How can we help a fear of flying?

FEAR OF FLYING?

The fear of flying (aerophobia) is an excessive worry about air travel; apparently as many as one in ten of us are affected by it! A fear of flying tends to lead to increased anxiety and potentially panic attacks at the thought of flying. As a result, many avoid air travel.

So, what could help?


SOME FACTS TO BALANCE OUT THAT FEAR

Firstly – whilst I’m happy to acknowledge that fear does not tend to be logical – it is always helpful to examine how realistic one’s fears may be. So:

• For those who avoid jetting off to foreign shores for fear of dying in a plane crash, it could be worth noting that your odds of dying in a plane crash are about one in 11,000,000. In fact, you’re more likely to be struck by lightning, which comes with a one in 13,000 chance for your lifetime.

• Plus…even if the plane does crash – which is highly unlikely – The National Transportation Safety Board estimates there’s a 95% of survival based on their studies of past commercial aircraft accidents.

• And, if it is terrorism you’re worried about, it may be helpful to know that there’s roughly one incident per 16,553,385 departures. You’re more likely to be eaten by a shark!


SUPPORTIVE SUPPLEMENTS

As well as remembering all the facts and logic, to try and balance out fear, there are also certain supplements which could prove helpful. Many have been used by my clients over the years, to help them take control of their anxiety and get on that plane.

One of my favourites is called Passiflora: I always describe this herb as pacifying – exactly what we need when fear hits!

Passiflora, taken from the Passionflower, has been used by herbalists for hundreds of years to support those who struggle with anxiety. It appears to promote feelings of calm and relaxation. Passiflora could be taken on its own, or in combination with other helpful botanical ingredients – such as Avena sativa and Lemon balm. Avena sativa, which is sourced from oats, has a great reputation for easing anxiety, whilst Lemon balm can help to soothe a nervous tummy. I have suggested a combination of these three ingredients to many people over the years – usually with fantastic feedback.

The other remedy being talked about at the moment for reducing stress and anxiety is CBD oil. Whilst I do accept that the role CBD plays in the endocannabinoid system could lead to a calmer feeling, it is important to be careful when travelling with this product: Always check the rules of the country you are travelling to before you decide to try this one!


HELPFUL HYPNOTHERAPY

Hypnotherapy for fear of flying tends to take place over 3 sessions, and uses a technique known as rewind and reframe. The idea is to reset your brain to expect a positive from flying, rather than a negative. I have carried out this technique with numerous people over the years, with brilliant results. One girl, who would never get on a flight before, now goes abroad at least once a year… and has flown to America! So, if all else has failed, hypnotherapy could be well worth a try.


Look out for my next blog, where I’ll be exploring travel & festival essentials.


Written by Jenny Logan DNMed (Jenny is a nutritional therapist who has worked with clients in health food stores and private clinics for over 20 years).

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