Fear And Phobia Of Flying

Whether you're planning a holiday or you have to fly due to your work commitments, flying should be something that you look forward to and enjoy.

Although there is a very small risk involved with flying, so you could say your worries are rational, the truth is, there is always a small risk with most things we do, so the reality is, you can never have absolute certainty with anything in life.

But flying is so statistically safe, that the actual chances of anything happening to you whilst you're flying is so low, that it is not worth you worrying about.

So although you can put the fear of flying into the irrational category, it probably won't reassure most people who have a phobia of flying.

Because, regardless of age or life experience, the fear of flying plagues millions of people all over the world. 

It is estimated that, one in four people have a mild fear of flying and one in ten have a phobia of flying.

Many of these people would prefer traveling for hours or days via rail or by car, simply to avoid air travel. 

Stories about flight phobias turning unruly have made the headlines of top news outlets in recent years, and the growing phenomena of "air rage" fueled by a fear of flying has been discussed at length by psychologists. 

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A multitude of triggers can give rise to a fear of flying; some of these are rational, some irrational. 

Some wholly rational justifications for the fear and avoidance of air travel exist: the 9/11 attacks, poor airline safety records, and air accidents resulting in a massive loss of life. 

On the other hand, less rational fears of powerlessness, lack of control, and claustrophobia may develop in response to traumas in childhood and adolescence, which manifest themselves as panic attacks before or during flight. 

If you have experienced a bad flight, then this can create a bad memory which can trigger a fear of future flights. But it's not just previous bad experiences that are the source of people's fear of flying.

Sometimes you can create a fear of flying, even if you've never flown before, or if you have flown, but you have never had a bad experience whilst flying.

Things that can trigger a fear of flying are, watching a fictional film about a plane crash, or seeing or hearing about a real plane or helicopter disaster on the news or in the papers, is sometimes enough to send your imagination into disaster mode.

Nevertheless, all phobias, including a fear of flying, begin and end inside the human mind.


The fear exists in your mind

You want to go on holiday or maybe you learn that you have to fly. If you have a fear of flying then, just the mere thought of it is sometimes enough to scare yourself silly.

On learning you have to fly, brings about the activation of the emotion of fear that you've associated with flying. Your mind is then flooded with all those what if, imagined scenarios and thoughts.

This triggers the release of adrenaline into your body, which is followed by all the other symptoms of stress. 

All it takes is one thought to send a shock wave of terror throughout your body, to trigger off another thought and before you know it, you're having an anxiety attack.

Maybe you've had a previous bad flight or maybe you have just developed a fear of flying even though you have not had a previous traumatic experience.

Either way, you're creating a scenario in your mind of an imagined future disaster unfolding through your imagination and your then allowing what is just an illusion taking place in your mind to influence your actions and behaviours

How we feel and respond in any given moment, largely depends on our internal dialogue and the images and pictures that we create inside our head.

Nearly all fears are negative programs that exist in our heads, your mind cannot predict what lies ahead, therefore if you have a fear of flying it is because you're creating a mini disaster movie in your imagination.

Then, because your nervous system cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imagined, your body starts to fearfully respond to the internal representation that is going on in your mind, even though in actual reality your safe.

Your internal representations are based on your own perceptions of how you have come to perceive the world. 

But you, should not take your imagination as being true because it does not usually represent the truth, our imagination is flawed and it will tend to over exaggerate, distort things and blow everything out of proportion.

So really, you're creating a traumatic experience in your mind about the possibility of a future catastrophic event occurring, and your living and being influenced by the emotion, surrounding the imaginings in your mind. 

Our imagination can be so powerful, and feel so real that it can force us to avoid flying or make other alternatives and we're all capable of traumatizing ourselves even if we have not even had a bad flight. 

Even if you do board the aircraft, your imagination can make your flight a misery, causing you to panic and overreact to every little natural noise, bleep on the tanoy and every movement on the plane.

If you do sum up the courage to get on the plane, your imagination can convince you that something terrible is going to happen, to the point where it feels like you're about to die, or you ask yourself how am I going to survive this imagined trauma.


Change your internal representations

You only have to think about flying and you will soon start creating all those little horror movies in your mind, which will cause instant panic and terror, because when we create negative disaster movies and scenarios in our mind, we  bring about all the bad feelings that have been associated to those  what if scenarios.

As soon as you begin to think about flying, you will probably create little disaster scenarios through your imagination, probably about the plane crashing. 

You will probably see yourself stuck inside the plane and you cannot get out the plane and as you focus on having no control over the situation, then ultimately you will probably imagine the plane crashing and everybody getting killed.

