John Glenn International Airport to Hold Special Flight Anxiety Workshop

John Glenn Columbus International Airport is planning a special workshop to help travelers better handle their anxiety and fear surrounding both airports and flying.

Named for the famous late Ohio astronaut, the airport has its sights set on helping frequent and not-so-frequent travelers overcome their anxieties about flying. Registrations for “The Facing Takeoff” workshop will be open until August 21.

Anxieties can come in many forms. From a child’s first dental visit at age one to stepping foot onto an airplane, the triggers are countless. In fact, 14% of Americans report that just their home decor can cause stress and anxiety. While this workshop can only tackle one of those many stressors, it’s something many participants and organizers are looking forward to.

Conquering fear may provide some motivation for attending this event, but the second biggest draw for attendees is that the entire workshop is free. But airport officials and event organizers have warned that there is limited space available. As such, they are encouraging people to sign up as soon as possible.

Events covered during this workshop will include security checkpoint and airplane boarding practice sessions, as well as a session dedicated specifically to developing skills that will help manage anxiety. For some, meditation might be the answer. In fact, almost 60% of anxiety-prone individuals revealed marked improvements after six to nine months of regular meditation.

However, meditation doesn’t work for everybody. In fact, there are multiple methods to conquer feelings of anxiety, especially when it comes to getting on a plane. For example, The Today Show host Jeff Rossen actually visited a turbulence simulator to see whether or not it could alleviate a producer’s fear of flying.

The turbulence simulator is part of another flight anxiety program called “Fearless Flight” at Air Hollywood. There, health professionals and airline veterans meet with guests to devise methods of overcoming flight anxiety. For The Today Show producer, the solution consisted of writing their own name with their non-dominant hand over and over again.

“We’re disrupting the thinking,” said Capt. Ron Nielsen, a pilot and 40-year veteran of the airline industry, of the writing trick.

Nielsen might not be at the John Glenn International Airport to teach others his ways, but the program promises to have health professionals and airline experts there to help passengers and teach them about coping with their anxiety.

The event’s sponsors include Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio State University, and Southwest Airlines. The workshop itself will be held on August 26, 2017.

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