Fast little loans
On a flight to PE, at 30 000 feet we hit some turbulence. I closed my eyes and sat back, as it is almost impossible to do anything else when you are moving sideways and up and down at the same time.
Minutes later, I felt a tap on my arm and the woman next to me asked if I thought the plane would crash. I replied that the thought hadn’t crossed my mind and that the likelihood of that happening was pretty low.
She then went on to ask me whether I am afraid of dying. Earlier, I had been busy rehearsing my presentation for the next morning, so the subject of death and planes falling out of the sky came as a bit of a surprise to me at that moment.
I could sense that she needed to talk about her fears, so I turned towards her and said: “I guess being dead doesn’t really bother me, but I have to admit that the process of dying is not something I am particularly looking forward to.”
I don’t think she heard a word I said because she immediately told me that she is terrified of flying and was convinced that these were our final moments alive.
By then the turbulence had intensified to the extent that the bar service was suspended and the flight attendants had been instructed to take their seats and buckle up.
I tried my best to comfort the woman and explained what I know about aeronautics in an attempt to keep her calm.
What happened to her happens to all of us at times. When we feel uncomfortable and uncertain, the fight-or-flight instinct kicks in and we either want to fix the situation (fight) or run away from it (flight).
Our minds then search for evidence to support the fact that we are in danger. Our blood pressure goes up, our heart rate increases and our adrenal glands start pumping, making it almost impossible to calm down and use free will.
We then try to work through all the possible outcomes to establish how best we can survive, and this gives rise to worry.
You can imagine that this is a recipe for chaos. It gives rise to panic attacks and poor health.
I have been there myself, so sitting here in the comfort of my hotel writing this is pretty easy, but when you are in the midst of the havoc, you feel you as if you are going to die.
My advice to you is this: take time to think about what you have just read.
See things for what they are and, in the midst of your fear and panic, know that very little, and I mean very little, of it is real.
May you learn to fill your life with peace and do away with the fear and anxiety that harms both your body and your mind.
l Contact Rinus le Roux at email@example.com