How to Conquer the Fear of Flying

By Kate Torrone / April 20, 2016
How to Conquer the Fear of Flying
Unknown to many, an irrational fear of flying can be caused by a multitude of things, which may or may not be as apparent. One of the most common causes of this fear is having a traumatic experience with flying or being in high places. However, there are times wherein this fear is caused by other forms of anxieties. When this happens, the tips on how to conquer a fear of flying based on a traumatic experience will not work. This is why it is important to learn about the other causes of this type of fear that are based on other forms of anxiety. Here are these other causes that you need to know when learning how to conquer a fear of flying.

Not Being in Control

Because of the fact that the plane is being completely controlled by the pilots, there are some people who find flying extremely panic-inducing since they do not have a handle on the situation. This may lead them to doubt the capacity or the capability of the pilots to do their job properly. One of the telltale signs that you need to conquer your fear of flying based on this type of trigger is when you start thinking that you may do a better job at handling the aircraft than professionals who have been maneuvering airplanes for more than a decade.

Terrorism

Even though you may not have a direct experience with terrorism yourself, this does not mean that this type of news will not have an impact with the way that you perceive flying in general. If your fear of flying is induced by this type of anxiety, then the steps that you should follow when it comes to conquering your fear of flying should be focused on regaining your trust in the security system at airports.

Turbulence

In a news article that was published by Forbes in June 2013, the story of a man who cried during a violent bout of turbulence on a Singapore flight was featured. Apparently, this particular turbulence was so strong that it was able to directly cause injury to some of the airline’s crew who tried to pacify the situation. This just goes to show that airplane turbulence is no laughing matter. This is the reason why there are those whose fear of flying is induced or caused by having fear over turbulence.

Enclosed spaces and Crowds

Another strong trigger for a fear of flying is a fear of enclosed spaces and crowds since airplanes are known to exhibit both scenarios. If you think that your fear of flying is caused by these two attributes, your main focus should be to conquer these types of fears first.

By keeping these triggers in mind, you will be able to choose the series of steps that will work best for your situation instead of relying on a generic series of steps that has a high chance of not working for you.

How to Conquer Fear of Flying: Journaling

One of the main reasons why there are a lot of people who prefer to live with their fear of flight instead of doing something about this concern is because they think that learning how to conquer a fear of flying can cost thousands of dollars and requires special equipment. What they do not realize is that there are a lot of inexpensive ways to deal with this type of irrational fear and that most of these ways do not require special equipment of any kind. A perfect example of this type of affordable treatment is journaling. Journaling has long been used in managing stress and other psychological concerns, which is why it should not come as a surprise that it is an important skill to have when learning how to conquer a fear of flying.

What is journaling?

Contrary to what most people believe, journaling is not the same as simply jotting down notes of your flight encounters in a notebook while following a certain format or pattern. In reality, journaling will not require you to follow any type of pattern or format when making your entries. Hence, you will not need to limit or even filter the data or information that you are going to write in your journals.

What type of skills do you need to have?

You do not need to have a natural flair for writing in order to successfully write journal entries that are actually therapeutic when learning how to conquer a fear of flying. All you need to do is have the patience and determination to keep on writing every single time that you are about to fly or travel. You also need to unlearn the act of censoring yourself, which is a trait that is normally learned in schools since you are often sanctioned for doing so in these types of situations.

What are the benefits of journaling?

The efficiency of journaling when it comes to learning how to conquer a fear of flying relies on its benefits. For starters, journaling will make it easier for you to recall the events that led to the panic attacks that you experienced before taking off. This will make it easier for you to determine the factors that may be the cause of your aviophobia. Journaling will also allow you to keep track of the different non-pharmacological treatments used to conquer this fear. This will allow you to discover the therapies that do work for you. Since you do not need to follow a format when journaling, you will be able to express yourself more freely. Hence, it gives you a platform to air out your frustrations and feelings regarding your fear of flight.

These benefits and facts show that journaling is a very effective way to handle aviophobia without having to spend thousands of dollars on professional help. This is why it is best to learn more about journaling when it comes to conquering a fear of flying before signing up for expensive therapies and hiring professionals.

