Fear of flying, or aviophobia, is extremely common and prevents some people from seeing the world, enjoying holidays or visiting loved ones. I treat many people with a fear of flying using advanced hypnotherapy, providing safe and effective relief from phobias like this.
Getting to the root of the problem and changing your negative thought patterns is the most effective way to provide relief, but if your phobia is mild or you’d just like to explore some techniques on your own, here are a few pointers to get you started.
Understand the Real Risks
Flying feels very alien to us – much more so than driving a car or crossing a road – but actually it is safer than both these things. In reality your chances of a plane crashing are only around 1 in 30 million. Compare this to the chances of a car accident (about 1 in 5000) or of dying of food poisoning (1 in 3 million) and you’ll see you do more dangerous things every day without worrying. Many people find it helps to learn more about how a plane works and how little can actually go wrong.
Doing some research into planes, how they work and what to expect when travelling on them can help some people to calm their nerves. When you know what to expect, it prevents you naturally assuming the worst when something unexpected happens. Be aware that:
- • The plane needs to go fast at take-off to reach a certain speed.
- • Some turbulence is completely normal and is just the equivalent of driving over a bumpy road.
- • You may be asked to keep your seat belt on while seated.
- • You may experience a small amount of pressure in your ears – sucking a sweet or yawning can help.
- • You will be asked to have the blinds open for take-off and landing.
- • They will do an emergency briefing for every flight but don’t let this panic you.
- • If you can see the wings they may move during flight and this is nothing to worry about.
- • The door is held closed by 20000 pounds of pressure during flight at 30,000 feet so it can’t open.
- • The landing can feel fast and a bit bumpy but that’s normal.
- • Airplanes are subject to stringent safety checks and maintained regularly.
Manage Your Anxiety
Many people find it easier to accept the risks of driving a car because they feel they are more in control, and it feels a lot more natural to us. Learn to trust that the pilots are experts at what they do. Try gradually putting yourself in situations where you are not in control and practising relieving the associated anxiety.
Breathing exercises, meditation and yoga are all useful things to learn and call on when anxiety strikes. Muscle relaxation, guided imagery and distraction techniques may also help. Do a little research into each of these and see which work for you.
On The Day
When you feel ready to fly there are a few tips that will make the experience run smoothly.
- • Travel with a trusted friend if you can.
- • Get there early to avoid any extra stress.
- • Become familiar with the airport and different types of planes beforehand.
- • Get to know the attendants and pilot if you have the chance.
- • Don’t drink too much alcohol – you don’t want to feel more out of control.
- • Distract yourself with snacks, books or magazines.
- • Many longer flights have movies and games to keep you busy.
- • Sleep if you can but don’t rely on sleeping pills.
- • Breathe slowly and deeply.
- • Squeeze your armrest if you need to relieve tension.
- • Get up and take a walk when appropriate.
- • Many people use an elastic band around their wrist to snap when they feel too anxious.
- • Listen to calming music or a talking book.
- • Concentrate on the reasons why you’re doing this and the pleasure you’ll get from your end destination.
Hypnotherapy for Phobias
Whilst these tips are useful for controlling and distracting from the fear, with help you could remove the phobia altogether. My London based hypnotherapy for phobias is a powerful tool that can help you conquer your fears and find the confidence to fly. If you’d like to learn more about the power of hypnotherapy and what it could do for you, please do get in touch.