Overcoming Your Fear of Flying - Hypnotherapy in Ely

It's been another busy weekend running my fear of flying course over in Mildenhall. With the pandemic rules changing and more and more flying becoming possible, we're getting an increasing number of enquiries from people seeking support to overcome their fear of flying. 

Along with Serena at Sim2Do, we've been running our fear of flying course for a while now, with some very positive results for attendees. Whilst during the pandemic it was quite easy for someone with flying fear to avoid anything to do with air travel, that avoidance strategy is becoming less sustainable as things open up more. Luckily, there are ways to reduce that fear and to feel calmer and more positive about flying.

Avoidance is generally the first line of response for any type of anxiety and fear, yet whether it's because you want to go on holiday (or your friends and family want you to go on holiday with them!) or due to work, avoidance becomes more and more tricky. Such is the strength of some people's fear of flying, I've known clients to almost wish their upcoming holiday would be cancelled or at least postponed. Avoidance can make you feel a bit better for a while, because the unpleasant anxious thoughts and feelings subside for a while, yet it inadvertently strengthens the fear and means the next time you are faced with a potential flight, you again try to avoid it. If you can't avoid it, the anxiety and fear associated with it can easily take over.

Many people come to our fear of flying course with a sort of equation in their mind that flying equals fear. Yet we know there must be more to it than this because not everyone has a fear of flying (some people even love flying). That extra step is all the things that go on inside your head around flying. There are your thoughts, feelings, your imagination, your self talk, your habitual responses, experiences, expectations, beliefs and so on. It would be more accurate to talk in terms of how flying, multiplied by all your thoughts and feelings, equals fear.   

And this is good news because if flying led to fear for everyone there would be little you could do about it. As we know it's linked to your psychological processes, there are many things that we can do to alleviate your fear of flying and make everything a lot more calmer for you before your flight and when you are up there on the plane. This is where hypnotherapy and our fear of flying course can really help you to make a change and to overcome your flying fear.  

Overcome fear of flying hypnotherapy in ely

 

The Fear of Flying

Your fear of flying can arise in a number of ways. You may never have flown before and find yourself anxious and worried about what will happen and how it will be. You may have been on many flights that were fine, yet you still experience those anxious thoughts and feelings and worries about the sights and sounds and sensations on the plane. And you could also have experienced a previous traumatic flight that has you now dreading flying and feeling uncomfortable about everything to do with it.

Within all of these there can also be other fears and anxieties that have an impact. You may suffer with claustrophobia, a fear of heights, a fear of death, or have high levels of general anxiety and worry about not feeling in control.  

One of the things that I pay close attention to, both in my hypnotherapy sessions and on the fear of flying course, is how you individually experience your fear and anxiety. Some people feel anxious even at the very sight of a plane or when booking tickets, many have anticipatory anxiety in the lead up to their flight, as they travel to the airport and when boarding, and you will almost certainly have anxiety around aspects of the flight itself.

One of the great things about the course is that Serena can talk you through every question and concern about what is happening in the plane during your flight. There can be certain noises, movements and sights that create anxiety because you don't know what is happening or why (and your anxiety will then create all sorts of worst cases and catastrophes in your imagination about them). Serena can cover everything about pilot training, flight preparation, weather, turbulence and what those sights and sounds on the plane actually mean.

Combined with the hypnotherapy and psychological strategies you learn, you can start to prime your mind to experience flying as the safe thing it actually is. The fear of flying comprises of physical sensations, distressing thoughts, and behaviours that go with trying to manage your anxiety. Each of these aspects, around all sorts of flying situations, can be addressed, managed and reduced before you fly and when on the plane.

You can learn more about our fear of flying course here:  https://www.sim2do.com/fear-of-flying.

fear of flying course ely

And you may also be interested in these earlier articles about the fear of flying and which have contributed to the development of the course:

 

Fear of Flying Course Feedback

You may have already taken a look at the feedback from people who have worked with me to overcome their fear of flying (over on these pages: Hypnotherapy Reviews). 

With regard to our fear of flying course, here's what one participant had to say afterwards:

"I wanted you to know that I had a wonderful trip to Morocco. Partly because the flights to and from were absolutely fine for me, thanks in the most part to both of you. Your enthusiasm for flying, your clear descriptions of how planes worked and your complete confidence in aviation Serena enabled me to be interested in the plane and actually enjoy almost everything about the flight! Especially landing in Marrakech, which looked just like it did on the simulator!

I used your downloads, Dan, on take -off and landing and found just having your calming voice in my ear really helpful. I particularly found the concept of being in control of my reactions to the flight helpful, even though I wasn’t in control of the plane, it was a good distinction to make.

So an enormous thank you to you both for your care, support, and  professionalism it enabled me to have the most fantastic holiday."

We absolutely love getting feedback like this! And we'd love to have you enjoy the course and send us your positive flying feedback afterwards too!

fear of flying course hypnotherapy ely 

Fear of Flying Relief

When you have a fear of flying, that fear drives your imagination towards all sorts of worst-case outcomes. You may feel anxious and on edge just thinking ahead to your flight, so that by the time you are on the plane, that panic has taken over. You may think about the plane crashing, dropping out of the sky or some other (unlikely) disaster occurring. You may be hyper-vigilant to every sound on the plane, worrying that something bad is happening, or find yourself watching the flight attendants for any signs that reveal that they know of the impending doom. And that's even before we think about any turbulence and the panic that comes with it, and the thoughts of crashing and the plane being unable to withstand what seems like a battering.

