Now that summer holiday season is officially upon us, many people in the UK will be booking getaways around the globe for some well deserved relaxation.
This may sound wonderful on the surface, but what if the thought of getting on a plane and flying to your destination fills you with dread?
Fear of flying
Fear of flying is an anxiety disorder that is thought to affect one in five people and can cause different reactions. For some there is simply a sense of unease or nervousness – for others it causes physical symptoms that make flying near-on impossible. There are a multitude of reasons as to why someone may have a fear of flying, ranging from concerns about turbulence and airline accidents to fears of being in an enclosed space. Whatever the cause, being scared of flying can seriously impact a person’s well-being.
If you have a fear of flying – whether it be a mild anxiety or a severe phobia – seeking support can help you overcome fear and reclaim the power to travel where and when you want.
Hypnotherapy for fear of flying
Hypnotherapy is an increasingly popular tool for overcoming fears and phobias. The therapy looks to change the way the mind and body reacts to flying, helping the process become less stressful. Clinical hypnotherapist Claire Knight explains how this works:
“Whilst in a relaxed state of hypnosis, a series of previously anxiety-inducing scenarios are imagined e.g. take off, turbulence and landing. As feelings of calmness and control override the rapidly redundant fear response, new ways of thinking about and reacting to the experience of flying are processed and subconsciously learnt.”
If hypnotherapy is something you are keen to try before your next flight, it is important to recognise the degree of your fear so you can consider the timing of your appointment:
“For a true phobic, realistically at least three to six sessions will probably be needed. These are usually at weekly intervals and may include a variety of analytical and behavioural approaches to ensure the changes are permanent. Unfortunately quick fixes are rarely successful in the long term and may not last until the journey home!
“For simply ‘nervous’ flyers, a session or two that include hypnotic desensitisation as close to a planned trip as possible, can be remarkably effective and make flying a much more pleasant experience.”
If you have an upcoming trip you are nervous about, the following self-help tips from Claire may prove useful:
1) Try mindful breathing
This is an amazingly simple way to become free of anxiety and will often stop panic before it attacks! Simply practice focusing on each breath to the exclusion of everything else. Allow the outward breath to last a little longer than the inward breath. When other thoughts creep in (as they always will) acknowledge the thought briefly and then refocus on the breath. Practice this process for a few minutes at a time, before the flight.
Prepare ahead to be distracted. Take a book you’ve been saving and can’t wait to read, or a DVD you wouldn’t normally have the luxury of watching undisturbed.
3) Relax your body
Recognise that anxiety will pass the sooner you accept the unusual feelings of flying such as take-off and turbulence as being normal. Tensing against the natural movements of the plane can set up the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism within your body and self-perpetuate more fear. Practice relaxing your body from head to toe before the flight and repeat as soon as you are seated in the plane. Relax your hands first – release your grip from the armrest and place your hands loosely in your lap. The rest of your body will follow.
To find out more about hypnotherapy and how it can help you overcome fear of flying – please visit Hypnotherapy Directory today.
For further information or to arrange an interview with a hypnotherapist please contact Kat Nicholls:
Tel: 01276 301239