How to Conquer Fear of Flying: What Can Worsen It?

Because of the fact that the fear of flying can be extremely troublesome, especially to those who always experience its physiological symptoms, most ways to conquer a fear of flying are focused on managing these symptoms. Although this might work for some people, this is not always the best approach since eliminating the behaviors and other things that can trigger or worsen these fears will be left out. This is why knowing about the different factors or behaviors that can serve as a trigger for this type of fear is a must. Here are some of the things that can worsen your fear that you need to learn when it comes to conquering your fear of flying.

Fighting

One of the most common tips is to face the problem head first and fight the fear. However, there are times wherein this is not the best tip that you should follow since this will only worsen your aversion for flying. Attempting to fight the fear is actually one of the reasons why there are some people who are still afraid of flying even though they have been traveling by air for as long as they can remember. To address this type of wrong behavior or outlook, concentrate on acceptance instead of aversion.

Anticipation

Oftentimes, people think that the concept of acceptance is just the same as the concept of coping. What they do not realize is that there is a fine line between the two. In the world of aviophobia, the difference relies on the effects of both concepts. Anticipating the wave of fear that you may experience while flying can make you dread the event for weeks ahead. Some people even go as far as picturing themselves having a breakdown during their scheduled flight. This makes it harder for them to avoid this event entirely. Knowing how to conquer a fear of flying through several healthy coping mechanisms, on the other hand, will teach you how to acknowledge and prepare for the wave of fear that you may experience. This will allow you to keep your head above the water and remember all of the steps that you need to take in order to avoid having a panic attack before or mid -flight.

Avoiding

Avoiding the problem is one of the most ineffective and destructive behaviors that can worsen your fear of flying. This is because avoiding the problem can push you to more expensive means just to avoid flying. You may also postpone important family get-togethers and other social gatherings, which can have a deep and irreparable emotional impact on you. This is why you should never overcome your fear of flying through avoidance.

By keeping these three types of behavior in mind, you will be able to prevent a massive attack and get rid of your fear of flying once and for all.

10 best tips to conquer your fear of flying

A handful of people enjoy traveling to exotic destinations, and they get excited whenever they have to fly somewhere for a vacation or important event. For some people, on the other hand, flying is an inconvenience that they have to endure. But for others, flying is a terrifying prospect. They suffer from sleepless nights before the flight because they constantly worry of possible disasters that may occur. They may also experience panic attacks, nausea, stomach upsets, shaky hands, etc. because of a severe flying anxiety. If you are one of these people who have a fear of flying, read on for some effective tips that you can follow so you can beat your fear and enjoy the great benefits that traveling can bring.  

Avoid watching airplane-related disasters on various media outlets

Don’t scare yourself by watching airplane disaster coverage on TV. Spare yourself of the graphic details. Also, don’t dare watch movies related to airplane crashes before your flight. There’s really no point in looking at the frightening and vivid details as they will be imprinted in your mind, worsening your anxiety level.

Stay positive

Even if you have flying anxiety, try to maintain a positive mindset and attitude. Focus on what’s good about your flight, like reaching a destination that you haven’t been to before or meeting new people or old friends in your journey.

Choose the right seat

When booking your flight, choose a seat where you will feel the least claustrophobic, like an aisle seat in the front row of the cabin, where turbulence is also felt less. Note that turbulence is felt more at the back row of the airplane. Choosing an aisle seat will make you feel less trapped, and you can move more easily. If you can afford it, book a business class or first class seat where there is significantly more legroom and you will feel more comfortable during the flight.

Visualize your destination

Even before your flight, imagine your destination and the possible activities that you will do there so you will be motivated to push through with your flight. To keep you calm during your flight, proceed with your visualization and think of it as a prize that you will receive at the end of the trip. It will also be easier for you to focus on your visualization if you bring a photo or printout of your destination during the flight.

