Man looking out plane window

For many of us, getting on a plane is one of life’s pleasures. Sitting back in your seat, looking over the landscape below, on your way to an exciting destination or important business trip.

But many people are denied this pleasure because of a deep-seated fear of flying. The hours, days, weeks, even months leading up to a flight are filled with anxiety. The flight itself is only bearable through taking sedatives, drinking alcohol, or both.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you’ve never tried the powerful tool of hypnotherapy to overcome a fear of flying, after you read this blog I feel sure you will be convinced.

Common symptoms for fear of flying

Although the fear of flying is a learnt fear – more on that later – the symptoms you feel are very real. 

Before you get on a plane, and often increasing once on board, you will feel any combination of the following symptoms:

  • Panic
    Heart racing or pounding
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Claustrophobia
  • Heightened senses
  • Sweaty palms
    Inability to focus
  • Mind racing
  • Dry mouth

Experiencing symptoms like these probably puts you off flying altogether, right? That’s understandable. Why would you put yourself through that torment?

Well, flying at some stage in your life is almost inevitable, and getting to the root of the problem could lead to successfully treating it so that you never have to feel this way again.

What causes fear of flying?

Firstly, it’s important to understand why you are afraid to fly. The first obvious thing to address is exactly what you are afraid of. If you’re like most flight phobic people, it’s the fear of a plane crash. 

Despite air travel being 100 times safer than car travel, 3,000 times safer than a motorbike and twice as safe as taking a train, you often cannot separate your irrational fear from these reassuring statistics. That’s because you’re in a huge aircraft travelling at high speed, thousands of miles above the ground.

The noises, movements, ‘fasten seat belt’ signs and safety demonstrations all add to the idea that travelling in the air is somehow unnatural for humans, and unsafe.

You may have linked phobias, such as claustrophobia, vertigo or agoraphobia – all of which are linked to loss of control.

You’ve also probably watched many films involving air disasters or terrorist incidents. It’s quite possible that you have been involved in scary situations on planes, such as turbulence or rapid descent, which usually feel a lot scarier than they actually are.

You may have seen other people gripped by fear on a plane. It may even have been your own parents when you were a child.

All of these things add up to that “learnt fear” I mentioned earlier. Your brain has put together all of these features of flying and taught you to be scared. It’s not an innate, evolutionary or genetic condition like panic, anxiety or agoraphobia. Therefore it can be unlearnt. And here’s how.

Use hypnosis to overcome fear of flying

We at Subconsciously think that the best way to unlearn any learnt fear, anxiety, mental tic, addiction or unwanted behaviour is through hypnosis. By accessing the subconscious mind where the fear sits, and releasing it. 

With flying, we understand that it’s not just boarding a flight that triggers fear. It can begin months in advance, when you book your flight. When you get in the taxi to the airport. Even for the whole week on holiday you can be worrying about your return flight – ruining the enjoyment of your trip abroad. 

Using hypnosis to rid yourself of this fear means that none of these moments will cause you anxiety any longer. In fact, you will look forward to plane travel as a positive, fun experience.

So what is hypnotherapy and how can it cure your fear of flying?

Well, the science of how hypnosis works is complex and involves the neurochemistry inside your brain. Effectively, the process of being hypnotised calms the parts of your brain involved in doing tasks, making decisions, self-reflecting and the parts that control breathing and heart rate.

In other words, it puts you into such a state of tranquillity that you are open to the suggestions that a hypnotherapist will say to you. In this case, those suggestions will be about flying and all of the wonderful, positive aspects of air travel.

After a course of hypnotherapy sessions, these suggestions will stay embedded in your subconscious mind, totally transforming the way you think and feel about something. In this case, you will come to see flying as a total breeze. 

What happens during a hypnosis session?

Hypnosis is a form of therapy. So the first thing your hypnotherapist is likely to do is sit you in a large comfortable chair in a softly-lit room. You will already begin to feel that you’re in a safe space. 

Next, the hypnotherapist may explain how the process will work. Or, they may simply ask you to close your eyes and begin to take you into a state of deep relaxation, almost like a trance. They will take you to your calm space, making sure that you are in a warm and comfortable headspace.

Then they will use calming, soothing words and suggestions to help you imagine the scenario you are afraid of, i.e. boarding a plane, taking off, landing, but in a completely different way to how you’ve always viewed these things. In a positive, transformational, inspirational, normalising, relaxing way.

When you return from the trance-like state of hypnosis into the real world, you may be subtly aware of a change in the way you conceptualise things. You may feel more positive, capable, confident.

How many sessions does it take to remove a fear of flying?

For something deep-rooted like a fear of flying, it can often take a full course of sessions to embed these positive changes into your subconscious. It could require a minimum of 6-8 sessions, depending on your responsiveness. In some cases, it can require fewer sessions. Everyone responds differently to hypnosis.

The goal is that the next time you plan a plane journey, or board a plane, instead of feeling the symptoms we listed above, you will hear the words your therapist implanted in your subconscious mind, and feel totally relaxed and safe, like you were in the hypnotherapist’s chair. 

What techniques does hypnotherapy use for fear of flying?

Your therapist might get you to visualise being on a plane. Looking out the window. Watching an in-flight movie. Being served your meal. Chatting to the cabin crew.

All of these very normal activities will be suggested to you as pleasurable experiences. You’ll be able to see yourself as that happy, confident flyer.

Your subconscious mind will do the rest. You will hold and store those positive mental thoughts. They will become your approach to flying. Any negative thoughts you once had will melt away, replaced by positive ones that will transform your whole view of air travel into a magical experience.

Where can I find a hypnotherapist?

There are hypnotherapy directories online that will help you find a therapist. They list all of the qualified hypnotherapists in your area. Some of them will also offer virtual sessions, done via video call.

Among these you will find City Hypnosis, run by Aaron Surtees, who has been offering hypnotherapy treatments at his central London office for two decades.

But what if we told you you don’t need to find a hypnotherapist? What if hypnosis could come to you?

Get hypnotherapy at home!

Over the past year, Aaron has been hard at work creating a self-hypnosis app called Subconsciously. The app contains numerous audio hypnosis recordings that you can access anytime, anywhere.

Subconsciously works just the same as if you were in a large comfy chair in Aaron’s office, it’s just that the sessions are taking place in the comfort of your own home, at the tap of a button on your phone screen.

All you have to do is find yourself a quiet space at home, some headphones (preferably noise cancelling ones) and make sure that you won’t be interrupted.

Then you select your programme of choice, in this case fear of flying, but you are also quite likely to find other useful programmes, besides plane phobia, to deal with issues you’ve been experiencing. And sit back and let Subconsciously work its magic.

Subconsciously has a dedicated programme designed to help you and thousands of other people around the world overcome your fear of flying. We highly recommend you give it a try today, starting with a free 7-day trial and followed up with an affordable, effective package to suit your needs.