Dealing with Flight Anxiety – Hypnotherapy Ely and Newmarket
Flight anxiety can be made up of a whole load of anxious thoughts, feelings and behaviours. For some, their generalised flight anxiety can mean that even seeing a plane or hearing about someone else’s flight can stir up all that anxiety and fear. There will also likely be anticipatory flight anxiety where you can worry from the moment you buy a ticket right through the airport and getting into the cabin.
And there will certainly be the anxiety once the plane doors close and the crew start going through the safety regulations. It may be the take off that bothers you most or being way up in the air. You may feel anxious during landing, or maybe even more relaxed at the end of the flight because you know you are only minutes away from being back on the ground. And a combination of sounds, movements and turbulence can all contribute to your fearful anxiety and worry.
And as if the flight and flying itself wasn’t enough to already ramp up your anxiety about being on a plane, there can also be other things that contribute. You may worry about passing out or having a panic attack on the plane. You may feel anxious about whether you will even be able to get onto the plane or whether you will have to abandon your plans, let people down and head back home. And, naturally, your anxious imagination can conjure up all sorts of disaster scenarios and catastrophes that add to your uncomfortable feelings.
Logically you know that flying is the safest mode of transport and you may even be fed up with being told this repeatedly. Yet flight anxiety will always win over logic and reason and so the dread, avoidance and discomfort continue to run and run.
Flight anxiety can arise for a number of reasons. You may have never flown before and so be filled with uncertainty about your new upcoming flying experience. You may have experienced a previous difficult flight and since then you have struggled with anxiety and worry about it all. Or you may have flown many times without incident yet still find the same pattern of dread repeats itself each time you have another flight coming up.
If you struggle with generalised anxiety, a fear of heights, emetophobia, anxiety around enclosed spaces or you struggle in public situations then these can all contribute to your anxiety around flying.
Sometimes more general anxiety and stress in other areas life and in the build up period to your flying all comes together in that moment when you sit and pause in your seat on the plane. You feel highly anxious in your life in the period leading up to flying and then when you sit and stop the anxiety and panic increases and your brain takes a snapshot of what is happening in that moment. Your brain can easily ‘forget’ all the other stress and anxiety in life that contributed to how you feel and can just attach your fear to the last thing that pushed you over into panic. You then find that anything to do with flying from booking a ticket to being at the airport and right through boarding and doors closing to take off, being in the air and landing, make you feel anxious when you think about and imagine it. Because our brains work on patterns, sometimes that flight anxiety can start to develop and spread into other forms of transport or similar situations where you feel you are trapped and not in control.
And it’s very common that a lack of knowing what is going on can link with your anxious feelings and then your imagination goes wild with worst cases. That lack of knowledge about the processes and systems around flying is why my fear of flying course (with Sim2do in Mildenhall) covers everything from maintenance, pilot training, monitoring of flights, safety, plane mechanics and technology if something did happen, the impact of the weather, the noises you hear on a flight and just about anything you might want to know about planes and flying.
Recently I was back over at Mildenhall again running our fear of flying course for someone who was previously very anxious and avoiding flying yet who has now, after the course, calmly been on a flight:
As well as your hypnotherapy session on the course being a highlight (obviously!), the experience of the simulator is something that is not only pretty special in itself yet also helps calm your mind and feelings about flying.
More About The Fear of Flying
You can read more about fear of flying in these articles:
Like all forms of anxiety, flight anxiety is made up of a variety of unwanted thoughts, feelings and behaviours that can cause you distress, frustration, stress and worry. Yet like other anxieties, it is possible to change your thoughts and feelings so that you can fly calmly and comfortably (maybe even enjoying having some time to yourself on the plane to watch a good film or read an enjoyable book). Through hypnotherapy and learning some strategies for orchestrating your own thoughts and feelings (and through the fear of flying course and awesome simulator experience) you can relax and start to feel calm, confident and in control from the moment you book your ticket all the way through to landing at your destination. And you can start to look forward and enjoy going places and doing the things that you want to do.
To your health and happiness,
Award Winning Hypnotherapist in Ely & Newmarket
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