Arrive at the airport early

To make you feel less stressed and nervous, arrive at the airport early, ideally a few hours before your scheduled flight. Being late and being concerned that you will miss your flight can only make you feel more anxious and can worsen your fear of flying. In addition, being early at the airport will make you feel at ease with the various activities, sights, and sounds related to flying.

Inform the flight attendants of your flying anxiety

Let the flight attendants of your flight know that you have a fear of flying. They will be able to check on you from time to time during the flight and make sure that you are OK. They will be able to know if you need anything and can respond to your panic attack if you have one.

Avoid drinking coffee

You should avoid drinking coffee and other caffeine-containing beverages as they will make you feel nervous, jittery, and overstimulated. Not a good thing if you want to have a calm journey on air. To avoid dehydration during the flight, drink plenty of water.

Take deep breaths

When you get anxious during the flight, take deep breaths to immediately calm yourself. Inhale slowly and count until 10, hold your breath as long as you can, and then exhale slowly for a count of 10. Deep breathing also prevents hyperventilation and makes you feel more relaxed.

Enroll in a fear of flying course

If you think that your fear of flying is so severe and you need professional help, then you should enroll in a fear of flying course. Major airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offer these courses for a fee. A Fearless Flyer course is also supported by Qantas Airways, where the culminating activity is of course a flight in one of the airline’s aircrafts. The class may be expensive but will be worth it in the end.

Fear of flying may prevent you from enjoying the good life, but it doesn’t have to be this way forever. You can make the necessary steps now to conquer your fear and explore the world!

How to conquer your fear of flying in 5 practical ways

A fear of flying prevents you from living life to the fullest. It’s really no fun having this type of anxiety because merely thinking of your upcoming flight sends you on the edge. You may lose some sleep over it, and you may experience physical symptoms, such as palpitations, hyperventilation, urge to vomit or actual vomiting, shaky hands, or stomach upset. In a worst case scenario, you may even ditch your flight and opt to travel by other time-consuming means (train, ship) or you may not travel at all if your destination is a different country in another continent.

If you manage to get on your flight, you may also experience fear-of-flying symptoms, such as:

  • Panic attacks, nausea, difficulty breathing
  • Feeling of claustrophobia
  • Needing medications or alcoholic drinks to calm you down
  • Feeling terrified when you experience turbulence or when you hear strange sounds from the plane

If you really need to get on your flight, here are some practical tips that you can try to overcome your fear of flying without breaking the bank:

Book the ideal seat

Make your flight as pleasant as possible by choosing the most comfortable seat that you can afford. If you can pay for business or first class, then go ahead and book it so you will be assured that your flight will be stress-free, and even fun! But if cost is an issue, choose a seat where you will not feel tightly enclosed, especially if you are claustrophobic. The ideal seats are in the front row or the back/exit row. If they are not available, choose an aisle seat so you will not feel trapped during the flight.

Familiarize yourself with the various activities at the airport

If it’s possible, arrive at the airport very early (hours before your scheduled flight) so you can watch the airplanes as they take off from the runway.Observing the airport routines will make you feel at ease and assure you that riding in an airplane is just a normal, everyday activity. If you can’t come to the airport early, search for some videos on the internet that show the regular activities at the airport, especially the take-off and landing of the airplanes.

Anticipate air turbulence and unusual sounds – they are part of the flight

One thing most passengers dread about flying is air turbulence. If you have previously experienced it, you may not want to go through it anymore because it is uncomfortable in the least, and of course, it makes you fear a plane crash. But the fact is, air pockets seldom cause an air disaster. So expect that a bumpy ride caused by air pockets is a normal part of riding an airplane.

On the other hand, unusual and unfamiliar sounds make people jumpy and on edge. So when you are inside a plane and you hear various kinds of sounds like the aircraft’s flap movement or any other sound coming from the engine itself, you may panic and think of an impending air disaster. But you should calm down and relax; these sounds are harmless and are quite normal in a flight.

Distract yourself during the flight

What are your favorite activities or any personal item that you can bring on the plane? You should bring any gadget or item that can make the time pass quickly so you will not notice that the flight is taking so long or that you are feeling every minute of being airborne. Don’t forget to bring your favorite book, Kindle, or iPad to entertain yourself, or your favorite blanket to make you feel secure and comfortable.

