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Fear of flying prevents the longed-for dream vacation or the important business trip
Wet hands, nausea, racing heart, sweating – do you know this? Does the very idea of getting on a plane scare you? Do you get irritable, nervous and hypersensitive? Then you may suffer from a fear of flying (aviophobia).
According to research conducted by the According to the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research, around 16% of Germans over the age of 14 suffer from fear of flying. And this value has apparently remained virtually unchanged since the first survey in 1994. That’s about 12 million people for whom the human dream of flying becomes a nightmare. In addition, another 22% do not feel fear when flying, but at least a clear sense of unease. That’s more than 30 million adults in Germany for whom flying is a scary idea or even something absolutely impossible.
This then means
- No relaxing vacation on the most beautiful beaches of this earth
- No professional take-off if this requires business trips by plane
- No dream trip for little money by last minute flights
Although everyone knows that flying is statistically safer than driving a car – the fear of flying is still there.
How does fear of flying develop?
What exactly causes a fear of flying (aviophobia) is not clear. It has also been found that there is a “high comorbidity to other anxiety disorders” – meaning that people who suffer from fear of flying often also tend to develop other anxiety disorders, such as agoraphobia (claustrophobia), social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder.
As in the case of other anxiety disorders and phobias, various explanations are possible for the development of the pathological fear of flying, e.g.
- An unpleasant or traumatic experience during a flight, such as violent turbulence.
- Witnessing and observing another person’s fearful behavior can also trigger a phobia – a so-called learned behavior. This is one reason, for example, why phobias occur more frequently in certain families.
- However, hereditary causes cannot be ruled out for such a clustered occurrence of anxiety disorders in the family.
But not only the causes, but also the contents of fear of flying differ: not all fear of flying is the same, but there are different manifestations, such as
- the fear of height and confinement, or
- the fear of losing control by being at the mercy of others, or
- the fear of the crash.
All of these fears originate in the subconscious and can therefore only be controlled consciously to a limited extent, often not at all. Sentences like “Pull yourself together!” are therefore of no use at all. If nothing is done about it, a fear of flying can take on such proportions that air travel with the family is absolutely impossible or professional appointments abroad cannot be attended, even if that means harming one’s own career.
Of course, the airlines are doing a lot to counteract this – not least for economic reasons: They offer seminars against fear of flying, and British Airways even added a video channel with cute kittens and clumsy puppies to its in-flight program in 2014.
Numerous studies have actually proven that engaging with animals and, of course, baby animals – especially cats and dogs – lowers a person’s heart rate and blood pressure. For people with a fear of flying, this is the ideal state: since our brain is not able to feel opposite emotions such as fear and relaxation at the same time. And in this game, the rule is always: the stronger feeling wins!
How hypnosis dissolves the fear of flying
And that is exactly why hypnosis is so helpful for fear of flying. A hypnotic trance has a very calming and relaxing effect: in the state of a hypnotic trance, breathing is deep and calm, the heartbeat and blood pressure drop, stress hormones are released and happiness hormones are built up, in short: the whole body chemistry switches to relaxation.
That’s why you can really let go – especially of fear.
Hypnosis can then be used in this deeply relaxed state to activate the inner powers to take control of one’s own thinking and to consciously say goodbye to the negative images in one’s mind to replace them with more pleasant and helpful images and scenes. If necessary, it is also very easy in hypnosis to dissolve memories of previous stressful or traumatic flight experiences.
Various scientific studies have shown that the therapy of fear of flying with hypnosis is very effective. The success rate was 90% and above, depending on the study. (See also: “Selected Studies on the Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy” by Dirk Revenstorf).
If there are no complex, underlying problems and blockages behind the fear of flying, hypnotherapy against fear of flying usually requires no more than one to three sessions, each lasting 60 to 90 minutes. This means that treating fear of flying with hypnosis often comes at a lower cost than the fear of flying seminars offered by airlines and others. In addition, hypnotherapy is of course always individually tailored to YOU.
I think it’s worth it.