Overcoming Fear, Step One: The Apps

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In my last post, “Fear of … Everything,” I wrote about my all-consuming fear of flying, and how I’m planning to conquer it. Today’s post is more of a list than a post; a selection of apps I’m considering to help me prepare for my upcoming Fear of Flying seminar, and, ultimately, an actual flight in the near future.

Let me just tell you…searching for these apps was anxiety-inducing in and of itself. Seriously, I had to put pre-school programming on the telly just so I could get through it (Caillou, anyone?). It seems counter-productive to immerse oneself in the very thing one’s brain insists will kill one. Still, I issued myself a challenge and I’m determined to see it through, no matter how scary it is for me. Aren’t you delighted you have a front row seat to my neurosis and personal hell? Such fun.

After reviewing at least a dozen apps developed specifically to combat the fear of flying, I’ve narrowed it down to the ones below. I may even combine these with other hypnosis or calming apps. Anyway, here goes. The List of Potential Apps (for me, not a comprehensive list of ALL available apps. That would be silly.):

Master Fear of Flying, by CBS Solutions PTY Ltd – $30.99 – “The interactive Master Fear of Flying (MFOF) program offers personalized psychological treatment to overcome your fear of flying.” You can also “discover your flying fear type with our questionnaire at masterfearoflying.com.” This one sounds the best to me, if only because of the personalization. And, I admit, though I was a marketer in another lifetime, the price of the app gives it a perceived value. If it’s nearly ten times the cost of similar apps, it has to be good, right?

Fear of Flying App, Your In-Flight Therapist, courtesy of the VALK Foundation – $3.99 – “Never be alone with your fear of flying. The VALK Flight App will coach you through difficult flying moments (all flying moments are difficult flying moments. Sheesh). The app provides you with facts, so your mind stops telling you the things that make you afraid (I don’t think any app can do that), with exercises to reduce your stress level, handy tips and a special panic button.” Just seeing the words “panic button” made me panic. Can be used in-flight, with phone on airplane mode (am I the only one who finds that humorous?). Well, I have heard of the VALK Foundation, and I read recently that their courses have a 98% success rate. They make a compelling argument.

Overcome the Fear of Flying, Diviniti Publishing Ltd – $4.99 – “Overcome the fear of flying forever with this superb (someone thinks highly of themselves), high quality hypnosis relaxation audio app. Glenn Harrold (who??) has sold over 4 million CD’s, MP3 downloads and apps, and is one of the world’s best selling hypnotherapists (oh, him).” There are audio tracks, and the description promises, “You will hear Glenn’s soothing voice along with hypnotic echoed background affirmations…” I’m willing to give ol’ Glenn a listen, even though he is a bit cocky. I wonder if I’ll lose weight as a side-effect.

SOAR, offered by SOAR, Inc – FREE (if it’s free, it’s for me!) – “Established in 1982 – has opened up the world to 10,000 fearful fliers. This program is now available as an app created by the leading authority on flight phobia: author, airline captain, and licensed therapist (well, he just does it all, doesn’t he??) Tom Bunn, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.” All these initials are reassuring to me, especially the fact that he’s a pilot. And it’s free! Definitely getting this one. Also in the description: “Other approaches offer partial answers. SOAR provides a complete answer – even for extreme cases (that’s me!) – by controlling panic, claustrophobia, and anxiety automatically.” That last word intrigues me…

Am I Going Down, Vanilla Pixel – $2.99 – No. Just…no. Ok, here’s what it’s all about, but I’m still not getting it. “A flight risk calculator (wrong on so many levels) designed to help those with a fear of flying. After entering your journey details, ‘Am I Going Down’ provides the likelihood of your flight going down. How safe is your next flight?” HELL NO. Even if my flight pulls a 98%, with only a 2% chance of a crash, all I will focus on is the 2%. Because I am special, I will be among the 2%. If not on the way to my destination, then definitely on the way back.

But even better than that one, is this one: Prepare for Impact, Dipartimento di Matematica e….other words that ran off the screen. Doesn’t matter, no way in hell I’m getting near this one. Still, the developer has these words of reassurance: “Flying is safe, but are you prepared to cope with emergencies?” I’m not even prepared to cope with NON-emergencies! Oh, what do you know, it’s free! Still a big nope for me.

There are quite a few hypnosis apps for general relaxation and calming anxiety that look good, along with the ever-popular white noise or ambient music to help one sleep. But for now, I’m going to stick with those geared specifically to reduce or eliminate the fear of flying. Over the next week or two, I’ll let you know which apps I select, how they perform, and if they lessen my anxiety in any way. Stay tuned!

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