• Suzy

How to Overcome Fear of Flying



If you have a fear of flying it can turn the idea of a dream holiday into a nightmare!


No matter how hard you might try, it’s impossible to look forward to a holiday as much as normal if you are dreading the hours you will need to spend on the plane to get there. And if you are flying for business, fear of flying can distract you from any important work you might need to get done whilst you’re on the plane.


There are many reasons why people are seriously frightened (or in many cases phobic) of flying. For some a bad experience involving flying can trigger the fear, such as being on a flight with bad turbulence or even watching a film about a plane crash. But for others there is no obvious cause, and the fear seems to come out of nowhere. People who have previously felt calm about flying, or even enjoyed it, can sometimes experience intense fear or a panic attack out of the blue when flying.


Common Fears around Flying

Some common fears around flying are related to ;

  • Turbulence

  • The idea that the plane might crash

  • Feeling trapped

  • Not being in control

  • Being so high up

Fears of turbulence and the machinery of the plane failing can sometimes be rationalised with facts and figures showing how safe it is - flying being the safest form of long distance transport.


But fears associated with feeling trapped and out of control can be more difficult to overcome as they are often rooted in our unconscious. When someone has been experiencing a lot of stress or anxiety in their life, this can attach itself to another experience, such as flying. So then, seemingly out of the blue, the anxiety that the person has been feeling materialises whilst on the flight as intense fear or a panic attack. This can be particularly likely if they have also been feeling like they are not in control, or trapped within their current life situation, both of which are true of flying on a passenger plane.


Once someone has experienced intense fear or a panic attack on a flight it is easy for this to escalate into a phobia. The expectation of fear and panic and even avoidance of flying causes the fear to grow and become more intense.


Hypnotherapy for Fear of flying

Fear of flying affects many people (around 1 in 10 in the UK), but so often people will just accept it as part of their personality, and either avoid flying all together or grit their teeth and force themselves through it. maybe taking anti-anxiety medication or hitting the airport bar before their flight to numb their feelings.


But wouldn’t it be nicer to overcome your fear of flying completely and be able to enjoy relaxing on a flight?

Hypnotherapy can help you get to that point quickly and for the long term.

I have many clients come to see me for help overcoming their fear of flying with Hypnotherapy. From my therapy room in Crystal palace, or online, I use proven hypnotherapeutic visualisation techniques to enable them to gain exposure to their fears, whilst being relaxed and feeling safe. I teach my clients how to reduce any rising feelings of anxiety and move through and past those negative emotions, releasing them as they go. During this process the attachments in their unconscious mind between fear and flying can be dissolved and replaced with calm confidence and often even excitement.


Tips for Fear of flying

If you have a fear of flying and have a flight coming up soon, here are some tips to help you to feel calmer and remain in control on the day :


  1. Distraction – Plan ahead make sure that you have lots of options to distract yourself with on the flight. Maybe a podcast or audio book that you are really interested in, a game on your phone or a good book

  2. Breathing – If you feel your anxiety levels start to rise, focus on your breathing, taking deeper longer breaths. When we get frightened our breathing often gets shallower and deeper breathing calms us down and slows down our heart rate.

  3. Support – If you are travelling with someone, confide on them about your fears ahead of time, and plan a conversational topic that will keep you distracted. If you are travelling solo arrange to phone someone or even confide in the person sitting next to you on the plane. Most people would be sympathetic and happy to help. Try to avoid talking about your fears, and instead focus on hobbies, travelling or a topic that will keep you engaged and interested.

For more information on Phobia's and how Hypnotherapy can help, head over to my Phobia page or contact me to arrange a free 20 min phone consultation at suzy@luminouslifetherapy.co.uk