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Phobia: How to Overcome Aerophobia the Fear of Flying

Since the pandemic, I have been seeing more and more clients coming to the clinic desperate to overcome this phobia, the fear of flying. Some clients have always had the fear, others have developed it over some time and some are experiencing it for the first time, and any number of reasons.

Triggers that lead to fear can be anything from turbulence, take-off, landing, fear of terrorism, crashes, being too far from home and more recently fear of germs (courtesy of Covid19) A lot of people tell me it simply comes down to the fear of not being in control of a big iron machine defying the law of gravity.

No matter how many times you explain to someone the logical reasons why flying is perfectly safe, how you’re more likely to fall foul crossing the road or driving a car if you have an extreme fear of flying you’ll know these well-meant words will fall on deaf ears.

It’s interesting to note that all fears are learned behaviours (apart from 2 primal fears, being dropped and loud noises) and all phobias are illogical. The person experiencing the fear, literally feeling it, probably knows it’s illogical but for whatever reason, logic eludes them.


Because fear is in your subconscious mind and your subconscious mind has one job, and that’s to keep you safe and alive! Your subconscious mind is there to store and retrieve data, it stores all your memories, everything you’ve seen, heard, read, watched and experienced and its job is to ensure you respond exactly the way you’ve been programmed! And it doesn’t matter who or what is responsible for the programming. If your programming has been hacked by memory, it will be retrieved and replayed on the IMAX of your creative mind in wondrous technicolour.

You see, your subconscious mind is subjective. It doesn’t think or reason independently, it simply obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind. The end.

And so, if you think, remember, and recall a fear, your subconscious mind will call to action all the ingredients (adrenaline and cortisol) required for the fear to be felt, physically. You go into “fight or flight” (no pun intended) and it is this state, this feeling, that results in panic. Shortness of breath, racing heart, dry mouth the instinct to run away and hide from the supposed threat, and all because your subconscious mind thinks it’s helping you out! Cheers for that.

Ok, so how to overcome Aerophobia – Fear of flying.

Some people take a tablet. Something prescribed by a doctor to take the edge off (often referred to as a knock-out drop) And there are all sorts of over-the-counter pills and potions aimed to dull the feeling, and while this might work for some, it doesn’t address the source of the fear, it’s a sticking plaster, a temporary fix.

There is a method called exposure therapy which as its name suggests, gradually exposes you to the object or situation that you fear until you become desensitised to it. For example, if you had a fear of spiders, you would be encouraged to sit in the same room as the spider, gradually moving closer until eventually, you can hold the spider without feeling the fear, however, in the case of aerophobia, I’m sure you’ll agree is less than an ideal solution, not to mention incredibly expensive!

And so, as fear is located in the subconscious mind, psychological therapies are ideal and clinical hypnotherapy is one of the most popular.

Can hypnosis cure my phobia?

While the word cure is a big word and I’m wary to use it in most cases, in the case of phobias the answer is yes. Hypnosis can your phobia.

How many sessions will I need?

Well, that depends entirely on the individual but as a rule of thumb, 2-6 sessions usually do the trick.

What can I expect in a hypnotherapy session?

The experience of a hypnotic trance is not unusual. On the contrary, it feels similar to countless other moments in your life where you may have been absorbed in a good book or movie, lost in thought, engrossed in music, driving to your destination and not remembering quite how you got there or even meditating.

Once you enter a state of hypnosis, your body will feel calm and deeply relaxed. You’re not asleep and are focused and alert. In this state, your conscious mind is quiet while your subconscious mind becomes much more receptive to positive suggestions for change. It’s a completely natural, drug-free way to overcome your fear of flying, once and forever.

Overcome your fear of flying so that you can enjoy every single moment of your holiday, from the planning to the arrival.


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