Be a frequent flyer

A truly effective way to conquer your fear is to face it. If you really want to overcome your fear of flying, fly as often as you can because as you repeatedly expose yourself to plane rides, you will feel comfortable enough to enjoy it and your fear will eventually vanish. Of course, don’t book a long-range flight right away. Try to ride in a domestic flight first with only a short flying time so you can familiarize yourself with the flying experience. And after a fair number of flights, and if you feel that you are ready for it, treat yourself to a flight to an exotic destination in a faraway place.

The rewards of overcoming your fear are so great – you will be able to explore exciting destinations and live a fulfilling life. Conquering your fear of flying takes effort and determination, and you can do this if you believe in yourself and your strong will.

How to conquer your fear of flying in 7 easy steps

It is estimated that about 38% of the global population suffers from a fear of flying.You are part of this statistic if you are terrified of riding in an airplane and you avoid booking a flight at all costs because you experience panic attacks even before the actual flight. But don’t despair.  If you really need to get on that plane and fly to some faraway place for an important event, here are some steps that you can follow to conquer your fear of flying:

 Find the right motivation

Overcoming any kind of fear is difficult and challenging; what you need most is iron will and determination to be able to succeed. Finding your motivation to overcome your fear of flying will sustain you, especially during the times when you want to give up. Ask yourself why you want to get on that particular flight. Is it to fulfill an important obligation, personally or professionally? Is it to realize your dream of travelling to your ideal destination? Or just to prove to yourself that you have the ability to beat your fears? Whatever your primary motivation may be, it must be compelling enough so you can summon the determination to succeed.   

 Arm yourself with knowledge

Your flying anxiety most probably stems from a lack of knowledge about how airplanes work, how pilots and cabin crew are trained to handle disasters and emergencies, and the safety record of most flights. If you learn about the facts and figures, your anxiety will most likely vanish. You should then replace your irrational thoughts with the correct information to overcome your fear. For instance, most people are afraid of air turbulence during the flight. But if they know for a fact that air pockets don’t actually cause an airplane to crash and it’s a normal part of the flying, then they won’t fear it as much. They will just regard turbulence as an inconvenience, rather than a threat to their safety.

Practice relaxation techniques

If you want to reduce your stress and anxieties in general, and your fear of flying in particular, you should practice some relaxation techniques. Find the technique that suits you best and relaxes you the most. It may be progressive muscle relaxation initially, then mindful meditation, self-hypnosis, or even just proper breathing techniques or yoga. There are a lot to choose from, and it’s up to you to discover what you are most comfortable with and what is the most effective in alleviating your anxieties. During the flight, you can also practice a relaxation technique to calm you down and get you through the flight without having any panic attacks.

Desensitize yourself to flying

To conquer your fear of flying, expose yourself to the various stages of flight in a gradual manner. When you are used to the flying routines, whether through a virtual simulation or actual tour of the airport, you become desensitized to it and you will no longer worry too much about flying. For instance, if the plane’s take-off or landing scares you, then visit an airport near your place and watch the planes from afar. Alternatively, watch videos if you are far from the airport. If you can see that there’s really nothing to fear, then you can convince yourself that flying is just a normal part of everyday life and it’s something that can be enjoyed.

Practice visualization

When you desensitize yourself to flying through gradual exposure, you can’t really board a flight for a few minutes just to experience what it’s like to be inside an aircraft (unless you enroll in a fear of flying course). The way to address this concern is to practice visualization techniques. To do this, go to a room where you can be alone and comfortable. Imagine yourself going on a trip and doing the necessary preparations for it, like packing your things and bags. Continue with your visualization by imagining yourself going to the airport, checking in, walking through the airbridge, entering the airplane,settling down in your seat, taking off, and the actual plane ride and landing. If at any point a frightening thought pops into your head, challenge your negative thought and replace it with a more realistic one. Do this visualization technique until your fears cease to surface.fear of flying

Bring some distractions to your flight

Finally, if you think that you are ready to conquer your fear of flying, book a flight to your desired destination. Don’t forget to bring some items or gadgets that can distract you during the flight so you won’t feel anxious and on the edge every time the plane encounters an air pocket or you hear unusual sounds. Alternatively, you can also practice a relaxation technique to calm yourself during the flight or better yet, just sleep it off.

