Summer holiday season is fast approaching and with that comes decisions about where you are going to go – stay in the UK or head off somewhere sunny? Many people are terrified at the thought of flying; fear of flying affects 1 in 10 of us, although some studies suggest the numbers are even higher, according to the national charity Anxiety UK. Maybe it’s the take offs and landings, perhaps it’s claustrophobia or it could be for some other reason like feeling like something bad is going to happen. You might not think that your fear of flying is a phobia, after all phobias are irrational fears…. And there’s plenty to be scared of when it comes to flying, right?
Perhaps you hate flying and avoid all trips, or it’s just the long ones which stress you out. Maybe you end up self-medicating with alcohol or tranquilisers in order to be able to get on a plane. While all these methods work in the short term, none of them are long term or particularly healthy solutions. Learning relaxation techniques including breathing and mindfulness exercises can be far more effective, as can distracting yourself with a good book, movie or puzzles.
The fear of flying is so common that several airlines have responded by creating ‘fearless flyer programmes’. These programmes offer advice, education and support to help stop your brain running a loop of your most feared outcomes.
It may seem that an obvious way to deal with the fear of flying is to simply avoid it, but according to Dr Simon Petrie, a clinical psychologist, this simply reinforces the fear and over time makes it stronger. As well as education about the technical aspects of flying, these courses offer practical techniques such as mindfulness exercises to help promote feelings of calmness while on the plane.
Hypnotherapy is often extremely effective in removing phobias or fears about flying. By tapping into the unconscious mind, information is able to be processed more effectively allowing for rapid desensitisation of the phobia. . A range of different techniques may be employed, depending on whether you know when the phobia first started, how you view it and how receptive you are to change, including guided visualisations which specifically target your fears in form of mental graduated exposure therapy.
If you are scared of flying, make contact with an National Council for Hypnotherapy using their directory of over 1,800 qualified hypnotherapists throughout the UK and get ready to jet off on your summer holidays stress free.