Our imagination can run riot when were on the flight as well, if you have a fear of flying and you do summon the courage to get on the aircraft, then the chances are you will spend much of the flight terrifying yourself.

We can get so involved with our imagination and feelings that we are constantly monitoring everything on the plane. 

You can become over aware of every little noise and turbulence causing you to constantly over react, some will imagine the plane falling from the sky, or maybe you're trying to read things into the behaviour of the air stewards.

Your imagination and your feelings can constantly play tricks on you, by convincing yourself that something is going wrong or the plane is going to crash.

Our minds have evolved to think and see the worst case scenario, but there is a better way of perceiving things.

Try and imagine everything going well, focus on where you're going and the places you're going to visit, look forwards to your trip and get yourself excited about it. Imagine your flight going well, see yourself relaxing and enjoying your flight and feeling good.

Practice relaxing before your flight 

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Your imagination is one way of causing you endless fear and anxiety, another thing that will directly affect your state is your physiology.

How we hold and move our body effects how we think and feel. Any change in our posture, breathing, muscle tension and even our facial expressions can influence and affect our thought processes, the stories we tell ourselves in our mind, our behaviours and how we feel and respond.

How you use your body and the state you're in will affect you both physically and emotionally. If your muscles are tense, then your brain will produce different chemicals than it would if you were relaxed, this means you will think and feel differently.

The same applies if your breathing is shallow or your body is either collapsed or out of alignment. If you have a fear of flying, then it can tremendously benefit you if you learn how to relax and have a nice balanced and aligned posture.

Because when you're feeling relaxed, you will feel less fearful and you will find it much easier to cope with and handle any feelings of anxiety or discomfort, when you're relaxed you will also notice, your feelings about the situation and flight will start to change.

Hypnosis is an excellent way of helping you overcome your fear of flying and it has already helped many people overcome their flying phobia.

Your fear of flying is a subconscious association and response, so the way to overcome it is by operating on a subconscious level. 

Hypnosis works by allowing your mind to disconnect and disassociate the fearful connection, so you no longer associate the plane as being a danger, which will leave you feeling much more relaxed when you on the plane or aircraft.

All our fears exist deep in our subconscious mind, the subconscious mind is the place where all our learned emotions are stored.

These subconscious fears and beliefs, will determine how you how react in certain situations.

When your senses detect a perceived danger the information is relayed back to your subconscious mind and your subconscious mind will then tell you how to react.

In the case of flying, your subconscious mind will react with fear, when you're on the aircraft, but it will also react with fear and anxiety to the images in your mind that occur when you're thinking about flying. 

These deep rooted negative associations and belief, will need removing and replaced by more realistic and positive beliefs. To change these negative associations and beliefs, you need to do it on a subconscious level, and one way of achieving that is through hypnosis.

The flying statistic is reassuring  


If you have a fear of flying, find somewhere where you feel calm, then try and realistically focus on what's most likely going to happen during the flight, because the chances of anything really bad happening to you whilst flying are extremely rare, so realistically the odds are in your favour.

When there has been an airline incident, everybody tends to focus on that one particular accident and they overlook and ignore the millions of flight a year where everything goes without any incidences.

Statistically, flying is safer than driving long distances. Statistically, you are twenty two times more times more likely to have an accident on the way to the airport than you are when you're on the plane. According to the national safety council, even walking is more dangerous.

New computer programs, airplane backups and the advancement in the mechanical side of things, combined with rigorous training have made flying safer than ever and statistically flying has long been the safest mode of travelling and it is getting safer and safer.

Planes and other forms of aircraft are constantly being rigorously checked after every single flight. 

Many people are afraid of turbulence, but to put your mind at rest, planes are no more likely to drop out of the sky when experiencing turbulence as they are in normal flying conditions.

It is estimated that in 2013, around three billion people flew on airplanes, and there were only 210 fatalities that year. Pilots are specially selected, and they are trained on a regular basis, and every six months they are retrained and tested.

Often we only fear something because we lack an understanding of it. The more you learn and start to understand and research about how safe flying really is, the more you will be able to dissolve your fears around flying.


If you're on a flight and you start to feel anxious, try and focus your attention on to something else, learning to recognize the onset of any fear and anxiety and catching it early will help you to prevent a full blown anxiety attack.

The thing to do with anxiety is not to fight it, if you start to feel anxious, put a big smile on your face and start to take some slow deep breaths making sure the out breath is longer than the in breath. 

At the same time, release and relax any tension, and just observe your feelings and allow the emotion to rise up through you and away. You will also benefit, by learning how to manage your anxious thoughts.




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