My first experience of hypnotherapy was as a thirteen-year-old, wanting to overcome the fear of flying. It was, needless to say, very effective. I think it took two sessions.
Fear of fear itself
However, the funny thing is, that by the time I saw the hypnotherapist, it wasn’t the fear of flying that scared me. It was the fear of fear itself.
Sitting on the runway on a charter flight to Greece, I had my first real experience of terror. Nothing I had experienced up until that point could have prepared me for it. I learned that the physical effects of adrenaline cannot be overplayed.
State of hyper-vigilance
The whole world collapsed in my state of hyper-vigilance. My heart felt like a ticking bomb in my rib cage; my lungs felt restricted as if all the oxygen had been sucked out of the air. The blood was pounding in my ears. My ability to communicate was severely impaired. It was as if an invisible cage was imprisoning me.
One of the cabin crew stood next to me as we waited for that flight to take off. But in those minutes, the overwhelming and unfamiliar feelings that I experienced made me believe that being ‘scared to death’ was a very real possibility.
Loss of confidence
Consequently, I completely lost confidence that my body could cope. Although I was convinced I would die in that plane, it was nothing to do with a crash. I simply thought that my body wouldn’t survive the experience.
Needless to say, the prospect of the flight home cast something of a shadow over the family holiday! I can’t remember the flight back.
Physical rebellion from within
Even though we talk about fear, we tend to think of it as a mental state. What I experienced that day proved to me that fear is a full-on, visceral, physical rebellion from within.
In the intervening three decades or so, I’ve taken more flights than I care to count. Some have been for work. Some have been for holidays. I’ve lived abroad on several different occasions, which has meant regular flights to and from the UK. Although I don’t always love flying, that’s because these days I find it a bit tedious. Waiting on the runway no longer feels like waiting for my own execution!
Fix your fear of flying
Hypnotherapy provided the key to a life that I might otherwise have been too afraid to experience.
Perhaps your can relate to elements of my story. Or perhaps your experience is entirely different. However your fear or phobia manifests itself, there is a way to change it.
Do contact me if you would like to find out more about Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy.