It is estimated that 30% of the population experience anxiety whilst flying, making fear of flying one of the most common phobias. Even though this anxiety may seem irrational to us, our subconscious mind may create anxiety as it thinks it is protecting us. Protecting us is the primary function of our subconscious mind, and as flying is essentially an unnatural thing for people to do, this reaction is not surprising.
However in reality, flying has been proven to be one of the safest ways to travel. Statistically it is far safer than driving a car or even crossing the road. Re-evaluating the reaction our subconscious mind creates can often help us to control a fear or phobia, and hypnotherapy can help an individual to achieve this.
Having a fear of flying can often interfere with holidays or business travel and lead to an individual avoiding a career involving travel or a family holiday abroad. There are many aspects of flying that can create anxiety, such as fearing the plane will crash, claustrophobia, being out of control, fear of having a panic attack and fear of terrorism. Even being at the airport or boarding a plane may create anxiety forsome people. Fear of flying can therefore range from mild anxiety before flying, to a state of terror which can prevent an individual from getting on the plane or even leaving it once they have boarded.
Most people who do not suffer from a fear of flying often feel that quoting safety statistics and probabilities should put the sufferers mind at ease. However this usually does little to ease the discomfort of the sufferer, who may then regard their fear as a weakness due to the statistical evidence their conscious mind knows. Yet fear of flying can affect anyone, regardless of age, status, gender and intelligence, and is not a sign of weakness. The good news is that there are techniques that can access the subconscious mind to enable a sufferer to overcome their fear of flying and in some cases even make flying a pleasurable activity!
- Dry mouth
- Panic attacks
- Worrying about the flight days, weeks or even months before
- Feeling out of control
- Feeling uncomfortable
- Blurred vision
- Tense muscles
Fear of flying is a learned fear, which may stem from childhood (perhaps if the individual’s parents showed fear) or could have developed after experiencing a particularly terrifying experience (such as bad turbulence or the plane having to make an emergency landing). Fear of flying may also be caused by other fears and phobias such as claustrophobia, fear of heights or agoraphobia. Misunderstandings of the principles of aviation can fuel a fear of flying too.
Hypnotherapy or EMDR Psychotherapy can often really help individuals suffering from a fear of flying. Using hypnoanalysis to discover the root cause of the fear can then enable the issue to be dealt with. Hypnosis can be used to communicate with the subconscious mind and re-evaluate thinking patterns and behaviour. Hypnotherapy can also help an individual to relax and access a calm, focused state of mind to help them control their fear.