I’ve just booked my holiday and I can’t wait for take off! Not everyone looks forward to it though – a phobia of flying always ranks in the top 10 lists of phobias. It doesn’t matter how many safety statistics you mention or facts you present about modern day flights: if someone is afraid of flying it can be an ordeal.
It doesn’t help that airports and airlines use so many negative sounding terms. Think about it: ‘Terminal’, ‘Departure Lounge’, ‘Final boarding call’. It’s like we’re being unconsciously programmed to think negatively!
No two people have exactly the same fears: my clients typically can have one or a combination of fears from claustrophobia to fear of heights, mechanical failure or attack and more.
Using hypnosis I help them learn new behaviours and ways of thinking about the flight, deal with the underlying fear and triggers, feel confident and manage the phobic situation and control any physical reactions. I also give them tools and techniques to cope with both the expected and the unexpected. A phobia is something that is eminently treatable.
If you’re about to leave on a jet (or other!) plane here are some top tips:
- Before you travel (and during the flight) think about all your positive reasons for making the trip and imagine how it will be and feel. Do this regularly so that you think about that more than the journey.
- Request an aisle seat near to the front of the plane: it’s less claustrophobic and the effects of any turbulence are likely to be reduced.
- Don’t leave everything to the last minute: leave plenty of time for your journey to the airport allowing for any unavoidable hold-ups.
- Let the cabin crew know that you have a fear – they are trained to help out.
- Calm yourself with some deep breathing exercises. Breathe deeply from your stomach, not your chest: place your hands on your stomach with your fingertips touching on an out-breath. If you breathe in correctly, the finger tips should part as you do so.
- Drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated.
- If you come across turbulence remember it is just pockets of air: treat the turbulence as you would bumps in the road when you’re in a car.
- Keep yourself busy and distracted: play a game, lose yourself in a good book or some music or the in-flight film (bring your favourite funny movie to watch if you have a laptop).
- Take yourself off in your mind to another place/time when you felt really relaxed and/or confident and remember everything about that time.