Is this what your in-flight table looks like as soon as the bar is open after take off? Bottles of fear numbing alcohol and a tight grip on your seat belt, feet firmly planted on the floor, constantly looking around at the in – flight attendants, dry mouth, palpitations and perhaps even excessive  sweating?

For the majority of people a fear of flying doesn’t affect their day to day life and even for those frequent flyers who perhaps have a slightly nervous disposition towards flying its not sufficient to actually stop them from flying altogether but they are still on edge. 

I do know it can be enough to stop you from enjoying the build up to your family holiday, with stresses beginning to show even before you have left the house, tempers are fraught and the suitcases aren’t even packed yet. 

Aerophobia is the fear of flying and may be associated with numerous other phobias including Claustrophobia, Social Phobia or a Fear of Heights.

Imagine being perfectly comfortable doing stunts in a World War II jet plane, then creaking along in a vintage Tiger Moth or even jumping 15000ft from an aircraft strapped to another chaps chest and yet have the most in-depth technical knowledge of aircraft with the science of flight but still be scared to DEATH in a normal commercial passenger plane. (I know a man that is so whats all that about?)

Aerophobia is therefore not always what it seems to be, we know rationally and consciously that no other form of transport is as scrutinised and monitored as commercial aviation and ultimately as safe. I know it is far too easy to tell you NOT to focus on the possibility of something going wrong on a plane, but to think about the probability instead – like that is really going to make a difference!

Physical symptoms that you may recognise include:

  • Shaking
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Flushing
  • Nausea 
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Feeling disorientated 
  • Irritable
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion 

Some folk feel reasonably comfortable whilst actually being at the airport and will only begin to experience symptoms just before the call for boarding or whilst on the plane. Others have trouble as soon as they set out on the journey to the airport – anticipatory anxiety is extremely common. 

As a Cognitive Hypnotherapist I work with you, the individual. I will explore your exact symptoms and what happens to you both mentally and physically. We will look to unlock what your subconscious is holding onto – it doesn’t really matter how your fear began. I will choose specific techniques and interventions that will help change those unwanted connections and fears to help you begin to enjoy and think positively about flying. 

As part of our work together we will explore the mechanics of fear, how to not only reduce the feeling of anxiety and panic but to give you the tools to have more control of your symptoms and in many cases lead you to a place where you can actually look forward to and enjoy flying without paying a fortune at the minibar and without those argumentative moments before.

Whilst how we manage our anxiety determines the outcome. Cognitive Hypnotherapy is more than accepting that a ‘fight or flight’ reaction is a legitimate response to a stressful situation, and this isn’t the right time for this response and YOU can overcome it. 

Ever wondered why First Class is at the front of the plane? bumps and shakes are felt less keenly and whilst turbulence can be uncomfortable it’s certainly not dangerous – so to save you money and to help you out have a little go at the below breathing and visualisation exercise:

Sit comfortably and close your eyes, take a nice long deep breath in and begin to focus on your breathing.

  • Count how long you breathe in for – and how long you breathe out for.
  • Adjust your breathing to make the out breath slightly longer than the in breath.
  • After a while, when you feel comfortable, start to increase the length of both breaths.
  • Continue to breathe in this way for as long as you want.

You can also take a few minutes each time you do this to imagine yourself relaxing on a plane. Just a few minutes spent imagining the way you want things to be, sitting perhaps with some one, watching the in flight entertainment, enjoying a meal or a drink, feeling relaxed.

Make this image as big and bright as you can in your imagination. See yourself laughing and having fun – or gazing out of the window, looking down on the clouds or landscape below. 

It’s your imagination so make it what you want.

The more you begin to focus on what you do want, the more your unconscious mind will help you achieve it.

Curious how we can work together on your Fear of Flying? Give me a call on 07516 800272