2I4W. Kirwin ; Salina, KS I 823-8066 Events of the Day the Salina Journal Scipps Howard Newsservice Prolonged bickering damages families and won't solve problems Family upsets are the normal skirmishes family members experience with one another on a regular basis. For ex- . ample, Judy ar- rjTTT gued with 12-year- LINUM old Jeremy about LEWIS his hair style. And GRIFFITH Gilbert was unhappy with his wife, Laurie, because she didn't want to return to work after the birth of their second child. »Family upsets are caused by a variety of reasons, including differences of opinion, disappointment and poor communication. They are also inherently stressful. Households embroiled in ongoing multiple family upsets feel chaotic, unstructured and unsettled. They have less energy available to manage their lives. And they experience decidedly less satisfaction than homes where disagreements are handled more constructively. But while family upsets are commonplace, they need not be overly disruptive. There are measures parents and children can take to efficiently resolve them and move on to more positive events. Begin healing quickly. Don't let disagreements go on forever. Prolonged fuming or bickering only damages relationships and does nothing to minimize the problem. Allow time for heated tempers to cool down, then convene to address the matter. Profess commitment to the relationship. Family bonds are often overlooked when the momentary goal is to inflict emotional damage on the other. Instead, keep the relationship in the forefront. Express love even during disagreements. For example, when Bob discovered 15-year-old Kylee was having sex with her boyfriend, he told her, "Kylee, I'm concerned for your well-being. I love you more than anything else in this world. I want to hear about what's happening between you and Michael." Attempt to understand the other's viewpoint. It may seem as if the other's ideas are completely senseless, and the only workable solution is yours. But taking the time to hear and acknowledge varying opinions allows family members to feel they've been heard, while providing you insight into their needs and desires. Avoid needing to win. Relationships are not competitions. Seeking victory in the course of disagreements only heightens others' resistance and minimizes opportunities for resolution. Instead, look for opportunities to compromise and reach mutually acceptable decisions. Be willing to give and accept apologies. Apologies are sincere statements acknowledging personal responsibility for a given situation. When offered in a timely manner, they initiate rapid and thorough healing. When unconditionally accepted from an offender, they say, "Thanks for admitting your role in this problem. Now let's reaffirm our commitment and move forward." Seek resolution. Successfully resolving family upsets heals ruffled emotions, reaffirms relationships and re-establishes tranquility in the household. To ensure this happens, find an acceptable meeting place and time. Specifically identify the source of the problem. Use I-statements to express opinions, needs and desires. Listen carefully to one anothers' feelings. Be willing to enact possible answers. Your efforts toward finding solutions not only minimize the chances of replaying the same upset, but also demonstrate your commitment to other members while modeling personal skills. Linda Lewis Griffith is a marriage and family counselor. BABY A daughter, Autumn Jean, was born Sept. 18 to Salinans James and Kathy Overturf, 820 W. Elm. Grandparents are Jackie Putnam of Bennington and Rosalie P f £ige and Norman and Lois tjjnenberger of Abilene. COWECTDN Division of USA, Inc. 1915 S.Ohio 825-6247 Easy Access g I Location On 3 South Ohio- Salina Sports Connection OHIO Shop & Compare Price & Quality Just South of the Stop Light on Cloud & Ohio. Salina Journal I In Stock Custom Frames Save &Q /O 5. ZS7-9SOO One Day Onlyf Wednesday, October 2nd Have your feather pillows reconditioned with us on our Special Pillow Day! Pillows cleaned, sanitized, fluffed and returned with new bright ticking/ in Queen, King and Standard size. Foam pillows cleaned also. Starting at only. Haws may be brought m me if necessary Intricate andcrafted Wood Scenes MUSEUM Gift Store 211 West Iron Tues.-Fri. 12-5 & Sat. 10-5 D. B «*nte nnia , cente Heritage HaU *

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