Fear of Flying Help – Hypnotherapy in Ely and Newmarket
Holiday season is approaching and the number of people seeking help for their fear of flying is rising.
For many people with a fear of flying the pandemic has an unintended consequence. Rather than having to hope flying somewhere wasn’t mentioned or feeling anxious about the possibility of flying, the restrictions probably meant a period of relief where you didn’t have to worry about it. Yet now, it is much more likely that either friends of family, or work, will be talking about booking flights and going away somewhere.
If you have a fear of flying, then no matter how much you love going away or seeing other places, your primary strategy is likely to always be avoidance. You’ll try to suggest other options, find reasons not to fly, look for other methods of travel or you’ll do just about anything else to get out of that thing that is filled with nervousness, dread, fear and anxiety.
Through avoidance you can find temporary relief from your fear of flying, yet the next time there is a possibility you may need to fly, the same old anxiety and fear resurfaces. And if your friends and family or work keep pushing you to commit to going somewhere that involves flying then, sooner or later, the prevarication, excuses and avoidance strategies will probably run out.
Pretty much every person with a fear of flying knows logically that flying is the safest mode of transport and that their fear is irrational. Yet that logic and reasoning can’t prevent all of the anxious feelings and emotions arising and all of the associated thoughts about the plane you will fly on being the one that is certain to fall out of the sky.
The Fear of Flying
It’s estimated that there are about 90,000 passenger flights each day, with maybe around 500,000 people up in the air at any given time. All taking off, flying and landing safely at various destinations around the world. Each flight has it’s crew following a specific set of activities to keep you safe, along with the ground air control crew also keeping an eye on things and communicating with the pilot. Despite what your fear tries to tell you, it really is a well rehearsed and structured system designed to keep you safe and get you to where you are going as smoothly as possible.
Yet that fear, and the feelings of anxiety and dread, drive your imagination down a dark, dreadful path that only makes you feel worse and worse. For some people just seeing a plane is enough to cause some anxiety, for others it is once they are committed and the tickets are purchased. I’ve worked with people who are totally ok until they get to the airport and everything becomes real for them. And still others only get anxious when the plane doors close and there is no turning back.
If you struggle with anxiety generally anyway, then it can easily flow into flying thoughts, scenarios and feelings. And because flying is not something most of us do week in and week out, you don’t necessarily get a chance to get used to it and be comfortable with the situation. If you don’t fly often then every new flying situation can seem to kick start the fear and anxiety all over again.
A fear of flying can impact upon you whether you have never flown before, flown many times before where each flight has been fine, or whether you have experienced an eventful or traumatic flight. The positive news is that, because it is your own thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions that lead to your fear of flying, you can start to take back control over these to make flying a more calm and comfortable experience. After all, some people absolutely love flying!
And rather than just feeling trapped and out of control, you can take back control over the things you certainly can be in control of, your own thoughts and feelings (after all, you really don’t want to take control over the plane, do you?!).
Recently I’ve been helping a whole bunch of people to overcome their fear of flying. One client used to consume seven or eight pints of beer before a flight to try and calm that anxiety and has now flown calmly without any alcohol whatsoever. Another client was able to ditch the pre-flight diazepam. And many others have been able to calm their anxious feelings (the sweats, heart racing, tension, feeling sick and so on) as well as reigning back in their thoughts about falling out of the sky, crashing and never seeing their loved ones again.
I’ve covered the fear of flying and the research around it in several previous articles that you may like to take a look at here:
And many thanks to Rob who left this wonderful feedback about overcoming the fear of flying:
“An awesome experience with Dan regarding a fear of flying after a traumatic experience. He partnered up with an expert team of aviators and used his deep subject matter expertise to really tailor an experience to the issue. Dan’s efforts led to taking a full experience flight in Heathrow and subsequently a very stress free cross Atlantic flight. Great work,” Rob, May 2023
If you want, or need, to fly and you are struggling with the fear of flying and all the uncomfortable anxious thoughts and feelings that go with it, then it certainly is possible to change that cycle so that flying feels more relaxed and manageable. Rather than struggling with the worst case scenarios and unpleasant feelings, you can relax and look forward to travelling, you can chill out at the airport and spend the flight reading, watching a good film or having a nice refreshing sleep. Rather than arriving at your destination exhausted from anxiety, you can arrive positive, happy and eager to get on with doing what you want to do.
Wishing you joy in your travels,
Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket
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