Book your flight…again and again

As they say, practice makes perfect, so if you survived one flight, keep on booking some more flights so you can finally conquer your fear of flying. If you get used to flying, then your old fears will have a hard time coming back to haunt you.

Hopefully, these tips will help you beat your fear of flying. It may take some work and effort but it is well worth it!

Top 3 expensive ways to conquer your fear of flying

A fear of flying is mainly the result of your imagination. All sorts of terrifying things about flying fill your head weeks or even months before your flight. You may have irrational thoughts, such as the airplane engine malfunctioning in the middle of the flight, the plane being shot down from the sky, or the plane being hijacked by terrorists. It doesn’t matter that flying in an airplane is one of the safest ways to travel; you are just filled with terror and dread at the prospect of flying. Consequently, you may miss out on your dream travel destination, important events like weddings and reunions, or even crucial business meetings.

If you want to conquer your fear of flying, there are some simple things that you can try, like:

  • Breathing exercises or meditation
  • Visualization
  • Distracting yourself during the flight with music, books, magazines, in-flight movies, etc.
  • Avoiding caffeine and sugar-filled snacks and beverages during the flight

However, if you think that these measures are not sufficient to overcome your fear, there are other more expensive but highly effective ways that you can try. Here are some of them:

Enroll in a fear of flying course

Yes, there are fear of flying courses being offered by major airlines, such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, and a Fearless Flyer course supported by Qantas Airways.The cost of these courses ranges from $400 to $950. They can be expensive but at a success rate of 96-98%, you should really consider enrolling if you seriously want to conquer your fear of flying.  

What can you expect in a fear of flying course? Aviation professionals such as pilots, cabin crew, aircraft engineers, and qualified psychologists will educate you and guide you on the entire process of flight. You will be able to understand where your fear is coming from and how to successfully deal with it. You will also tour aviation facilities, personally examine an airplane, and learn how planes fly and what the emergency procedures are. Furthermore, a professional psychologist will teach you how to relax and deal with the stress of flying. The culminating activity is of course a short flight when it is deemed that you are ready to fly!  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Therapy

If you feel that no amount of education can make you overcome your irrational fear of flying, then you should consider other means of therapy. One is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) where your thought process about flying will be restructured so that your feelings and behavior towards flying will be more positive and realistic.This method involves three steps: recognizing your negative thoughts; analyzing and confronting your negative thoughts; and replacing these negative thoughts with more positive, realistic, and calming thoughts.

If you have a fear of flying, your natural tendency is to avoid this situation at all costs. But in exposure therapy, you will be subjected to flight basics and eventually to actual flying. It is theorized that if you are repeatedly exposed to the sights and sounds of flight, you will be desensitized to it in the long run. Your therapy will start with mild exposure (looking at photos of airplanes or watching flight videos) and then gradually level up to touring the airport, booking a flight, and finally getting on the plane. You may also be subjected to a virtual reality program where the actual flight and various scenarios (turbulence, different weather conditions) are simulated.

Fly business class

It may seem counterintuitive for some people to fly business or first class because its high tag price is stressful enough. But if you really think about it, flying business class will make your flight stress-free and fun. You will be pampered throughout the flight by the cabin crew, and you will be distracted away from your fear by the various entertainment media available. The delicious meals and complimentary glasses of wine or champagne will greatly alleviate your anxiety, as well as the ultra-comfortable seat and spacious legroom. Thus, you should seriously consider flying business class to conquer your fear of flying.

You may find these suggestions very expensive that may even empty your pockets. But if you are truly determined to conquer your fear of flying, then the high cost should not deter you from seeking these kinds of alternative therapy.

