Fear of Flying?

Three Tips to Help You Fly Calmly this Summer

SCHN Integrated Hypnotherapist, Maria Furtek, shares her top three tips to help you fly calmly this Summer if you have a fear of flying.

Anyone who has a fear of flying will know exactly how anxiety provoking it feels waiting in the departure lounge to board a plane. Whilst most passengers will be feeling excited and looking forward to their holiday, if you are fearful about flying, the likelihood is that you will be feeling panicky, breathing more heavily, having racing thoughts with “what if…” type thinking and may be wondering if you are actually going to get on the plane.

Every Summer I work with many clients who have booked a holiday and are suddenly faced with the prospect of facing their fear and actually having to think about getting on the plane in order to reach their dream destination.

Whilst each person is an individual, from my experience of working with clients with a fear of flying over the past 17 years, it appears that there are several common elements that underpin this fear and these can be generally anxieties about:

•    Heights
•    Not feeling in control
•    Being in a confined space
•    Trusting someone else for their safety
•    Trusting mechanical equipment for their safety
•    Feeling frightened by the strange sounds that the plane makes
•    Fear of terrorism
•    Fear of having a panic attack
•    Fear of being ill
•    Feeling trapped

Generally people that are phobic about flying, tend to spend a lot of time focusing on their worry “about flying” before the actual flight even happens; then during the flight, if they do actually manage to get on the plane, they then get caught up in the physical symptoms of anxiety or panic that they are feeling.   A lot of thought may be pre-occupied with “what could or might happen” what I call “disastersizing”, thinking about the worst thing that could happen, rather than focusing on the reality of what is actually happening in the moment.

Below I have outlined some tips that will help you calm yourself, both leading up to the flight and during the flight:

1) Positive Self-Talk:
When you catch yourself getting caught up in your anxiety thinking a few  days before the flight, give yourself a positive talking to. You might say to yourself, “Oh, there I go again thinking about the flight, rather than focusing on the here and now. I am not on the plane at the moment, so I can take a deep breathe and let go of this for now and get on with what I was doing.”

2) Practice Relaxation Techniques:
When you are waiting in the departure lounge, practice some relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, listening to a calming MP3, tensing and relaxing parts of your body, meditation – something that is going to stop your negative thinking and calm your anxious mind.

3) Distraction is the Key:
Plan ahead for the actual journey on the plane. Bring something to read, some music or a relaxing MP3 to listen to – the best thing to do is to distract yourself from your thinking, from the noises around you and from your anxiety. You may prepare some affirmations to repeat to yourself if you feel your anxiety starting to rise, like “This too will pass” or “Just for this moment, I am safe and well.” Remind yourself that although you are imagining the worst scenario, it is very unlikely that anything bad will happen.

Breathe slowly and deeply, drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated and practice circling your ankles one way and the other way as a form of distraction.

If you would like more support to manage your flying anxiety, then it is worth contacting SCHN Integrated Hypnotherapist Maria Furtek in plenty of time, so that she can work with you on your own individual fear. Maria has over 17 years’ experience of working with clients suffering with anxiety and using effective psychological tools based in the realms of Hypnotherapy, NLP, Coaching and counselling skills, she can empower you to deal with your fear, teaching you how to self-soothe from your anxiety, to manage yourself leading up to the flight and to control your anxiety once on the plane, so that you can feel calm and in control. Here is what one of Maria’s clients said after her sessions with Maria for her fear of flying:

“I would never have believed that I’d be able to sit on a plane for 9 hours, but it really was ok. The recording you gave me last time is fantastic. Even when I was walking through Gatwick on the way out, parts of it were playing in my head and it helped me to relax and even eat and do some shopping! Thank you so very much for all of your help and advice. “ Coral C

To contact  Maria about your flying phobia, call her on 020 8395 5471 or email her on mfurtek@blueyonder.co.uk website: www.mariafurtekhypnotherapy.com