01 Jan How to Overcome The Fear of Flying
How to Overcome the Fear of Flying
Everyone (whether they admit it or not), has concerns about certain issues or situations.
Things they feel don’t feel comfortable about or confident dealing with. When this happens, many people choose to avoid the situation or the issue.
But every now and then, circumstances bring us face to face with the issue or situation we fear. Like going to the dentist, or having an injection, or flying.
When you think about it, human beings are designed to operate on the ground.
We’re not built to go under water, or travel in space or even fly at 30,000 feet.
But humans can do all these things because we’ve developed machines and equipment that allow us to.
Of all the above activities, flying is the one that brings the biggest potential benefit to the most people – it allows us to travel very quickly to places we want to go.
Take a two week holiday in the sun for example. If you travel over ground to your destination, you’re likely to use up several days of precious holiday time travelling.
However, if you fly, it’s usually half a day there and half a day back, the rest of the time is for relaxing and enjoying your holiday.
It’s a transaction: the cost is a few hours feeling uncomfortable and the benefit is thirteen days enjoying a nice holiday. Add to that all the impressive research that shows that flying is statistically the safest form of transport and, thinking logically, it seems like a good deal.
The problem is, when we face activities that we fear, logic often goes straight out of the window.
When we do things that our bodies aren’t naturally meant to do, our subconscious mind warns us to be careful. It’s an instinctive warning. The same type of instinctive warning that tells us to be wary of the dark or to avoid spiders and snakes. It’s a natural response and it is very strong – you can’t overpower it, but you can outwit it.
It’s okay to be concerned about flying. Many people worry about some aspect of this form of travel. Take-off and landing are the times make me feel uneasy, but I’ve worked with people who don’t like the doors closing, or not being able to see the ground, or turbulence during the flight.
So how can you make the process easier?
Mental rehearsal is very effective – as long as you start the process well in advance of your journey.
Find a quiet spot at a time you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and imagine you’re watching a TV programme about the day of your trip; what will you be doing and how will you be feeling at different times during the day? How relaxed do you look? What are the main ‘trigger points’ of the day? Each time you imagine watching this TV programme, edit it so that gradually, with each viewing, you look a little more confident and relaxed.
Think about including coping strategies or distractions for the most worrying moments.
The more you practise, the easier the day will seem.
If you need help, see a hypnotherapist and ask them to provide a relaxation recording that you can listen to in the days leading up to your trip.
Remember, we can cope with things we don’t like. Humans are very resilient. You have survived everything in your life so far. You are very resilient.