Top 5 tips to help your child conquer a fear of flying

Travelling together with your kids is challenging in itself. But when they also have a fear of flying, the situation is clearly stressful for the parents and for the kids. As a parent, there are several strategies that you can implement to alleviate your child’s flying anxiety so you can travel with the least fuss and trouble. Here are some tips to help you help your child conquer his/her fear of flying:

Prepare your child for the flight

You should talk to your child a few weeks before your scheduled flight so he/she knows what to expect on your trip. Explain the process that you have to go through when riding in an airplane so he won’t make a fuss when something unfamiliar surprises him. Tell your child a story about waiting at the airport lounge, checking in, boarding the plane, air turbulence, and aircraft landing. Make your narrative is as interesting as possible so he will become interested and excited for the upcoming flight. Ask your child if he is concerned about any part of flying and address it accordingly.

 

Show your child a real airplane

If it’s possible at all, let your child see an actual airplane. If your home is near an airport, take your child there so he will be familiar with the sounds and sight of an aircraft, especially the take-off and landing procedure.Not only will he be used to the presence of an airplane, but he may also be excited at the prospect of riding in one.

Lead by example

You should always exude a calm demeanor, especially during the flight itself. If your child sees that you are also afraid of flying or that you are manifesting signs of stress, he will also follow your behavior. He might throw a tantrum or cry without any apparent reason. So even if it is difficult to relax while travelling with your child, you must do your best to act calmly so as not to transfer your own fears and anxiety to your child.

Provide comfort to your child

If your child refuses to sit down or put on the seatbelt during the flight, you should comfort him and reassure him that everything will be fine. Perhaps he needs to hold your hand or he wants a hug. You may also sing him a lullaby or tell him a story to calm him down.  Just give him the comfort that he needs the best way you know how.

You may also bring your child’s comfort item if he has one. Taking a familiar item with you during the flight will greatly calm your child. He will also feel less sad and alone if his favorite stuffed toy, pillow, or blanket is with him in the airplane.

Prepare some diversionary tactics

Aside from your child’s favorite items, you should also bring additional stuff that can entertain your child and take his mind off the flight. Keep him occupied throughout the entire flight (unless of course he’s asleep) so there will be less chance that he will make a fuss or cry uncontrollably. You may bring some toys, books, or games that you can play together.  If he doesn’t want to play or read, tell him a funny story or sing a song (softly so as not to disturb the other passengers) or watch an in-flight movie. You may also bring a tablet or iPad that contains your child’s favorite music or mobile applications that can divert his attention away from his fear of flying. 

Travelling with your child is not easy, especially if he has a fear of flying. It will take lots of patience and a lot of effort from your end to be able to travel as stress-free as possible. But if you do everything with love and affection, you will be able to successfully help your child conquer his fear of flying.

Fear of flying and how hypnosis can help you conquer it

Aerophobia, or fear of flying, is an anxiety disorder that causes you to have illogical fears before or during the flight. Your brain is warning you that riding in an airplane is highly dangerous and you should avoid flying to keep you safe from harm. However, this fear is unfounded and may cause you terrible anxiety and stress for weeks or months before the scheduled flight.  

Symptoms of fear of flying

Merely thinking about your upcoming flight makes you nervous and panicky. You imagine all sorts of terrible things, such as the pilot getting a stroke or heart attack during the flight, engine trouble, a storm suddenly appearing, a hijacker on board, and so on. To control your fear, you may even take anti-anxiety medication or alcohol to numb your thoughts and feelings.

During the flight, you may experience having a panic attack with accompanying physical symptoms, such as a fast heartbeat, upset stomach, fast breathing, nausea, and feeling out of control.

Causes of fear of flying

This fear of flying may have originated from childhood trauma, like a scary flight for a child or seeing TV/website graphic images of a plane crash. For an adult, the fear may be rooted from a terrifying flight ordeal,such as the plane encountering severe turbulence or a storm.  The conscious mind then labels flying as something horrible and scary.

