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How to cope with the Fear of Flying

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Hey it's holiday time soon and for most of us the holiday starts when you are planning your destination ... and that often includes flying.  For some the destinations are somewhat limited because of an unrealistic fear. 

The Fear of Flying!

family holiday

 

Others do it for the boys, or in this case for the family, regretting the decision as soon as it has been firmed up.

Whilst some are happily counting the days and enjoying buying holiday essentials - like new clothes - the FOFs are reluctantly buying a few things and trying not to be aware of the horror creeping nearer day by day.

For the FOFs holiday are just no fun.

FOFs are thinking about the horror of getting there well before you get the chance to be excited about landing and they don't really enjoy the holiday because lurking there in the back of their mind is the fear of coming back.  Not because they don't want to come back of course, they really, really do.  It's the thought of the journey that is filling them with dread.

It is estimated that at least one in 10 people have a FOF.  How many seats are on a plane.  Just thinking that 10% of those people are grinning and bearing it puts the whole thing into perspective.

So what can you do about it if you have a fear?

Firstly let's get real.  You are not fearful of flying.  I imagine that if you suddenly discovered you could fly like a bird you would be ecstatic ok maybe at first a little scared.

So it's good if you can define precisely what it is that you are frightened of.

It will be different for everyone.  Fear of flying is a symptom of an underlying anxiety.  So to understand more, what you are anxious about may help you overcome the fear a little.

For some they are:

Frightened of being so far away from home
Frightened of being in shut in
Frightened of trusting the Captain to be competent
Frightened of sabotage
Frightened of being out of control
Frightened of the plane falling (especially during turbulence)

There will be others but if you look at the list NONE of the examples are actually a fear of flying.

 

confused

So if you can define which is the example that is most scary for you - there may be a number - then at least you can stop saying that you are fearful of flying stop being a FOF and start working on your actual fear.

Once you are clear about the actual fear and have shed the FOF label then you can beging to work on enjoying your holiday.

There are a number of ways in which  you can approach this.  here's one:

world in hands

I know that the fear can be debilitating and we already know that you are very good at imagining yourself into a future fear.

Let's see if you can imagine yourself in a situation that you are very comfortable in. Imagine you are in your favourite place and feeling great.  Check that this is how you would like to feel if you were on holiday. 

When you know how you wish you could feel on holiday start to imagine what it would be like on holiday if you were happy and relaxed, enjoying your break.  Now, you have to put all your emotions into really experiencing it - just like you did when you were a FOF..

Repeat that process until you are very comfortable with it.

Now begin to imagine how you would like to feel on the journey to the destination paying particular attention to your identified fear.  Repeat the process as above.

The more you repeat the process with feeling the more embedded it becomes so that when you finally are ready for your holiday you have more than one choice about how to feel.

Have a great time

Let readers know how it worked for you.

Andrea Lowe Senior Hypnotherapist and Trainer

 

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