Fear of flying is actually a very common phobia that I treat in my clinic, this time every year. Aerophobia as it is known, affects about one in 10 people, so the likelihood is that when you are sitting on that plane, you are in good company, as there will be others feeling anxious too.
Whilst most of us only fly a couple of times a year, fear of flying can impact massively on your life and that of your family or travel companions. One client that came to see me, actually booked her first appointment with me after she was unable to board a plane for a two week holiday in Florida with her family. As well as losing significant money for her cancelled trip, not to mention the huge upset for her children, her husband was livid with her: she said her marriage was in jeopardy as a result of her flying phobia, so she knew she had to do something about it.
Being stuck on a plane, high in the sky, with no ability to “get off” for many can result in feeling trapped and triggers a high stress response. Equally, relinquishing control to two unknown strangers (the pilots) to fly the plane and ensure our safety, can also trigger huge stress responses for many passengers. Statistically, flying is one of the safest ways to travel, but it’s the fear that consumes us and this is not something we can control consciously: once those fearful thoughts are triggered, it can be a real challenge to keep it together.
The most effective way of dealing with a fear of flying is to deal with it both consciously and subconsciously and this is where the solutions I can offer, with Hypnotherapy and NLP are hugely effective. I can teach you how to take back control of your anxious mind and re-programme old unwanted behaviours and help you to create new more effective ones. The sessions I offer are tailor made to dealing your own personal experiences and anxieties around flying. In addition to controlling your old anxiety, I will teach you how to lead yourself differently, right from the build up to the holiday if necessary, so that you can stop those anxious thoughts and feelings from arising.
If you have a holiday booked and you are already starting to feel
twinges of anxiety about flying, then now is the time to seek help – don’t
leave it until a few days before your holiday to get support. In addition to
the therapy options I offer, there are some tips below for passengers that are
- Take a good book with you and your favourite tunes to listen to on
the plane, especially during take off when you can use these to distract
yourself (after of course listening the safety briefing).
- Practice mindful meditation or breathing with your eyes closed,
focusing on nice deep tummy breathes in and out or use an app to help you
during the flight. Keeping your breathing nice and calm and regular will
prevent a full blown panic attack from occurring.
- Some clients have reported that taking off their watch before they
fly and putting it in their handbag can be useful to stop them thinking about
the pressure of how long they have remaining in the air.
- Let an Air steward know that you are nervous as they can then reassure you and keep an eye out for you.
The best form of dealing with your anxiety though, is to seek help before your holiday is here, so that you can approach your holiday with a much calmer, controlled mind, knowing that you have internal resources and interventions to support you through your journey. If you’d like to find out about how I helped the client, I mentioned earlier, then you can listen to an interview with her here
To book a 30 minute consultation call with me to discuss your personal fear of flying and to see how I will be able to help you deal with this, drop me a message via my contact form.