fear of flying

Do you have aerophobia ?

Do you have aerophobia? Aerophobia, the fear of flying, is estimated to affect at least 10% of the adult population. In this blog we will consider the likely causes of this phobia, the key symptoms, and their impact. We will then discover  how you can help yourself manage your fear of flying and how hypnotherapy can help you.

What causes aerophobia ?

Aerophobia may be linked to another fear e.g. fear of enclosed spaces or fear of heights.

Media coverage of plane crashes, together with films focusing on flight malfunctions is a common source of flight anxiety and fear.

Personal experience can also play a major role. If you have experienced an unexpected and unpleasant in-flight experience it is likely that the memory of that experience will remain with you,  Your mind then attempts to protect you from experiencing a similar situation and so a fear response is generated.

What are the key symptoms of aerophobia?

Aerophobia is linked to feelings of not being in control, which results in feelings of fear and anxiety.

Extreme, unremitting anxiety is the most obvious symptom.

Physical symptoms may include trembling, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, digestive difficulties, sensations of choking and raised heart rate.

Psychologically, thinking can become less clear, you may feel disoriented, irritable and unable to focus on anything other than the prospect of flying. Focusing on this prospect fuels your high levels of anxiety even further. For some people, this may spill over into a panic attack.

What is the impact of aerophobia?

The impact of aerophobia varies considerably. For some travellers, the very thought of having to travel by plane is sufficient to provoke feelings of fear and dread. Others may experience anxiety and fear within the airport building or at the point of boarding, whilst some travellers only experience the anxiety and fear when actually sitting in the plane or at the point of take-off.

How to manage your fear of flying.

  1. Avoid stimulants (e.g. caffeine and alcohol) as they will increase your feelings of fear and anxiety.
  2. Educate yourself. If you are anxious about flying, learn about the many safety procedures in place and how difficulties (e.g. turbulence) are successfully managed in flight.
  3. Share your fear. By sharing your fear you will gain a new perspective. You may also be surprised to learn that others whom you know have had this fear in the past and have now overcome it.
  4. Set travel goals. By setting travel goals you will be helping yourself to move forward by planning. This plan will help you to then take the very first steps towards managing your flying fear more effectively.
  5. Ask for help. By asking for help you will begin to feel less isolated. Goal setting and achievement will seem easier when you are not trying to do it all on your own.

How can hypnotherapy help ?

Hypnotherapy can help you learn how to relax and provides strategies to enable you to manage your fear and anxiety responses more effectively.

By using the power of your subconscious mind, hypnotherapy can help you to undo the negative associations you have about flying and transform these into positive, helpful associations.

You will change the way you think about flying and as you do so, your physiological and emotional responses will change too.

Your way of thinking about flying will permanently change, enabling you to break down the barriers of anxiety and fear that stand between you and your next holiday abroad.


If you would like a free, informal chat to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you overcome your aerophobia, contact me today to make an appointment.