When you’re afraid of flying, you probably have trouble going on vacation or business trips. Your heart possibly races, your hands get sweaty, and you fear the worst—panic attacks can be really paralyzing. If you’re looking for a way to conquer your fear, hypnosis for fear of flying may be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Fear of Flying: Aerophobia or Aviophobia
Fear of flying is technically referred to as aerophobia or aviophobia. Research estimates that yearly prevalence estimates of this fear range from 2.5% to as high as 40%.
As a learned fear, it may have its roots in childhood like picking up a parent’s fear or emotional trauma while onboard a plane such as turbulence, a plane crash, or an emergency landing during a return flight.
Sometimes just the thought of flying is enough to trigger your anxiety. Feeling afraid or anxious about your flight in the future is what experts call anticipatory anxiety
When you have this anxiety, you might have interrupted sleep, clouded or distracted thinking, and more ritualistic behaviors.
Also, your flight anxiety may intensify as your scheduled flight approaches.
That’s why it’s important to seek help early on.
Two of the more common treatments for phobias are exposure therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The former is geared towards confronting your fears and breaking the avoidance habit. Exposure therapy can be directly or indirectly exposing yourself to your object of fear in order to move past it as in virtual reality.
On the other hand, CBT is about slowly changing the way you think about your fears. You get to reflect on how your thoughts trigger your fears and gradually identify coping mechanisms you can use.
Now, aside from these, you might want to consider hypnosis for aviophobia.
Hypnosis for Fear of Flying
As for aviophobia, a 2012 study showed dramatic improvement in readiness for flight after 12 hypnosis sessions. In the same year, a case study report showed successful treatment of a treatment-resistant 50-year phobia.
Moreover, hypnosis can help you get over your fear of flying in four significant ways:
Manage your anxiety
Hypnosis can help put you in a calm and relaxed state. When there’s extreme anxiety, you might feel like you’re losing control. Hypnosis can help you get back into the driver’s seat. Plus, it’s much more effective than simply distracting yourself with music or gadgets.
Uncover the root cause of your extreme fear
Hypnosis can connect you to your subconscious mind. Your hypnotherapist can then help you uncover the root cause of your fear and work through it.
Reframe the trauma you’ve experienced before
When your past trauma remains unresolved, a similar experience can quickly trigger your symptoms. With hypnotherapy, you’d be able to reframe your trauma and safely release the feelings attached to the negative event. Then you’d be able to eventually embrace a more positive emotional experience.
Dissociate your panic attack from the stimulus
Hypnotherapy can help you disconnect your emotional response from the event. This means plane turbulence can become just an ordinary situation rather than an anxiety trigger. In the long run, you’d be able to develop a new relaxation response.
If you’re looking for a certified hypnotherapist who can help make boarding a flight a pleasant experience again, just book a session with Carla Chalah, founder of Everybody in Mind Wellness Center and Hemisphere Hypnotherapy. Carla Chalah offers in-person hypnotherapy sessions in Sudbury, Massachusetts, as well as online, Zoom sessions. Hemisphere Hypnotherapy offers a variety of online practitioners to choose from and was recently featured in the Boston Herald and Massachusetts Chronicle.