Now, we cover all of this on the course, and in your calmer moments you may acknowledge that many of your thoughts and feelings around flying are exaggerated or irrational. Thousands of people fly safely each and every day and planes are designed to handle weather and turbulence and so on. And those flight attendants are just just getting on with their job (and maybe thinking of what is going on in their life outside of their work), rather than displaying any signs of things being wrong.   

Rather than letting your imagination amplify your anxiety, you can learn to prime your mind to regard flying as something that is fine, perhaps like when you get in the car or on a train for a journey (unless you have other travel anxiety).

Our fear of flying course, and coming for hypnotherapy sessions, are perfect ways to reduce you flying fear. And you can also start to use this process to start associating feeling calm with flying, and to prime your mind for successfully being on control of your thoughts and feelings around flying. 

1. Ensuring you are sitting somewhere quiet, take a deep breath and close your eyes. If you know self-hypnosis techniques you could incorporate these here. Start to extend your out breath and say the word 'relax' to yourself on every breath out. You could tense and relax each part of your body or tell yourself that each part of your body is relaxing. You could imagine a calm colour or sensation spreading through you or fill your mind with a relaxing sound. You could engage your imagination and imagine being in a remembered or created place of calmness, seeing the sights and hearing the sounds. Or you can draw upon and utilise any other ways that allow you to feel comfortable, calm and relaxed. Your aim here is just to feel as safe, calm and comfortable as you can right now.

You can also use either of the processes covered in these articles: The Eye Fixation Induction In HypnosisMindfulness For Anxiety, Stress and Promoting Mental Health

2.  Inside your mind, imagine a big, bright, bold movie screen, and on that screen imagine watching yourself going in, through and beyond your flight whilst the whole time feeling calm, relaxed, comfortable and in control of your thoughts and feelings.

Imagine watching yourself as you travel to the airport, when you are inside the airport, as you go through checks and wait for your boarding call. Imagine a sense of calmness in your posture, in the look behind your eyes, in the expression on your face, in the way you move and breath and walk and talk as you board the plane and find your seat and as the plane doors are closed. As you flight attendants inform you about the safety regulations you stay nicely calm and comfortable.

Keep visualising yourself being mentally and physically calm and relaxed as the engines increase power, when you are pushed back in your seat, through the sights and sounds of the plane during the flight, as the plane banks left or right and throughout the flight. Maybe you notice that during the flight you are focused on reading a book, watching a movie, playing a game, chatting to the person next to you or even having a sleep. And run your movie all the way through to landing safely and succesfully reaching your destination, having been mentally calm and physically relaxed throughout.

Whilst feeling calm and relaxed, run through your flight in your mind with everything being successfully how you want it to be.

3. Having done this, you can start to add in a few small challenges through your flight. Imagine watching yourself encountering some air turbulence and a bit of shaking taking place as a result, yet you handle, deal and cope with it calmly, confidently and effectively. Watch yourself handling any turbulence whilst keeping a sense of being safe and in control of your thoughts and feelings. See yourself being calm, relaxed and in control around the noises of the plane, relaxed about what the air stewards are doing and comfortable about all the sights, sounds, movements and other aspects of flying. 

4. Once you have run through imagining yourself thinking, feeling and doing things in a way that takes you through to your destination calmly, confidently and succesfully, imagine stepping into the movie and being this you. Seeing everything through your own eyes, hearing the sounds and feeling calm, relaxed, confident and in control before your flight, at the airport, boarding, through take off and the flight and all the way through to landing. Run through it and notice the colours, details and shades of light, hear the sounds around you, those nearby and those elsewhere on the flight and imagine the whole time feeling calm, relaxed, comfortable and in control of your thoughts, feelings, actions and reaction. 

Imagine responding and dealing with every aspect of the flight, before you fly and up in the air, in a calm and confident manner. You think clearly, you evaluate things logically and calmly, and you handle things in a way that pleases you. 

And as you imagine going in and through every aspects of your flight feeling calm, relaxed and confident in your feelings, handling things and having the behaviours of someone who is now calm and confident, really tell yourself how you are now calm, relaxed, confident and in control when flying. Run through before you fly, at the airport, through boarding and take off, through the flight and successfully landing at your destination and the whole time thinking to yourself, with real belief and conviction, how you are now calm, relaxed, confident and in control when flying.    

5. Once you have done this several times, and feeling mentally calm and physically relaxed in your thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions around flying, slowly count yourself up from 1 up to 5 inside your mind, open your eyes and reorientate yourself to your surroundings

Using this process can help you to alleviate unwanted and unnecessary fear of flying, and instead start to replace it with a sense of calmness and confidence around flying. And that means that instead of having to avoid going places (even you'd love to travel) or having to endure your flight with suffering (or alcohol and drugs), you can gain the freedom to feel excited about going away and to be more focused on what you will doing when you get there, rather than letting the flight cast a very dark cloud over your trip. 

To your happiness and success,

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

 

Struggling with anxiety, stress, worry and a fear of flying and need some help? Find out how I can help with a Complimentary Hypnotherapy Strategy Session. Learn more here: Appointments

Find out what dozens of other people have said after their hypnotherapy sessions with Dan: Hypnotherapy Testimonials

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