If you’re scared of flying, you know how it hurts your quality of life. The job opportunities you have to turn down. The family vacations you can’t take. The chances to visit far-away family and friends you have to avoid. But even though your life is harmed by fear of flying, hypnosis can help.
Causes of Flight Anxiety
People trace their fear of flying to different causes.
For many, it can be a bad experience flying. A bout of turbulence can make a happy flyer lose his nerve.
It doesn’t have to be personal experience either. After the airlines reopened in the wake of 9/11, they still had a 30 percent drop in passengers, as people chose to drive rather than fly (causing a substantial uptick in the number of ground-based traffic accidents).
Even aside from these experience-based reasons for fear of flying, other anxieties have an effect. The fear of panic attacks or claustrophobia, while they’re not specifically about “flying,” still have an effect on people who have to fly in an enclosed space with a lot of people, says David Carbonell in What Causes Fear of Flying?.
Dr. Raymond Lloyd Richmond, writing in Fear of Flying, says that flight anxiety is really a fear of not being in control. Since we’re not natively winged creatures, we feel vulnerable and fragile in an airplane.
Symptoms of Fear of Flying
If you are one of the unfortunates suffering from fear of flying, you know that it’s a painful condition, even if other people don’t understand it.
David Carbonell categorizes the symptoms as both physiological and psychological. The physical symptoms include tension, heart palpitations, abdominal discomfort, and sweating, weakness, and dizziness.
Psychological symptoms include impaired memory, poor judgment, expectations of danger or disaster, and thinking and rethinking the dangers.
In extreme cases, people have panic attacks and vomiting at the very thought of flying (Fear of Flying, Wikipedia).
How to Overcome Flight Anxiety
It’s easy for friends and loved ones to say that flying is 29 times safer than driving a car. It may even be true. But that doesn’t help someone suffering from flight anxiety. The problem with the statistics is that they do not stop people from being afraid of flying, writes Raymond Lloyd Richmond.
If someone with flight anxiety can’t be reasoned away from it, then how can they be helped?
If it’s experience-based, it might be just a matter of time. After a while, the post-9/11 non-flyers took to the air again. The memory of the turbulence or other trauma recedes, and it becomes more inconvenient to stay on the ground than to go in the air.
For the people whose flight anxiety does not go away by itself, some psychological treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, desensitization, and relaxation techniques can be effective.
Some people turn to drug treatments, whether they self-medicate with alcohol and other drugs or go to doctors for prescriptions of anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications.
Fear of Flying: Hypnosis Can Help
All these treatments can be aided or even possibly made unnecessary by hypnosis.
If you’ve had a traumatic experience in the air, hypnosis can help you get comfortable again with the idea of flying.
If you look to psychological treatments, hypnosis can help the cognitive-behavioral therapies take root in your subconscious. If what you need is relaxation, a hypnotherapy session can be just what the doctor ordered.
For people turning to drugs to overcome their fears, follow your doctor’s advice. But if you’re looking to self-medicate, try hypnosis first. Some effects of alcohol, for example, increase at high altitude.
In any case, fear of flying hypnosis can give relief to your symptoms in a non-invasive, drug-free way.