The COVID crisis throws into relief what happens when grief has—quite literally—nowhere to go. The evidence suggests that most people summon strengths that surpass their own expectations.
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How to beat aeroanxiety and more
Tom Bunn L.C.S.W.
Calming signals from another person's face, voice quality, and body-language can deactivate our innate response to threats.
When a specific crash comes to mind, anxious fliers are drawn to two troubling thoughts. These thoughts are why the MAX has a public relations problem.
Industrial respirators are being used in hospitals when N95 respirators are in short supply. They are being used also because most staff feel better protected by them.
Your mask protects others, not you. Masks that others wear protect you, but not perfectly. Respirators may help.
Panic is not caused by irrational thinking. Panic results when imaginary threats are mistaken for real threats.
When feelings of alarm overwhelm executive function, it can't determine whether the danger is real or imaginary. The key to preventing panic is down-regulating alarm. How is it done?
When a plane is out of service for an extended time, there are only a few maintenance issues that arise. Planes are completely inspected before returning to service.
Childhood experiences can link arousal to fear, and fear to danger. As an adult, though they no longer need to be linked, they often are and cause completely unnecessary anxiety.
The mind that kicks in when stress hormones are released isn't as smart as the mind that shows up 90 seconds later. Here's a technique to reduce the time to less than a second.
If COVID-19 has shaken your trust in magical thinking, that is a good thing — at least as therapists see it. Navigation is more accurate when based on reality than on illusion.
Some deal with pandemic anxiety via denial, saying it is a hoax. What do those of us do who know it is not a hoax, and can't control it, avoid it, or escape it?
A person with a personality disorder has great difficulty with emotional regulation. Many behaviors can be used in an attempt to regulate or to cover up distress.
New research at Washington State University shows parents don't serve their children well by hiding their feelings.
As adults responsible for our own safety, we need an accurate representation of the world in mind.
Your sympathetic nervous system revs you up. Your parasympathetic nervous system calms you down. How do you activate it when you need to calm down?
A person who is safe to be with—physically and emotionally—activates our calming system (the parasympathetic nervous system). A memory of such a person can also activate it.
We all have a system that is supposed to calm us. Anxiety can become intolerable if we lack the psychological programming needed to activate it.
A romantic relationship is more satisfying when a resource within—not the other person—is responsible for emotional regulation.
In the presence of a person who is no threat physically or emotionally, we unconsciously pick up signals from their face, voice, and body language that can calm us.
On an automated airliner, flying skill is unimportant — unless things go wrong.
In most social situations, we pick up signals that we are physically safe. But we don’t receive signals that we are emotionally safe. What can we do?
When we lack mental programming to automatically down-regulate alarm, it persists and causes us to believe we are in danger.
Five approaches to panic. Which approach do you think ends panic more effectively?
"I hated the idea that I was a 50-year-old adult who had not developed a secure emotional orientation! It was embarrassing, offensive, and... it was true."
Nature has programmed us to feel danger when falling. Turbulence feels as if our plane is falling even though it isn't.
Wind was so important for the Wright brothers that they traveled from Ohio to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for their early tests and flights.
The FAA is not a safety organization. It is a political organization. Its job is not to keep you safe in the air, but to make it appear they are keeping you safe in the air.
"Generally speaking, primary care physicians have not received the training that they need to prescribe medications that have such high risk for addiction or overdose."
Being told, “Stop that crying or I’ll give you something to cry about,” doesn't install the app.
The rational way to end panic is not rational thinking. Few can do that. The rational approach is to activate the system that completely stops up-regulation that leads to panic.
Captain Tom Bunn, LCSW, is an airline pilot and author who has dedicated 30 years to the development of effective methods for treating flight phobia.
Fear of flying can start after a bad flight. It can also start for no apparent reason. Airline captain and therapist Tom Bunn, L.C.S.W. offers his understanding of the cause and the cure of flight difficulties