Coping with Turbulence and a Fear of Flying

May 25, 2019 | Phobias and Fears | 0 comments

Coping with Turbulence and a Fear of Flying – Hypnotherapy Ely & Newmarket

Since the launch of my new fear of flying course with the great people at Sim2do, I’ve written quite a bit about overcoming the fear of flying and how combining knowledge about flying, coping strategies, hypnotherapy and the virtual simulator can help to alleviate your flying fears.

As part of our course preparation we have people spend a few minutes before they come completing a brief fear of flying questionnaire. This means we can tailor the support we provide based on whether someone gets anxious in anticipation of a flight, on the plane or if they have a generalised fear around flying. For the latest course participant it was all about the turbulence (or more precisely, the fear of there being turbulence on an upcoming flight).

And this person is not alone in worrying about turbulence and being able to deal with it (without panic). It’s one of the most common concerns when someone has a fear of flying, particularly if severe turbulence has been experienced before.

Before I get on to a little more about coping with turbulence, this week I found myself wondering what it must be like to be an astronaut and to fly into space. I mean, what must that turbulence be like?


Ely Cathedral Science Festival – The Sky’s The Limit

It just so happened that the fear of flying course all about overcoming the fear of turbulence fell in the same week as the Ely Cathedral Science Festival where the focus was all about space to mark the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

I took my daughter along to what was a fascinating and enjoyable evening at the Cathedral and a chance to take a look at the ‘Museum of the Moon’, a seven metre diameter replica of the moon hovering above the Cathedral’s nave. It was a pretty spectacular sight and well worth a visit:


coping with turbulence fear of flying hypnotherapy in Ely


Now as much as I love spending time with both my girls together, there’s always something special about having some ‘daddy and daughter’ time (particularly as she’ll be at college soon and being seen with me will probably be the most uncool thing in the world ever!). At the Cathedral event she got chased by a Dalek (from Doctor Who if you don’t know) which, having not grown up on Doctor Who like I did, led to her getting away from it as fast as she could!

There was also a chance to experience a twenty minute tour of the night sky in a giant inflatable dome thing which belongs to the National Space Centre. The guy who talked us through some of the constellations was pretty amusing and it was fun to watch the stars spinning around us at speed (and more amusing to my daughter that the dome deflated with us in it as the door was opened to let people out).


coping with turbulence fear of flying hypnotherapy ely


And here is the free roaming Ely Cathedral Dalek..!! (Looks like everyone has given him some space!!)


turbulence fear of flying hypnotherapy ely.


All of which space based stuff led me to wonder what the turbulence must be like when a space rocket takes off and heads up into the sky.


Coping with Turbulence – Fear of Flying

So at the latest fear of flying course it was all about coping with turbulence, the course participant having experienced severe turbulence on past flights.

Whilst research shows that many people with a fear of flying have either never flown before or have flown without incident, there are, of course, those who have experienced fearful or even traumatic flights. That fear and those uncomfortable feelings can lead to feeling anxious about flying again. Some may avoid flying altogether, others may have started relying on tablets or alcohol, and many more will experience intense anxiety at the thought of being shaken about again with turbulence.

And let’s be honest here, turbulence can be part and parcel of the flying process. But of course, no pilot is going to jeopardise his own life and those of passengers by charging into conditions that they consider dangerous. In fact, the pilot probably just wants their passengers to have a comfortable journey.

As Pilot Instructor Serena covered on the fear of flying course, turbulence is not going to harm the plane or flip it over and the plane can cope fine with those sorts of conditions. In fact, up in the air a pilot actually has a lot of time to make decisions about the flight path and will often avoid anything that looks like it would be overly bumpy. They know well in advance what they are approaching and may navigate around things like bad weather.

But of course, not all turbulence and bumpiness can be eliminated and many people have landed from a flight with a bruise or two. And if you have a fear of flying those moments of bumpiness or shaking can seem like the precursor to impending doom. You start expecting the worst and you may experience panic and fear as you watch the faces of the stewards and stewardesses for any signs of alarm and danger written upon their faces. You may feel out of control and wish you could somehow take control over the plane (not advisable, even if you are a trained pilot). And all those anxious thoughts and feelings may start to run riot through your mind and body.

Understanding turbulence, what it is and when it happens, as well as how pilots make decisions and the capabilities of a plane are all part of overcoming your fear of flying (and are incorporated in our course). I also teach you ways to stay calm and in control of your thoughts and feelings, as well as preparing your mind for your upcoming flight and how you can calmly cope, deal and handle with anything (like turbulence).

Sometimes on a flight it can seem like you are bumped and shaken all over the place. You may feel like nothing is holding your plane up there in the sky. And if you have a fear of flying you may already be very anxious even before anything even happens (because ‘what if it does?’ your anxious brain thinks). And whilst you may feel like massive stuff is happening during turbulence, if you now start to pay attention to what happens when you are in a car (or boat) you’ll notice that you get rocked and shaken all over the place and your head when driving can bob all over the place. If you drive on a really uneven or bumpy road for a bit, all the jostling and bumping and movement is not that different to a bit of turbulence. And if you can calmly deal with it in a car then you can certainly deal with it on a flight.

Although turbulence in a space rocket may well be a different prospect so I think I’ll just stick with admiring the moon dangling in the Cathedral. And if you could use some help to learn more about coping with turbulence and reducing your fear of flying then get in touch to learn more about our course in Mildenhall.

To your success

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket  


Find out more about overcoming your fear of flying: Book your Complimentary Hypnotherapy Strategy Session with Dan now: Appointments or you can book your place on our Fear of Flying Course here: Book Now

Find out what other people have said after their hypnotherapy sessions with Dan: What People Say

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