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When I was in my early twenties, I developed a fear of flying that never really went away. At this point in my life, I lived in Japan and France but I was making multiple international flights back to California yearly. Despite having flown since an early age, these flights triggered a deep paralyzing fear of flying.

Fear of Flying

Fear of flying, also known as aviophobia, can vary in intensity from mild unease to debilitating panic attacks. For many people, the fear stems from a combination of factors, including a lack of control, fear of heights or enclosed spaces, and underlying anxieties about safety.

One of the primary reasons behind the fear of flying is the perceived lack of control. Sitting in a metal tube, thousands of feet above the ground, can make even the most adventurous souls feel helpless. Unlike driving or other modes of transportation, air travel takes away your ability to steer, brake, or control the vehicle.

This loss of control can trigger anxiety and fear, especially for individuals who are accustomed to being in charge. Many of my international flights happened at the last minute, leaving me feeling at a complete loss of control. It got so bad, that sedation became my only option. And even with this intervention, the toll it took on me mentally and physically meant DAYS of recovery after!

fear of flying hypnotherapy

Is Fear of Heights a Factor?

Another factor that contributes to the fear of flying is a fear of heights or enclosed spaces. The vast expanse of the sky can be overwhelming for some, while the thought of being confined to a small cabin for hours can induce claustrophobic feelings. These fears can become amplified when combined with other anxieties, such as a fear of turbulence, flying over water, or encountering bad weather conditions.

If you suffer from a fear of flying, then you already know how much worse it is if there’s any sort of turbulence. No matter who was next to me – husband, stranger, friend or otherwise – would be caught in my death grip of fear!

Whatever the root cause of your own fear of flying, it’s important to understand the different elements that contribute to the fear of flying, so that we can begin to address and overcome them.

Can Hypnotherapy Help with a Fear of Flying?

Eventually my mother found a hypnotherapist in Los Angeles and arranged for me to work with her for five days in a row during a visit. I had never been hypnotized and knew nothing about it. But, at this point, I was desperate to try anything!

During my hypnotherapy session, a trained professional guided me into a relaxed state, enabling me to reach a heightened state of suggestibility.

We broke the flight into the take-off, the actual flight and the landing. Turns out in my case, it was the take-off and landings that scared me the most. After our work together, I flew back to Japan and had a successful flight! It was incredible to me that I could feel so empowered and in control!

How does hypnotherapy actually help?

Hypnotherapy can also be used to address specific triggers that may contribute to our fear of flying. For example, if turbulence or the sound of the airplane engine triggers anxiety, a certified hypnotherapist can work with you to desensitize these triggers. By repeatedly exposing you to these stimuli in a controlled and safe environment, hypnotherapy can help you build new associations and break the pattern of fear.

Moreover, hypnotherapy provides us with practical techniques that we can use both during and beyond the sessions. These techniques, such as self-hypnosis and relaxation exercises, empower us to take control of our fear of flying. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, we can reinforce the positive changes achieved during the hypnotherapy sessions and make lasting progress in overcoming your fear.

Transforming Your Subconscious Mind

The irony is not lost on me that it was my mother who found the hypnotherapist. To her dying day, she very proudly claimed she couldn’t be hypnotized despite me later becoming a clinical and medical hypnotherapist!

I never contradicted her but for the last year of her life, I would hypnotize her every time I saw her for pain relief. I was grateful I could use my professional tools to alleviate some of her severe pain and deep discomfort. It didn’t matter to me whether she acknowledged it or not. She was actually very easy to hypnotize and a complete joy to work with. I used an open-eyed trance in her case which is equally as successful as the more traditional close-eyed trance.

Hypnotherapy is not some mysterious or magical practice; it is firmly rooted in scientific principles that help explain its effectiveness. When we undergo hypnotherapy, our brains enter a state of focused attention and heightened suggestibility. This state, known as the hypnotic trance, allows our subconscious mind to be more open to positive suggestions and ideas.

The Science Behind Hypnotherapy

Neurologically, hypnotherapy works by influencing the activity of our brain waves. During a typical day, our brain cycles between different states of consciousness, such as the waking state (beta), relaxed state (alpha), and deep sleep (delta). In the hypnotic trance, our brain waves slow down to the alpha and theta frequencies, which promote relaxation and increased receptiveness to suggestions.

Within this relaxed state, your hypnotherapist guides you through various techniques and visualizations that help reprogram your subconscious mind. By addressing the root causes of your fear of flying, whether it be past traumatic experiences or negative belief patterns, hypnotherapy helps to reshape your perceptions and reactions.

Studies have shown that hypnotherapy can have long-lasting effects on our brain and behavior. Through repeated sessions, the neural pathways in our brain associated with fear and anxiety can be rewired, gradually diminishing our fear responses and replacing them with more positive associations. This rewiring process is known as neuroplasticity, and it highlights the brain’s remarkable ability to adapt and change.

Additionally, hypnotherapy provides us with practical techniques that we can use both during and beyond the sessions. These techniques, such as self-hypnosis and relaxation exercises, empowers you to take control of your fear of flying. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, we can reinforce the positive changes achieved during the hypnotherapy sessions and make lasting progress in overcoming your fear.

Embracing a Fear-Free Future

Recently I flew four times in an 8-day time period. I hadn’t traveled since May of 2022 when I went back to New York city for my daughter’s college graduation. I’m not going to pretend that hypnotherapy cured me completely, as it still takes a lot to get me on a plane. But she was very homesick and couldn’t come home anytime soon and I missed her so much, so this was the compromise. I had also gotten an invite from a dear friend to visit her in Asheville, North Carolina, so I combined the trip.

And to make it through with less stress, I turned to hypnotherapy!

One of the more powerful techniques my first hypnotherapist taught me was to dial down the fear—a tool I still use and now teach to my own clients.

Through skilled guidance, hypnotherapy can help you identify and reframe the negative thoughts and beliefs that underlie your fear of flying, replacing them with more rational and empowering perspectives. By consciously choosing to adopt a mindset that is open to new possibilities, we can begin to dismantle the barriers that hold you back from a fear-free future.

By embracing a future where the skies are limitless and your fears are conquered, you can embark on a journey of personal growth and empowerment. Through hypnotherapy, you can confidently navigate the world of air travel, knowing that you have rewritten your narrative and reclaimed control of your flying experience.

Now is the time to take action. Don’t let fear hold you back any longer. Take the first step towards conquering your fear and embrace the freedom of the skies. Book a free consultation today and unlock the limitless possibilities that await you.

As American author, Mark Twain, once said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” So, let go of your fear and soar high, for the sky’s the limit and your journey awaits.