What are the treatments of fear of flying

There are several ways by which you can control your fear of flying without taking any drugs or alcohol. Some suggestions are the following:

  • Book a front seat where less turbulence may be felt.
  • Avail of a non-stop flight if possible so you won’t have to endure the take-off and landing process frequently.
  • Don’t be late for your flight. Arrive at the airport at least two hours before your scheduled flight so you will be less anxious and you will still have time to relax.
  • Bring some form of entertainment to distract yourself from worrying. Bring along a favorite book, your iPod or iPad stocked with your favorite or relaxing music, or some portable mind games.
  • Prepare yourself mentally before the flight. Visualize your flight from take-off to landing and anticipate possible scenarios that can make you uncomfortable so you will be ready to deal with them.
  • Avail of an aisle seat if you are uncomfortable in tight spaces. This seat will make you feel less trapped or crowded in.

What if nothing really works – how hypnosis can help

If you have tried the preceding suggestions plus other means but nothing really helped you, then perhapsit’s time to try out hypnosis. It may be strange-sounding, but hypnosis can be effective in helping you overcome your fear of flying.

Here’s how it works: during hypnosis, the hypnotherapist will induce your mind to reach an elevated level of consciousness. All throughout the session, your conscious mind is very relaxed, calm, and less analytical. Thus, it is possible to access the subconscious without any hindrance. Your subconscious mind will be more focused and open to new ideas. The hypnotherapist can implant desired thoughts that can then be incorporated into your behavior, attitude, or thought patterns.For instance, it will be suggested to your subconscious that flying is not dangerous, but rather, it is one of the safest forms of travel. Feelings of calm and joy about flying may also be incorporated into the new thought pattern. The thoughts and actions that trigger your flying phobia, e.g. seeing an airplane, booking a flight, will also be addressed in hypnosis. If you are new to the practice of hypnosis, find a certified professional hypnotherapist who can properly guide you through the process. He/she may also teach you how to perform self-hypnosis techniques that you can regularly practice.

Undergoing hypnosis will give you the confidence boost and self-assurance that you need so you can finally conquer your fear of flying. With enough willpower and determination, you can lift a big burden off your shoulders. So get ready to fly and reach your dream destinations!

How to conquer your fear of flying with self-hypnosis

It is estimated that about 20% of the general population has aerophobia, or fear of flying. You are part of this statistic if you avoid riding in an airplane at all costs, even missing important celebrations and job-related travels. You may be scared of flying weeks or even months before your flight, and there may be many frightening thoughts going through your mind, such as the possibility of terrorists on board, or the engines suddenly falling apart, or the thought of being blown into pieces by a missile. During your flight, you may experience full blown anxiety with symptoms like a racing heartbeat, sweating, dry mouth, feeling out of control, blurred vision, and vomiting.

How hypnosis works

Hypnosis is one of the most significant tools that can help you conquer your fear of flying. Through hypnosis, the therapist can gain access to the person’s subconscious mind. This is important because the subconscious is more receptive to new ideas and changes in thought patterns. Thus, the desired change in behavior or attitude may have a greater chance of success if initiated in the subconscious. In contrast, the conscious mind acts as the guardian and decides what is safe or not for yourself. It may see an event as something dangerous, although it is not. This is what happens when you experience a fear of flying.

You can perform self-hypnosis if you feel that you can capably handle yourself. Self-hypnosis is a light trance that you can accomplish by visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, repeating a mantra, or listening to relaxing audio. These practices bring about a deep state of relaxation while opening your mind to desired changes in thoughts and behavior.

Simple self-hypnosistechniques

Before beginning any hypnosis technique, you should prepare adequately by wearing comfortable clothes and sitting comfortably in a quiet room without distractions (TV, computer, phone). Also, don’t eat a heavy meal before your session.

Practice deep breathing

A proper breathing technique is a crucial component of self-hypnosis. You should breathe slowly and deeply from the diaphragm and not from the chest. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Imagine positive energy going inside you as you inhale. Hold your breath as long as comfortable. Then, slowly exhale through your lips and imagine the negative energy getting out of your body. Repeat this process about five times, or as long as you feel like doing it. Your mind and body will be able to relax through this technique, making yourself more open to new thoughts and ideas. 

