It’s that time of year again; the excitement of booking your long awaited summer holiday. You’ve spent the winter months dreaming of a warm beach, a beautiful view, mountains to climb or a long haul trip to visit family or hit the delights of a theme park. You’ve worked hard, saved your pennies and now all that stands in your way is the flight to get you there and fear of flying that stops you from enjoying it.
If at this point you’re starting to come out in a cold sweat, then you’re not alone. Many people struggle with a fear of flying and it’s only when the prospect becomes a reality that it really kicks in and becomes a problem. Fear of flying is a strange one in that it’s a fear that stands in your way of doing something that you really want to do. Some people get around it by using other means of transport to get to their chosen destination. Others may resort to alcohol or prescribed medication to get them through the flight but however you choose to get around it, it’s often something that people will battle through in order to get to their much deserved holiday.
Why do people suffer from a fear of flying? It can be a really obvious reason such as having gone through a difficult experience during a flight and it was enough to put them off. If they didn’t experience it themselves, they may have heard of someone else’s experience at a time when they were vulnerable to such sensitive tales and they absorb the crucial information which serves to create a fear.
These causes may be obvious but sometimes a fear of flying comes from a less obvious route. For some, it’s due to a lack of control of the aircraft. Clients tell me that they’d rather be flying the plane themselves than the experienced pilot who has many flying hours behind him (or her). Strange as it may seem, the thought of being in the air without being in control of the vehicle can really unsettle people and it’s a matter of releasing that control to the expert – something that is often easier said than done.
So what are the options for overcoming a fear of flying?
There are several options – some a more practical based solution and some a therapeutic nature.
Companies such as BA offer a practical course to help you overcome your fear by basically teaching you about flying. They base their courses on the theory that if you understand how the aircraft flies, then you’ll feel less afraid. This is a very good way of dealing with fears – they are often based on a lack of understanding of how a process works and if you understand the physics of flight, then you’re more in control.
If you either can’t afford this sort of course (there’s a flight included so they don’t come cheap) or you don’t want to go through this sort of course, then there are more therapeutic ways to overcome your fear of flying.
When we have fears about something, our subconscious mind only allows information that supports our belief system to pass through and therefore reinforce the fear. Hypnotherapy allows us to bypass the Conscious Critical Faculty (CCF), the ‘gateway’ to the subconscious and change those inner beliefs to something more appropriate. So, for example, the person who has a built-in fear of flying which is constantly reinforced by the stories of others is able to change their way of feeling about a forthcoming fight from one of fear to one of feeling calm and relaxed. They can cope with the thought of flying because their subconscious now accepts the prospect of feeling fine about flying. The process is brought about through deep relaxation; releasing the old negative thoughts and emotions surrounding flying, recognizing that it can feel different and adding in new thoughts, positive feelings and emotions about flying.
With BWRT®, it’s done by simply working with a memory of a time you felt that fear of flying and quite simply changing your response. It’s a non-hypnotic process that allows you to quite literally change how you feel about something – whether it’s a fear of flying or anything else that’s causing you stress or anxiety. It can work quicker than hypnotherapy and is considerably cheaper than a day with BA (or other airline).
Fear of flying is a very real fear of our time. It is not something that anyone is born with, it is acquired during the sufferers lifetime and because it’s something that’s not an innate part of you, it can be released and therefore you can simply get on and enjoy your life and more importantly, your holiday.