Review Category : Health

Five Tips to Combat Flight Anxiety

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Do you have a fear of flying? You’re not alone.

Nearly 7 percent of people have what’s called aerophobia, according to Statistic Brain. And recent news events, including a yet-to-be found Malaysia Airlines flight and another Malaysia Airline plane shot down over Ukraine, killing 298 people, haven’t done much to ease those worries.

But if the fear’s so bad you’re thinking about skipping your next vacation, don’t act too fast. Industry experts agree that, by and large, commercial air travel is very safe.

CheapAir.com CEO Jeff Klee, who flies for a living, shared with ABC News his top five tips to combat flight anxiety:

1. Trust the industry.

The truth is that a lot of flying anxiety is caused by projecting and misplacing fears. Your worries are probably not based on whether or not you’re actually safe in your seat in an airplane (in the highly capable hands of the flight crew), but rather the incidental inconveniences and discomforts that disrupt your personal “control” instrument panel. An economy seat in 2014 is not going to be relaxing and comfortable in the manner that you are probably accustomed to at home. Even our most seasoned travelers over here at CheapAir headquarters don’t deny that the seats in coach are often cramped. Some of us even have mild claustrophobia, which, let’s face it, can be exacerbated by sitting knee to knee with a couple of strangers on a full flight. It may take a little pre-flight concentration/meditation, but if you can manage to isolate your feelings of discomfort and loss of control, you’ll be able to better manage those feelings and separate them from feeling unsafe.

2. Go with your feelings.

Wait a minute, you might be saying. You say I’m starting to feel anxious just as we back away from the gate and I’m supposed to feed that rising sense of panic? Well, yes and no. Basically, science shows that fighting feelings of anxiety can actually inflate those feelings. When you start to feel out of control or panicked, the typical response is to dig in emotionally and fight to try and override the feelings. Most of the time, this tactic just doesn’t work. You actually work yourself into a much more anxious state by battling yourself. If you’re on a flight and you start to feel anxious, take a moment to recognize these feelings and acknowledge them. It could be as simple as saying to yourself, “I am starting to feel very anxious. I am starting to worry about the plane’s safety. My heart is beginning to pound.” The next step is to accept these feelings and say something affirmative to yourself like, “This is going to be tricky but I can handle these feelings. I can get through this.” Finally, take some deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth to combat the shallow breathing that can lead to panic attack and hyperventilation.

3. Drink responsibly.

If you’re feeling anxious, you’re probably planning to have a cocktail (or a few) before the plane takes off and a few more en route. While that does sound like a rollicking good time, we recommend that you do not get plastered on an international flight. Flying while inebriated? Totally fun! Finding your bags and orienting yourself in a city while inebriated? Not so much. Have you ever tried to describe your lost luggage to baggage claim staff while under the residual influence of six glasses of in-flight Cabernet? Not a pretty picture. Also, a drunk tourist might as well be wearing a sign around his neck reading, “Rob Me.” If you’ve just landed in a foreign country and you’re tipsy, you’re catnip to thieves on the airport circuit. On the other hand, dehydration is also your enemy — so do plan on drinking loads of water both before and during the flight. And finally, more bad news. Avoid caffeine and coffee if you’re prone to panic attacks. Wean yourself off it for a few days before you fly if it’s too painful to do cold turkey. A stimulated mind can spin out in all kinds of jittery, panicky directions. Just. Don’t.

4. Hold fast to the facts.

Remind yourself that the most dangerous part of your travel day is the drive to the airport. Your chance of being in an air disaster is approximately one in three million. You would need to fly once a day for more than 8,200 years to accumulate three million flights. While you should avoid disaster news, it might not be a bad idea to read up on some basic facts and figures about what a normal flight will feel and sound like. There are reasonable explanations for many seemingly distressing noises on a plane. You can even watch a great video called “Flying Without Fear” on YouTube from Virgin Atlantic that illustrates typical sounds and movements on takeoff and landing. Easy peasy.

5. Distract yourself.

If you know you are going to be anxious, surround yourself with familiar pleasures from home. Load up the iPad with some old school Seinfeld or Friends. Listen to a few of your favorite, relaxing albums. Start a great book before you leave and pick up mid-read during the flight. Basically, don’t depend on the airline to provide you with a distraction that will work for you. Their in-flight programming might not be the medicine you require. The key is to keep these distractions to what you are already accustomed. Think of it as comfort food for your mind.