Repeat a positive mantra

Together with deep breathing, telling yourself a positive thought over and over again can bring about significant changes in your life. You will be able to banish your fear of flying with the power of your thoughts. Repeat encouraging thoughts to yourself, such as “I am calm and relaxed when riding in an airplane” or “Flying is safe and fun.”

Practice visualization

Your mantra will be more effective in overcoming your fear if you put images into them. You can visualize the images that you want to accomplish so you will be more successful in realizing them. If your mantra is “I am calm and relaxed when riding in an airplane,” imagine yourself excitedly packing your bags before the trip, getting in the plane without any untoward incident, and enjoying your plane ride all throughout the flight.

Make it a habit to practice these techniques daily so they become second nature to you. When the day comes that you need to take a flight, you won’t be anxious anymore and you will be rewarded by the sense of accomplishment that you are finally free from your fear of flying.

How to overcome your fear of flying with hypnosis

Are you terrified of riding in an airplane? Do you skip important events just because you don’t want to take a plane ride to your destination?Are you in trouble at work because you refuse to fly out to an important business meeting? Do you experience overwhelming dread in the middle of a flight? A fear of flying can have devastating effects on a person’s life. It may limit his/her options and mobility due to an irrational fear.

What causes a fear of flying?

A fear of flying may be caused by childhood trauma, such as when the child experienced a scary plane ride or if the child’s parent/s left a negative impression on the child about riding an airplane. A child may also have flying anxiety because he/she may have been exposed to horrifying news and graphic images about a terrible plane crash. Consequently, the child may correlate that news to his own flying experience and he/she will have a tendency to reject flying at all costs. An older individual may be scared to ride an airplane due to a prior bad experience, e.g. turbulent plane ride, or encountering a storm during a flight. Or, the plane had to make an emergency landing and this made the person very much anxious and afraid. Other debilitating fears like a fear of heights (acrophobia), a fear of tight spaces (claustrophobia), a fear of vomiting (emetophobia), and a fear of losing control all contribute to a person’s aerophobia (fear of flying).

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is derived from the Greek word hypnos, which means “sleep.” When a person is under hypnosis, he/she is not really sleeping but rather is in an elevated level of concentration and awareness. The person is completely aware of the events as they unfold before him. On the other hand, the person is very relaxed so that the subconscious mind can be accessed. When this happens, the person’s mind can be receptive to new ideas that the conscious mind cannot accept.Thus, the person’s thoughts can be somewhat influenced to think a certain way, e.g. fears can be controlled and conquered.

How can hypnosis help overcome your fear of flying?

Hypnosis may be an effective way to help you overcome your fear of flying. Through this technique, the hypnotherapist will be able to discover the cause of your fear by connecting with your subconscious mind and reprogramming it to think in a certainmanner or pattern. Also, the therapist may direct you to conquer or banish your fear of flying. This is done through visualization where you will be led through the entire flight experience starting from packing your bags to arriving in your destination and getting off the plane. Moreover, feelings of joy and calmness will be incorporated in your flight experience so you will not be afraid of it anymore.

It is important to seek help from a qualified and registered hypnotherapist, especially if you have not tried hypnotherapy previously.  A hypnotherapist that you are comfortable with can bring about great changes in your life and free you from your fear of flying. But bear in mind that you must really want to conquer your fear in order for hypnosis to be effective. If you don’t want the change to happen in your life, then the technique will not actually work for you.

It may take a while and several hypnosis sessions before you can totally overcome your fear of flying, but with faith in yourself and determination, you can beat this fear that’s keeping you from enjoying your life. Where will your next destination be? Imagine all the places that you can go to that were not possible before you conquered your fear of flying. So be ready to book your plane tickets and pack your bags!

About the author

Kate Torrone

My hubby and I are constantly on the road. After over 40 countries I became an editor of the Travel Section at Independent Femme, and I'm more interested in seeing even more new places than ever. Feel free to drop me a line. I'm also a contributor at www.travelbelles.com.

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