Fear of flying hypnosis
How we learn, create habits and are able to change them
Hypnosis for fear of flying has its roots deep in science. During the 1890’s Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov established the theory of classical conditioning, where we learnt the brain builds memories by association and clarified the process of implanting a conditioned response. Pavlov noticed that when he prepared his dogs food that that they began to salivate. He in turn rang a bell as the dogs salivated and noticed after a while that when he rang the bell even when there was no food about the dogs still salivated.
To take it further he rang the bell and shone a light on the dogs and once again on cue the dogs would salivate when the light was shone on them. This highlighted the way our brain creates memories by association and was a paramount discovery in understanding our conditioning.
Much time has passed and this work has now been continued by neuroscience bringing a deeper understanding of how we learn, create habits and are able to change them.
In hypnosis circles the process of creating a habit by association can be called establishing an anchor to a resource state. In our modern lives we are constantly creating associations from our environment based on our experiences. Related to this, a common condition I work with as a hypnotherapist is fear of flying, so lets use this as an example.
“Hi Scott, hope you’re well. Just a quick text to let you know this afternoon was the completion of 3 flights in 2 weeks a total of 51/2 hours in the sky. Glad to report that it was an amazing holiday with friends and family when the phone wasn’t ringing and emails coming in.
It hasn’t been easy and I still have a lot of work to do to get to my goal of going to Greece again however, the fact that I’m even flying again is a credit to your work. Thank you for helping me get to this point and without any pills or aids other than a small squishy soccer ball. Look forward to seeing you soon”
Steven T – Paddington
Tom had a bad experience on an aeroplane where he was worked up to the point of extreme discomfort and fear. The next time Tom boarded a plane he began to sweat, his heart raced, his breathing became fast and he had the overwhelming feeling he had to get off the flight immediately.
This state of discomfort was in fact a panic due to a rush of stress hormones being delivered to his body that he had no control over. We call this an ’emotional hijacking’ leaving the recipient with limited cognitive ability and excessive levels of adrenaline and energy for the body to utilise.
What happened here is that Tom’s emotional brain (limbic system) remembered that the last time he was on a plane he felt extreme discomfort and built an association between the intense feeling of fear and the visual image of being in an aeroplane. His amygdala (part of limbic system) sent out signals to release stress hormones, which put Tom in a state of readiness, which we refer to as a “panic attack”.
From this point on, every time Tom now sits in a plane or even contemplates boarding one, he experiences that same extreme discomfort of the stress hormones entering his blood stream. The response is intense enough that Tom now avoids air travel and has lost a part of his freedom.
Reprogramming the brain using hypnosis for fear of flying
A stress response is essential in life to keep us safe when faced with an actual environmental threat, though in the example above, Tom fears something else and this is important to note…. Tom doesn’t fear the flight…. he fears his own response that is triggered by the flight and the onset of the stress chemical-induced panic attack!
This is great news as we can change our perceptions of what we have learnt and reprogram our brain back to how it was before the initial sensitising event of that first uncomfortable flight.
We can understand that we create this fear within us and therefore we can control it, rather than it controlling us.
Due to fear of flying being a common phobia, I offer services where I can restructure the old memory and anchor in a new resource state to overwrite the conditioned fear response, much the same as Pavlov did with his dogs.
The processes I use to reprogram a new association are quite extensive, although I do a lot of the work and for the sufferer it’s often as easy as listening to my voice and following my instruction.
Successful hypnosis for fear of flying
Should you have a fear of flying or any other phobia please make an appointment and together we will find the solution to the source of your debilitating fear and anxiety. All you need to do is have confidence in the training I give you, the work we will do together and book that ticket to freedom that you were born with.
Clinical Hypnotherapist, Qualified NLP Practitioner, Mindfulness Stress Reduction Teacher, and holds Certificate 4 in Fatigue Management.
I believe that we have all the resources within us that are needed to heal ourselves, although having someone that has walked the walk and undertaken the training needed to facilitate you in effecting the change is essential. Find out how you can work with me here.
BY: Scott Allerton
Hypnotherapy, Overcoming Anxiety, Overcoming Fear & Phobias