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Brooke Burke on Bouncing Back from Cancer

ABC/Todd Wawrychuk(NEW YORK) — Brooke Burke-Charvet has come back from cancer stronger than ever.

“It’s crazy that not long ago I had cancer and now I’m cancer-free, and that might not be the case if I hadn’t gone for a checkup,” the former Dancing with the Stars co-host, 42, told Shape for the magazine’s September issue. “Now I feel like I’m beginning the best part of my life.”

About a year ago, Burke discovered she had thyroid cancer. Despite seeing a doctor for more than a decade for Hashimoto’s disease, the most common cause of hypothyroidism, and taking synthetic thyroid medicine every day for years, Burke said the cancer was discovered during a routine physical.

“The condition wasn’t even diagnosed by a thyroid doctor but during a regular checkup,” Burke told the magazine. “They found a questionable lump. Then I got an ultra-sound and biopsies, and sure enough, it was cancer. But the prognosis was great.”

“It’s so important, when you get any alarming news, to do research, get a second opinion, and not panic,” she added.

Since her thyroidectomy, Burke said she’s been cancer free.

“They took it out, it’s gone, and it’s all good,” she said.

Burke said she avoided the sun after her surgery and now has barely a scar. But she’s still making adjustments to her thyroid medication.

“That was a little tricky, but that’s one of the challenges with thyroid issues: figuring out the amount of Synthroid you need, getting your hormone levels right, and then making adjustments,” she told Shape. “Having too much energy or not enough energy, and rolling through those changes — I’ll continue to deal with that for a while.”

Burke also said she returned to her regular exercise routine a few weeks after surgery.

“I started working out the day I was allowed to. That’s just me. I feel better after my workout for a million reasons,” Burke said.

Today, she’s in better shape than ever, she said.

In addition to promoting her new athletic-wear line, Caelum, Burke, who was replaced by Erin Andrews on Dancing with the Stars at the beginning of the year, has been doing more acting. She just finished a couple episodes of Melissa & Joey, playing the mother of Joey’s daughter.

“I’m committed to doing something more creative now,” Burke said.

Her advice to other women following her life-changing year: “Care for yourself, especially as you get into your 40s. Always get your annual physicals and mammograms.”

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Sarah Murnaghan Celebrates 12th Birthday

Courtesy Murnaghan Family (NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.) — Sarah Murnaghan put her new lungs to good use this weekend, blowing out the birthday candles on a yellow cake while her siblings sang “Happy Birthday to You.”

Sarah, whose family fought the “Under 12 Rule” last year to help her get a double-lung transplant from an adult donor, turned 12 on Thursday.

“Today Sarah turned 12!” her mother, Janet Murnaghan, wrote on the Sarah’s Heroes Facebook page Aug. 7. “We are so proud of all she has overcome and the progress she continues to make.”

Sarah was dying of cystic fibrosis last year when her mother launched a campaign to get rid of the lung transplant rule she called discriminatory because even though pediatric lungs would be offered to her first, adult lungs would have to be offered to other adult matches in the region before they could be offered to her. Though the rule still stands, the Murnaghans prompted a mechanism that allows patients to be granted exceptions to it.

Sarah received a double-lung transplant on June 12, 2013, but it failed. Three days later, she received a second lung transplant. Both came from adult donors.

She celebrated her 11th birthday at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and returned home to Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, in late August 2013.

By March, Sarah was back on her pink bike, and on the anniversary of her transplant, she had her tracheostomy tube removed from her neck.

“She no longer needs any assistance to breathe,” Janet Murnaghan told ABC News at the time. “She rides her bike, goes to the pool, out to dinner with the family, museums, parks, etc. She is enjoying life.”

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Sarah Murnaghan Celebrates 12th Birthday

Courtesy Murnaghan Family (NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.) — Sarah Murnaghan put her new lungs to good use this weekend, blowing out the birthday candles on a yellow cake while her siblings sang “Happy Birthday to You.”

Sarah, whose family fought the “Under 12 Rule” last year to help her get a double-lung transplant from an adult donor, turned 12 on Thursday.

“Today Sarah turned 12!” her mother, Janet Murnaghan, wrote on the Sarah’s Heroes Facebook page Aug. 7. “We are so proud of all she has overcome and the progress she continues to make.”

