Fear of flying
A natural apprehension for flying is completely normal but for some flying can be a crippling panic that can completely stop them from actually getting on a plane and leaving the country. If you suffer from a fear of flying, there are many ways in which this can be improved from paid courses which enable you to be in a plane to hypnotherapy. What they all agree on is that it can be more manageable by changing your mindset and overcoming your fear. Here are a few useful tips on how to deal with a fear of flying and how hypnotherapy can help.
Understand your behaviour - Try to determine the severity of your fear, for example are you able to get on a plane at all? Which part of the process scares you the most? Could you stand it if someone paid you a million pounds to do It for example? By breaking it down from one big thing it is easier to manage and deal with.
Understand the source of the behaviour – Once you have thought about your fear in more detail and can identify if it’s one specific area or even the whole process the next step would be understanding why? Take a look at all of your trips, were they all uneventful? Also look at what it meant to be going to the destination, was that a positive experience? Fear of flying is rarely the fear of actually flying but tends to be in a lot of cases the fact that someone else is in control. When else have you felt like that when someone else was in control? Did it cause you trauma?
By understanding the source or looking at links we can start to heal any traumas or an accumulation of traumas and begin to work through feelings. When we repress our feelings they will always come out sooner or later in another way in most cases.
A great example of this is Sue (not a real person) who has an unhappy relationship, she knows that if she goes away with her partner they will argue and that she will become even more unhappy and as a result she starts to dread going away at all until eventually over time it manifests itself into a complete fear of flying. Sue is unaware of the reasons behind her fear she just knows that the fear of flying is real and she can therefore not go away at all. This is a simple example of an underlying reason being masked by a fear.
Challenge your automatic thinking - Look at your automatic thinking, for example “I’m useless”, “I’m a failure”, “I don’t deserve to go to nice places”. By identifying what those automatic thinking patterns are we can start to look at the actions taken because of them and start to challenge them. It takes work to change our automatic thinking but by staying motivated and keeping in mind the reasons for changing it’ll help get through it easier.
Reality vs imagination – I like to use the term plan A vs plan B, when you feel that fear start to bubble away think to yourself is this danger real? (plan A) or is this in my mind brought on by other factors? (plan B) if the danger is real then you have a right to feel that way but if it brought on in your mind by imagining the worst start to think of ways to interrupt those thoughts using distractions and other techniques to calm the mind.
How hypnotherapy can help – Hypnotherapy is completely natural way to overcome any fear. Unlike smoking there are no set amount of sessions, it depends on if there is a root cause, what that may be and how long that will take to work through it. Each hypnotherapist will tackle it in a different way as not one size fits all, however through relaxation and visualisation it can be a very powerful tool to overcome a fear of flying. Unfortunately flying for most of us is not a regular occurrence so the next time you fly may be some time away. Try not to leave getting help to the last minute, I’m often called, especially in summer months with usually only a few days until they fly in order to be able to work with them and put a resolution in place. Hypnotherapy is great at putting in strategies, calming techniques and different suggestions tailored to you to be able to cope with the situation. Then with time and the more flights you go on the fear can eventually be a distant memory.
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About Laura Duffy
I am a psychotherapeutic counsellor and hypnotherapist. I volunteer for various organisations as well as run my own practice. I thoroughly enjoy the work that I do and I believe that if you love what you do you never work a day in your life. I am based in Letchworth and Milton Keynes.