What Causes Fear of Flying?
Fear of flying is very common. Almost every commercial flight has at least one person sitting drenched in a cold sweat with muscles clenched throughout. Flying panic, or “aerophobia”, can place significant limitations on your opportunities in both personal and professional arenas. Although medications can help with one-off trips, wouldn’t it be better to get to the bottom of the phobia and leave it behind for good?
The trained therapists at Bayside Psychotherapy are skilled in counselling and hypnotherapy techniques that may teach you to learn strategies that’ll put you back in control. You don’t need to tackle aerophobia on your own.
Risks Of Not Getting Over The Fear Of Flying
Reluctance to overcome your fear of flying can sadly lead to missed opportunities, personal & professional. Missing family events or job assignments. Opting for other travel methods can be costlier and more time-consuming. Taking a flight is one of the fastest and safest ways to travel. Individuals are more likely to experience a car accident than a plane crash.
Continuing to avoid flying will reinforce the fear, even reducing self-esteem and leading to other mental health issues. Some might even turn to sedatives or alcohol to cope with travel anxiety. Alternative travel methods can be tiring and very costly. and consistent avoidance can result in feelings of isolation. It’s vital to recognise these risks and seek support when necessary.
How to Overcome Fear of Flying?
Overcoming a fear of air travel is a common challenge faced by many individuals. Here are some steps and strategies to help you manage and potentially overcome a fear of flying:
1. Educate Yourself:
Understand the basics of how planes work and the safety measures in place. Commercial aviation is one of the safest forms of travel.
Familiarise yourself with safety statistics.
2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
This form of therapy can help you recognise and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to your fear.
3. Exposure Therapy:
Gradually expose yourself to the experience of flying. Start by watching videos of planes taking off and landing, then visit an airport, and finally take short flights.
4. Relaxation Techniques:
Deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation can help calm your nerves.
5. Stay Distracted:
Bring along books, music, movies, or games to distract yourself during the flight.
6. Speak to the Crew:
Letting a flight attendant know about your fear can be helpful. They are trained to help nervous flyers and can offer reassurance.
7. Stay Positive:
Focus on why you’re travelling, whether it’s a vacation, business, or visiting loved ones. Visualise the positive experiences you’ll have once you reach your destination.
What Are the Symptoms of Fear of Flying?
People who have aerophobia experience persistent and intense anxiety when they think about flying or travelling by air. The symptoms of aerophobia are similar to those of other specific phobias. Symptoms of the fear of flying may include:
- Increased heart rate
- Tight chest
- Desperately trying to distract yourself
- Inability to sit still or remain calm
- Muddled thinking
- Digestive problems
- Sense of imminent death
- ‘Hysteria’ or losing control of your behaviour, shouting or trying to get off the plane
The good news is that mindfulness therapy and hypnotherapy have been shown to be effective for many people suffering from this anxiety disorder.
How Long Will Treatment for Fear of Flying Take?
Everyone has different underlying causes for their panic disorder or phobia, so it’s impossible to say for sure how long treatment will take. Usually, after a couple of hypnotherapy or counselling sessions, your therapist may be able to gauge how the treatment is going. We may then be able to give you a clearer estimate of how much more therapy is likely to be indicated to effect lasting change.
If you have a trip coming up and would like to start hypnotherapy now, you can download our targeted self-hypnosis recordings for fear of flying. Our self-hypnosis recording may also help complement any ongoing treatments.
Call us on (03) 9557 9113 to book a confidential appointment to see if we are able to help you work through your fear of flying.
Self-hypnosis may also work well when used in conjunction with counselling. You can download our Fear of Flying Self Hypnosis recording from our website.
Seeking Professional Help With Bayside Psychotherapy
Seeking help from a professional therapist can help a person conquer their fear of flying with a specific treatment program. Find out the treatment options available.
Call us on (03) 9557 9113 or use our contact form for more information or book your initial session — online or in-person at our Highett clinic. We also offer downloadable self-hypnosis MP3 recordings for fear of flying that you can listen to at home.
If you’re reading this page, you’ve probably already acknowledged to yourself that you need help, which is a very important step. Our therapists are trained in a range of different treatment methods, including psychodynamic therapy, dreamwork, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Buddhist psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and other forms of counselling. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all solution.
After an initial consultation, your therapist will work with you to come up with the best combination of treatments to suit your goals and circumstances. We can see you either in person at our Melbourne clinic in Highett, or from the comfort of your home, via a secure online connection. All sessions are completely confidential.
Note: Whilst we will do our best to assist you, we will rely upon your commitment to and participation in the treatment process to optimise results. Although some of our therapists work with people presenting with this condition, no guarantees of any outcomes can be made.
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