Sarah was dying of cystic fibrosis last year when her mother launched a campaign to get rid of the lung transplant rule she called discriminatory because even though pediatric lungs would be offered to her first, adult lungs would have to be offered to other adult matches in the region before they could be offered to her. Though the rule still stands, the Murnaghans prompted a mechanism that allows patients to be granted exceptions to it.

Sarah received a double-lung transplant on June 12, 2013, but it failed. Three days later, she received a second lung transplant. Both came from adult donors.

She celebrated her 11th birthday at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and returned home to Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, in late August 2013.

By March, Sarah was back on her pink bike, and on the anniversary of her transplant, she had her tracheostomy tube removed from her neck.

“She no longer needs any assistance to breathe,” Janet Murnaghan told ABC News at the time. “She rides her bike, goes to the pool, out to dinner with the family, museums, parks, etc. She is enjoying life.”

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Plastic Surgery Confession: I Hide Botox from My Husband

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — While millions of women get Botox in an attempt to turn back the hands of time, not all women come clean, not even to their spouses, about their plastic surgery fix.

“He has this perception that you get Botox, you’re going to look like Joan Rivers,” a woman, “Krissy,” who asked to keep her identity private, said of her husband.

“It’s not true,” she said. “I go home and he doesn’t even know I have it.”

Morgan Shanahan, a 33-year-old blogger from Los Angeles, is one woman who did spill the Botox beans to her husband, but only after the pressure of hiding it from him became too much.

“I didn’t really feel guilty right away,” Shanahan told ABC News. “I started to think, ‘Oh my God, I’ve never kept something from him before.’”

Shanahan waited until one month after she had 16 units of Botox injected into her forehead to tell her husband, according to her blog.

“He expressed to me that he was not only disappointed that I had not told him, he felt like our trust had been a little bit fractured,” Shanahan said.

The reasons why women like Shanahan may hide Botox treatments from their significant others can range from risks to costs to the social stigma surrounding the beauty treatment, experts say.

“I can understand why women feel the pressure to hide Botox,” beauty and image consultant Morgen Schick told ABC News. “There’s only one thing worse than aging, and that’s looking like you care about aging.”

Shanahan says though her husband tells her she is beautiful as she is, she would have Botox again, but would keep the lines of communication open this time around.

“I would do it again,” she said. “And I would talk to my husband about it first.”

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Plastic Surgery Confession: I Hide Botox from My Husband

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — While millions of women get Botox in an attempt to turn back the hands of time, not all women come clean, not even to their spouses, about their plastic surgery fix.

“He has this perception that you get Botox, you’re going to look like Joan Rivers,” a woman, “Krissy,” who asked to keep her identity private, said of her husband.

“It’s not true,” she said. “I go home and he doesn’t even know I have it.”

Morgan Shanahan, a 33-year-old blogger from Los Angeles, is one woman who did spill the Botox beans to her husband, but only after the pressure of hiding it from him became too much.

“I didn’t really feel guilty right away,” Shanahan told ABC News. “I started to think, ‘Oh my God, I’ve never kept something from him before.’”

Shanahan waited until one month after she had 16 units of Botox injected into her forehead to tell her husband, according to her blog.

“He expressed to me that he was not only disappointed that I had not told him, he felt like our trust had been a little bit fractured,” Shanahan said.

The reasons why women like Shanahan may hide Botox treatments from their significant others can range from risks to costs to the social stigma surrounding the beauty treatment, experts say.

“I can understand why women feel the pressure to hide Botox,” beauty and image consultant Morgen Schick told ABC News. “There’s only one thing worse than aging, and that’s looking like you care about aging.”

Shanahan says though her husband tells her she is beautiful as she is, she would have Botox again, but would keep the lines of communication open this time around.

“I would do it again,” she said. “And I would talk to my husband about it first.”

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Jennifer Aniston Is ‘Really Comfortable’ at 110 to 113 Pounds

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) — Jennifer Aniston has always been svelte. However, even she would like to change a few things about her body.

“These days, if I was being super picky, I would love to drop five pounds,” she told Yahoo. “That is just where I have always been really comfortable at, about 110 to 113 pounds. But it is harder at this age.”

Aniston, 45, explained that to stay in such great shape, she tries to “strike a balance,” with her diet. For example, weekends, she said, are the time when she lets herself have bread.

