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Panic Hits Anxious Fliers When Breathing Exercises Fail To Work

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ABC News video shows a fear of flying course offered in Phoenix, Arizona by a retired Air Force pilot. Though the statistics about airline travel are reassuring, anxiety persists. How is the anxious flier to know that one plane in millions that does crash isn't going to be theirs? Though breathing exercises may be able to push these thoughts temporarily out of the person's awareness, they leave anxious fliers powerless to help themselves when the plane hits turbulence.

This is because a part of the brain, the amygdala, releases stress hormones whenever the plane drops. There is nothing a person can do consciously - or by breathing a certain way - to stop stress hormone release. When too much stress hormone is released, anxious fliers have panic attacks. They may even go into a state of terror.

There is a way, however, to control this. The key is to train the mind to not release stress hormones when the plane drops. How this can be done is explained in SOAR: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying.

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