Do you suffer from fear of 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.
“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.”George Bernard Shaw
— George Bernard Shaw
Fear of flying is more common than you think. We know when we’re afraid. 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. This can happen the before we book our flight tickets. It might sneak up when we arrive at the airport. Worst still it may happen when we have boarded the plane, and the seat-belt signs switch on, as we prepare for take off.
Fear is a signal that we are in danger, but it happens outside before inside. There is a trigger. That trigger could be a sound, smell, sight, or a feeling. Fear is familiar to all of us
Certain fears are hardwired into the brain with very good reason as they help ensure our survival. They get passed down in our genes.
Some possible genetic fears
- 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)
Today we actually 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 prevent insects from causing us harm.
So having an irrational fear or phobia can get in the way of us living our lives.
Triggers outside our conscious awareness cause the fight or flight response to activate. So sometimes it’s difficult for individuals to understand why they feel afraid.
Flying statistics & concerns.
It’s been shown statistically that you are 80 times more likely to die of a car accident than a flying accident. It’s never been safer to fly than it is right now. But that’s easy to say, harder to believe.
It’s not natural for us to fly in closed containers high up in the sky.
With a car you always know you can stop and pull over on the hard shoulder. On a plane, that’s it, until the destination is reached.
And yes there have been accidents, terrorist attacks, bombs, & hostage situations. Bad things do happen but not very often in relation to the millions of passengers who fly each day.
- Does lift off worry you more than landing or vice versa?
- Does that feeling of turbulence makes your heart race?
- Do you look at the cabin crews face at every disturbance to gauge their concern?
- Do you drink or pop pills to fly?
- Do you worry about your return flight on arrival?
You don’t have to be ruled by your fears.
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. This can happen quickly in just a few sessions. Imagine relaxing before and during your flight. Imagine flying and watching a movie before drifting off to sleep, arriving refreshed.
Useful information about air plane safety, to help reduce fear of flying
Useful YouTube video with some helpful tips about fear of flying