Category: Self-improvement

Fear of flying. Plane stupid?

A man flying in the clouds with an ipad attached to his chest looking panicked.

Fear of flying. Plane stupid?

Hello again everyone. Welcome to my latest blog about fear of flying. I apologise for there not being a blog for the last couple of weeks but this is due to me taking a much needed holiday. I always choose to go away somewhere nice and warm as it is coming to the end of winter here. It’s nice to soak up the sun after the many months of early darkness and dreary grey days knowing that on my return home that it is nearly spring and the days are getting longer and the sun is beginning to shine much more warming us both physically and mentally. Sometimes it’s not until you actually go away that you realise how much the rest is needed. While I was away it got me thinking about people that have a phobia of flying (aviophobia) and how awful it must be not to be able to just escape to another country when they feel like it. The interesting concept of phobias is that there is not normally a rational fear behind them. Even if the fear doesn’t actually prevent a person from travelling anywhere it can greatly impair their enjoyment of the journey. We all know that flying is actually one of the safest forms of transport but many still hold a fear which is out of their control. So, what can they do about it?  After all there is far greater risk, statistically, of being kicked to death by a donkey than dying in a plane crash.

I have had a very high success rate with fear of flying using a combination of Hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT is a great self-help tool that can be used to bring down any anxiety about flying and the beneficial aspect of this therapy is that, once learned, it can be used anywhere. On the way to the airport, at the airport or sitting on a plane. That is the wonder of emotional freedom technique. I would, however, look deeper into the root cause of the problem to help clear the phobia using hypnotherapy. In my experience the majority of the time it’s because of one issue – CONTROL. People feel out of control in a plane. The average person does not have is a great understanding of how planes work and what the noises are that they hear and where there is a lack of understanding people feel out of control with many not able to put their trust in a pilot that they don’t know and a machine that they don’t understand. If a client feels out of control in their life then this problem will just be exacerbated. This may not  necessarily mean that the client is feeling out of control presently but using hypno-analysis we can look into the past and find out the originating cause of the phobia. This may not necessarily even have anything to do with flying or planes but may just simply be a control issue or a deeper set condition.

I once had a client, many years ago, that had never flown and even if she saw a plane flying overhead she would duck in panic! Hypnosis regressed her to eight years old where she remembered watching a news report about a plane that crashed onto a motorway. This had made the news as it was such a rare occurrence but the fear of seeing that at her young age was repressed into the subconscious causing her phobia. Reliving this event as an adult helped release the negative emotion stuck in the subconscious and we used some suggestion therapy for another couple of sessions re-framing any negative thoughts related to flying. She wrote to me after, happily informing me she had taken a short flight and actually enjoyed it and had booked a much longer flight for her honeymoon.

So, what should you do and not do should you suffer from fear of flying?

  • Don’t avoid flying. It is a treatable problem. Fears and phobias have one of the highest success rates for treatment of psychological problems. We tend to make ourselves feel safer by avoiding things but we truly grow by stepping outside our comfort zone.
  • Think about the destination you are going to. Really focus on all the positive things about being there.
  • Challenge any negative thoughts. There is a big difference between discomfort and danger. Think about your triggers. If turbulence is a trigger, for example, think about it logically. ‘Ok I might spill my drink but the plane isn’t going to fall apart.”
  • Learn some relaxation techniques. Deep breathing exercises, meditation and of course emotional freedom technique will all help. Reading is also a very good distraction or listening to music.
  • Keep hydrated. Try to avoid alcohol and drugs. Before and during the flight, it’s important to keep blood sugar levels up. Stick to water and juices to keep hydrated and remember to eat little and often to maintain your energy, which can help control anxiety levels. Rest if you can, though sleep is not essential.

To learn more and for further support with any of these issues please contact me for a free initial consultation.

Happy Holidays! 😉

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