I am terrified of the thought of flying. I am terrified of the thought of boarding a plane. I am so terrified, I fear booking a flight abroad.
These are the common thoughts that run through the mind of someone who has a fear of flying and it has become a somewhat ‘normalised’ phobia. However, there comes a point when you must step up and take control of your anxiety and emotional turmoil associated with flying and associate it with something good.
Below are the 10 ways you can begin to conquer your own fear as cited by Easy Jet’s fear of flying course:
1. Focus on the right things – Focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want! If I say to you don’t think of an elephant, what do you do? The point is the mind can’t process negatives, so if you focus on the wrong things then you end up with them! I don’t want to panic- Ends up in you focusing on panic! I don’t want to die – Ends up in you focusing on death! Is that useful when you are about to fly?
So remember to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want. In the course I show people how to take control of their thinking and then they soon realize that fear is a choice.
2 – Notify – Tell the cabin staff that you have a fear of flying when you board the plane. Don’t be embarrassed about it, as then the cabin staff are highly trained and are used to phobics, so they will be able to look after you if you happen to get scared during the flight. This also will take some of the pressure off of you, as you will have a professional on board who understands your situation and who can help you.
3 – Think of turbulence differently – This is called a positive reframe. If it does become turbulent then imagine that you are in a car driving over the many bumps and potholes in the road. When we are in a car we don’t think twice about it, as bumps in the road are completely normal and we forget how bumpy it really can be, but when we are on a plane our mind blows each and every tiny the movement out of all proportion.
In reality the plane moves far less than we perceive, so remember to positively reframe what turbulence means in your mind.
4 – Pre-book your seat – This takes away a lot of the stress, as not knowing where you are going to sit can cause us anxiety. Another tip is sit in the middle of the aircraft, as this will receive the least amount of movement during the flight and should it become turbulent it will be the most comfortable place to sit.
5 – Learn to breath! – This might seem an odd statement but many people don’t realize that when they are anxious they are shallow breathing from the upper part of their abdomen. Short shallow breaths will automatically make you more anxious. When we are relaxed we breath from the lower part of our abdomen. So if you feel yourself getting anxious then immediately place your hand on the lower part of your abdomen and take some nice deep breaths and make sure your breathing is coming from down there. You will be able to feel your hand expand and contract against your lower abdomen.
6 – Watch what you drink – Avoid coffee or caffeine products, as this can cause a hyper state of mind, which will exacerbate your anxiety. Drink lots of water, as dehydration only contributes to the fear process.
7 – Mind Movies – Your mind movies that you play in your head totally control how you feel. Most people will play the worse case scenario over and over again in their head for example the plane exploding and crashing in mid air! Of course if you keep playing that movie in your head then this will create fear for sure!
Once you understand that you can control the movies then you can learn to play different movies inside your head and ultimately change the way you feel and the way you behave. During the course we focus on some really amazing techniques to change these negative mind movies effortlessly and permanently.
8 – Avoid being late – Leave plenty of time to get to the airport, as there is nothing worse for adding to stress than sitting in heavy traffic wondering if you are going to make it for your flight or not. So avoid being late at all costs. Also wear comfortable clothing, as tight constricting clothing will also cause you to be agitated and stressed.
9 – Be Careful what you say to yourself – So many times our Negative internal dialogue or self-talk or what I call a NIM can literally talk ourselves into very negative states of mind, so you have to learn to be aware of what you say to yourself, especially when you start to feel yourself getting anxious. Remember we are actually in control of all of this self-talk but we just don’t realise it so therefore we have the ability to change it. The first step is to become aware of it then try to change it for something more productive and calming. During the course I teach many techniques of how to turn your NIM into what I call a PIM – Positive internal dialogue.
10 – Avoid filling in the gaps – You have to learn how to spot the limiting illusions you carry around with you. Our mind tends to fill in the gaps because it is not in control of the facts, so every time you hear any unusual noise on the plane or feel a funny movement or sensation your brain tends to fill in the gaps and if you have a great imagination as most phobic’s do, then they tend to fill in the gaps with negative meanings. So a simple call bell for the cabin staff suddenly to a phobic becomes a signal from the captain that the plane is about to make an emergency landing!
And if you need a little more encouragement, here at fear-busters, I have been helping anyone that seeks my assistance to reflect on their fear of flying and conquer their emotions. Here a few testimonials from clients:
You can also read how Fear-Busters helped Julie conquer her fear of flying here: http://mojomums.co.uk/review-of-fear-busters-by-julie/
‘Lauren was recommended to me to help me overcome my fear of flying. I only ever really travelled when I was younger and they were always terrible long haul journeys where I felt a pit of anxiety in my gut and awful motion sickness. As a result, I didn’t fly until my mid 20s and even though they were short haul flights, I was petrified and taking sedatives to help calm my nerves but this had little affect. I can’t thank Lauren enough, after seeing her for a handful of sessions, I travelled on my honeymoon and had a really enjoyable 12 hour flight both there and back. I was able to move around plane and eat the food provided (2 things I have never been able to do), as well as stay awake and watching TV when I would normally sleep off the journey. Not only did Lauren help with my fear of flying but she got to the root of what it was and helped me through it. As I was seeing her just before my wedding she even gave me techniques for the duration of my wedding week which kept me calm and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment without any stress in the lead up to the wedding as a result. Her techniques are very powerful but so simple and effective that I can use them whenever I feel I need too. She was so supportive and kept in touch throughout and even checked up on me after flying! She is kind natured person and really connects with you in ways you wouldn’t think were possible. I don’t have any anxiety towards flying anymore and she has generally removed what causes that feeling in other situations also. I was sceptical of the tapping method at first but when I started to see the results I was astonished. I feel like I have a new lease of life and can visit the world. I would highly recommend her. Thanks Lauren’.