Fear of Flying
First of all, it is not the inability to travel in a plane!
Most ‘fearful flyers’ do actually fly – although they find it a very uncomfortable experience.
How each person experiences the fear of flying will differ considerably and can range from a mild concern, that passes once you have made the decision to fly, to a powerful and over-powering fear that makes air travel an impossibility.
To gauge how your own ‘flying nerves’ compare with others just imagine a scale with mild nervousness at one end, a severe and disabling phobia of air travel at the opposite end and, somewhere in the middle, the person who travels by air only when they really, absolutely, have to.
Mild fear of flying
At the mild end of the gauge is the person who becomes a little nervous for a little while at certain stages of the flight.
They may become uneasy on entering the plane, when the doors close, when the plane takes off or lands or manoeuvres, or if they experience turbulence, etc.
This is not a true fear of flying – and even the most confident flyers will, on occasions, experience these thoughts or feelings.
Fear of Planes and White-Knuckle Flying
Midway along this “scale” is the nervous or ‘white knuckle’ flyer.
This person will travel by plane as a last resort, because they have no other choice.
They will try to avoid going on holidays or applying for jobs that might involve air travel.
Or they will spend long hours travelling by car and ferry, much to the discomfort of family members or colleagues who have to accompany them.
(Dennis Bergkamp. the famous Dutch Footballer, was a very fearful Flyer and would only travel by land to get to International Matches.)
If they really have to fly they will usually use strong medication or alcohol to help them deal with their fear of flying.
Any trip involving air travel is an ordeal for them.
When they arrive they may take quite a while to get over their outward journey – only to then begin nervously anticipating the return journey.
At the far end of the spectrum is the person whose fear of flying is so strong that they cannot fly at all – even the thought of being in a plane causes anxiety.
For the person with such a flying phobia the experience of being on a plane can be quite distressing and may result in panic attacks, nausea, shaking, hyperventilating, etc.
A phobia of flying can be so incapacitating as to make air travel quite impossible and can even prevent them travelling to an airport to meet someone else.
Fear of flying is widespread
It is estimated that up to 1 in 5 people have a fear of flying – depending on the intensity of their phobia they may either avoid air travel altogether or may only be able to fly with the aid of alcohol or medication.
For some this is inconvenient or embarrassing.
For others it is a major block – as when their aviophobia prevents them and their families going on holidays together.
In some cases the fear of flying can have a major impact on a person’s career – they will avoid or turn down promotion or will not even apply for positions that might require them to travel by planes.
You can learn how to manage your fear of Flying
A flying phobia can be resolved.
You do not have to ‘learn to live with it’.
Nor do you have to continue holding yourself back from the convenience of air travel or from holidays or career advancement that involve travel by air.
Contact JTR Hypnotherapy
If you’d like to arrange for an initial consultation at my clinic, or if you have any queries that you’d like me to answer, then you can e-mail me, or if you’d prefer, you can fill out my online-enquiry form.