This story of a women with a fear of flying, stranded for a month at a cost of £5k, demonstrates just how this phobia can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life. I have recently successfully treated a number of people with this issue so I thought I put down a few words on living with a fear of flying, the cause and the treatment:
Living with a fear of flying
You’re not alone. An estimated 20-40% of the population experience anxiety whilst flying, making fear of flying one of the most common phobias.
Even though this anxiety can seem irrational to us, our subconscious mind may create anxiety and panic attacks as it thinks it is protecting us. Protecting us is the primary function of our subconscious mind, and as flying is essentially an unnatural thing for people to do, this reaction is not surprising. However in reality, flying has been proven to be one of the safest ways to travel. Statistically it is enormously safer than driving a car or even crossing the road.
Having a fear of flying can often interfere with holidays or business travel and lead to an individual avoiding a career involving travel or a family holiday abroad. There are many aspects of flying that can create anxiety and panic, such as fearing the plane will crash, turbulence, claustrophobia, and importantly the feeling of being out of control. The anxiety and fear can start to build up weeks before a flight, the anxiety before flying can lead to a state of terror which can in the extreme prevent an individual from getting on the plane or even leaving it once they have boarded.
Most people who do not suffer from a fear of flying often feel that quoting safety statistics and probabilities should put the sufferers mind at ease. However this usually does little to ease the discomfort of the sufferer, as they are unable to think rationally about this information as it will be processed by the conscious mind who WANTS to fly but this will be overridden by the powerful emotional but sometimes irrational subconscious mind who will STOP them flying, as it is trying to protection them. Sufferers with this conflict will respond with a statement like “yes I know ALL THAT BUT I feel I can’t stop THE FEELING of being anxious”, the language shows the conscious logical mind v the subconscious emotional mind, the conflict, and the result being the powerful subconscious wins every time !. It is only after I have successfully helped a sufferer lose their subconscious fear that they are receptive to information on safety statistics, and I do this in the last session with them where I can apply the the knowledge and experience I gained in a previous lengthy career in aviation.
The Fear of flying can affect anyone, regardless of age, status, gender and intelligence, and is not a sign of weakness. The good news is that with Cognitive Hypnotherapy in Berkshire there are techniques that can access the subconscious mind to enable a sufferer to overcome their fear of flying and in some cases even make flying a pleasurable activity!
Fear of flying causes
Fear of flying is a learned fear, we are not born with it. It may surprise sufferers to hear that often the emotional original event leading to a fear of flying may not have had anything to do with flying on aircraft !, and it could be an event in childhood that they may or may NOT be consciously aware of, often this traumatic event in childhood is caused by a trauma involving LOSS OF CONTROL resulting in the unconscious need to always be in control ( and as we all know that on an aircraft we surrender control to the pilots and the aircraft integrity ), it’s easy to see from this how this leads to anxiety and panic. Sometimes people can fly happily for many years of their life, then due to experiencing a flight involving bad turbulence or the plane having to make an emergency landing where they felt out of control), it triggers the unconscious need to be in control and a phobia develops. Fear of flying may also be caused by other fears and phobias such as claustrophobia, fear of heights or agoraphobia. Misunderstandings of the principles of aviation can fuel a fear of flying too.
Treatment for fear of flying
As said previously, the good news is that there are techniques that can access the subconscious mind to enable a sufferer to overcome their fear of flying and in some cases even make flying a pleasurable activity!
Further to an initial free chat over the phone, the first initial consultation/session involves specialist gentle questioning which reveals context, and which primarily reveals the original cause.
Utilizing information from the first session I can prepare a personalized treatment plan. The following sessions involve techniques which involve communicating with the subconscious mind and re-evaluating and re-consolidating new positive thinking patterns to remove the fear in our subconscious mind. As as a result this gives us back CONFIDENCE & CONTROL of OURSELVES and CONTROL of our fear of flying.
During the initial free chat over the phone people often ask how many sessions will it take to stop the fear ?. Well, as an experienced Cognitive Hypnotherapist, coupled with previously working for a world leading airline gaining many decades of aviation experience, I have been successful in helping many sufferers lose their fear of flying in only a very few sessions ( typically 2 or 3 ). If you are a sufferer of fear of flying please Contact me for a Hypnotherapist in Berkshire and I can be more specific regarding this question and any other you want to ask…..