Fear of Flying

Do you suffer from fear of flying?

We know when we are afraid, as our heart rates increase, our palms become sweaty and we struggle to see or think clearly.  Our levels of anxiety increase dramatically, and this feeling is commonly referred to as the flight or flight response.

Fear is a signal our brain sends to us that we are in danger, but it all begins with an outside trigger.  That trigger could be a loud noise, something we smell, something we see, or something we feel. Fear is familiar to all of us

Certain fears are hardwired into the brain with very good reason, as they help ensure our survival and are passed down in our genes.

  • Nyctophobia fear of the dark of night

  • Agrophobia fear of heights

  • Claustrophobia fear of enclosed spaces

  • Agoraphobia fear of open spaces

  • Arachnophobia fear of spiders

  • Entomophobia fear of insects of bugs

Nowaday in modern Western society we actually really don’t need to be afraid of as many things as our ancestors did. We live safely in secure homes,  our streets are lighted after dusk, and we can control nuisance insects from causing us harm. So in many instances it’s not very helpful to have an irrational fear or phobia

In modern day society, being afraid without good reason can  become very debilitating for individuals.  It gets in the way of us leading happy fulfilled lives.  

There are millions of triggers outside our conscious awareness that can cause the fight or flight response to activate. So sometimes it’s difficult for individuals to understand why they feel afraid.

Many of us completely avoid those things that give us fear, such as going out to social occasions, dating, speaking in public, driving, swimming etc. Others just miss out on things that they want to do, but don’t do, because of fear.

Take something like flying, several studies have shown that nearly 40% of people suffer from fear of flying, with around 6.5% of the American population displaying extreme symptoms which is known as Aviaphobia.

It’s been shown statistically that you are 80 times more likely to die of a car accident, but that doesn’t seem to extinguish the fear.

At the end of the day, it’s not natural for us to fly in closed containers high up in the sky. You are activating a medley of hardwired phobias including heights, confined spaces and the fact that you do not have any control. With a car you always know you can stop, and pull over on the hard shoulder.  On a plane, you are in it, until the destination is reached.

There are many of us who want to travel round the world during our vacation time, as well as those who need to travel by plane for business reasons or to visit family and friends. 

However if you are Aviaphobic you are going to struggle agreeing to that business trip, or booking those tickets. You might have extreme levels of anxiety before and during your flight. 

In some extreme cases, you might actually bottle it at the last minute, and either purposefully or accidentally miss you flight. 

Every noise that the plane makes has the potential to freak you out.  Does lift off worry you more than landing or vica versa?  Does that feeling of turbulence makes your heart race? You may find yourself checking out constantly the look on the cabin crews face, to see whether they look worried about something.

You may find yourself consuming larger quantities of alcohol, or medicating yourself during the flight with prescription drugs such as Valium.

Once your arrive at your destination, usually exhausted and drained, you are then ready to start worrying about your return trip.

Fear is there for a reason but we don’t have to be ruled by it. We do have the power to step past our fears. If you want or need to fly, then there isn’t much to gain by making the process a miserable one. Wouldn’t it be better, healthier and more beneficial for you to just relax and switch off the worry.

As a London based Cognitive Hypnotherapist I have worked with many clients to help free them from their fear of flying or release them from being Aviophobic.  Change can take place very quickly

Imagine being able to relax and feel at ease, before and during your flight.

Imagine flying and watching a movie before drifting off to sleep, arriving at your destination refreshed and relaxed.

Imagine being able to fly to those exciting long haul destinations with your partner without going into complete meltdown.

It’s all possible and change can take place in a moment.

Contact me using the form on the right today.

“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society.

The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.”

George Bernard Shaw

Useful YouTube video with some helpful tips about fear of flying

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