The actress also chalks up her looks to genetics, among other things.

“My dad is 100-percent Greek; he turned 81 and he barely has a wrinkle. And neither does my grandmother, who was 95 when she died,” she said. “But it’s also just water, drinking a lot of water, using really nice good products for your face. Don’t overproduct, that’s the other thing. Getting proper sleep is always important.”

Still, when a wrinkle does crop up, don’t expect Aniston to run to a plastic surgeon. The actress said that her fiancé, Justin Theroux, would “put a gun to my head if I touch my face in any way.”

“There are also so many things that women can do today with technology in terms of LED light therapy, good lasers that tighten the muscles, and massages for your face — and don’t forget great creams. I think that’s the route to go,” she said.

“I also understand that age is kind of awesome,” says Aniston. “I am fortunate enough to know women like Gloria Steinem, who I think is one of the most stunning women on the planet, and doesn’t touch her face. Diane Keaton, Annette Bening, all of these fabulous fearless women who are flawless, they embrace it. You know, to each their own; I don’t judge it if you do it, but sometimes I wish I could beg the people I know, who I am very near and dear to, to not touch their face.”

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Colorado’s Pot Laws Also Impacting Teens

iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) — Colorado is one of two states where it’s legal to buy and use small amounts of marijuana, provided you’re 21 or older.

However, that hasn’t stop Colorado high school students from smoking pot, according to a 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado survey.

Among those polled, more than a third admitted to having used marijuana at least once, with 20 percent saying they’d gotten high in the past 30 days.

Besides marijuana’s availability, teens seem to see less risk in using the drug. In 2013, 54 percent said there was moderate or great risk from marijuana, compared to 58 percent two years earlier.

Yet despite marijuana being legal in Colorado, the state only ranks seventh in use of the drug. The nation’s smallest state, Rhode Island, has the largest ratio of users to non-users.

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Caffeine Could Thwart Tinnitus Development

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — That annoying ringing in one’s ears known as tinnitus affects an estimated 50 million people in the U.S.

While doctors are still finding ways to treat tinnitus, which is actually a symptom of a more serious disorder, drinking coffee may actually reduce the chances of developing it.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers examined 65,000 women, aged 30 to 44, over an 18-year period. It was discovered that those who consumed larger amounts of caffeine were 15 percent less likely to experience a regular ringing or whining in their ears than women who drank lesser amounts of coffee.

Researchers are unsure why caffeine cuts the risk of tinnitus, although it has been previously shown to affect the physiology of the inner ear.

Just the same, people with tinnitus are not advised to start drinking excessive amounts of coffee until more research is conducted.

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Jennifer Aniston Is ‘Really Comfortable’ at 110 to 113 Pounds

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) — Jennifer Aniston has always been svelte. However, even she would like to change a few things about her body.

“These days, if I was being super picky, I would love to drop five pounds,” she told Yahoo. “That is just where I have always been really comfortable at, about 110 to 113 pounds. But it is harder at this age.”

Aniston, 45, explained that to stay in such great shape, she tries to “strike a balance,” with her diet. For example, weekends, she said, are the time when she lets herself have bread.

The actress also chalks up her looks to genetics, among other things.

“My dad is 100-percent Greek; he turned 81 and he barely has a wrinkle. And neither does my grandmother, who was 95 when she died,” she said. “But it’s also just water, drinking a lot of water, using really nice good products for your face. Don’t overproduct, that’s the other thing. Getting proper sleep is always important.”

Still, when a wrinkle does crop up, don’t expect Aniston to run to a plastic surgeon. The actress said that her fiancé, Justin Theroux, would “put a gun to my head if I touch my face in any way.”

“There are also so many things that women can do today with technology in terms of LED light therapy, good lasers that tighten the muscles, and massages for your face — and don’t forget great creams. I think that’s the route to go,” she said.

“I also understand that age is kind of awesome,” says Aniston. “I am fortunate enough to know women like Gloria Steinem, who I think is one of the most stunning women on the planet, and doesn’t touch her face. Diane Keaton, Annette Bening, all of these fabulous fearless women who are flawless, they embrace it. You know, to each their own; I don’t judge it if you do it, but sometimes I wish I could beg the people I know, who I am very near and dear to, to not touch their face.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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