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Fear of Flying and Holiday Stress

Holiday stress tends to add to the feeling of anxiety and fear of flying.

Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress

Captain “Sully” safely lands his plane after birds immobilize the engine.

Northwest/Delta pilots obliviously fly past their destination because they were supposedly on their laptops.

Yet in another incident, a pilot was found to be smashed before his flight.

I know, these episodes do nothing to calm your fears.

As the holidays approach and you make plans to visit family and friends, can you feel your anxiety building?

As if holiday stress isn’t enough, you also have a fear of flying. Maybe even some claustrophobia, fear of heights or a fear of not being in control.

Don’t you want to get rid of that feeling of fear once and for all? You won’t have to timidly explain your fears to your friends. They won’t understand.

Would you rather enjoy a jar of sand from Hawaii that your friend brings back OR wouldn’t you prefer to go there and dip your feet in the sand yourself? Even though you want to travel to see your family and friends, you’re still not sure it’s worth it.

The only options are to go the slow way…meaning drive there…and who has the time?

Another option is to stay home and miss all the holiday memories and fun. Who wants to do that?

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to help you through the anxiety of getting through the airports.

1. Do get to the airport early. Get there in plenty of time so that you can make it through long lines and airport security.

2. Don’t attempt to bring liquids or wrapped gifts through security.

3. Do make sure your luggage meets the weight and size restrictions so that you don’t have to pay a surcharge.

4. Don’t make jokes about anything that could be considered a breach of security. The TSA will take this very seriously.

5. Do bring snacks, games, music to pass the time away in case of delays.

6. Don’t read the news or google ‘airline crashes’ before you go. This will only serve to increase your fear.

7. Do check in online so that you can print your boarding pass and get seats together with your family.

Follow these tips to help make your trip through the airport a little easier. Often the fear of flying is just the fear of not knowing what to expect in the airport.

Fear of Flying: Why Airplane Turbulence Shouldn’t Scare You!

It’s not airplane turbulence unless the coffee is in your lap!

For those with a fear of flying, airplane turbulence is when the paralyzing feeling of panic sets in. That’s the moment when you grip the armrests so tightly that your knuckles turn white and you don’t let go until you are safely on the ground.

Is this what causes airplane turbulence?

Is this what causes airplane turbulence?

I know that while you are worried about airplane turbulence, the pilots are not overly concerned. That’s because we know what causes it. Even though it creates an uncomfortable, bumpy ride it’s mostly nothing to worry about.

I believe that with knowledge comes power.

When you understand what is happening behind the scenes in the cockpit your fears will lessen. That is the whole point behind this blog. I want you to fly with peace of mind and a sense of security. These behind the scenes discoveries will help.

I have always enjoyed looking at the clouds and imagining shapes in them and so does my wife. Just the other day, she looked up and said “Oh, I see a bunny in the clouds”.  I looked up and saw it too. Of course I saw a ‘chocolate bunny’ – the kind they sell at Easter!

These clouds are what cause most turbulence. The variations in temperature cause the air to move around. When the airplane flies through one of these air pockets it causes a bumpy ride. Though we try to avoid it, that’s not always possible.

The reason that airplane turbulence is the beginning of most flying anxiety is because it’s something that touches your senses in a very real way.  You feel the plane moving around differently. You see the coffee cup shaking. You hear the pilot tell you to fasten your seatbelt.

Does this airplane turbulence result in a serious problem?

You’ll get even more details to help you overcome fear of flying with my full system, which includes self hypnosis and NLP techniques to rid your flying anxiety forever.

Don’t let this aviophobia keep you grounded. You can overcome your fear of flying and begin to travel to all the places you’ve wanted to go to. And you can do so with a calm feeling of enjoyment.

Fear Of Flying Musings

As if we don’t have enough to worry about with a fear of flying. Today is Friday the 13th!

Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying

Are you worried about Friday the 13th? That’s called paraskavedekatriaphobia. Yes, there’s a name for everything.  Or maybe you just worry about the number 13. That’s called tridkaidekaphobia. That’s the reason why some airplanes are missing row 13 .

I know your main concern is with the fear of flying. This is number three on the “What Really Scares People” list. It’s also called aviophobia and aerophobia.  I never heard of this one: Ephebiphobia is the fear of teenagers. As the father of two teenagers, I can relate to that.

There are some questions I haven’t answered in my video series and one of them is “Can I get suctioned to the toilet seat?” You’ll find the answer to that and more here:  Airplane Urban Legends Debunked

These are some articles I have enjoyed reading and thought you might too.

To get access to my free video series ‘7 Tips to Fly Stress Free’, just sign up in the box at right.

Fear of Flying or Claustrophobia?

I’m curious, is it really a fear of flying or is it claustrophobia?

Fear of flying and claustrophobia

Fear of Flying and Claustrophobia

Sometimes it’s a combination of both.  Claustrophobia is the fear of not being able to escape an enclosed space.  It often results in a panic attack and a feeling of suffocation.

Someone with claustrophobia may not actually fear flying; instead they may be worried about what could happen to them in a confined space. They will often do whatever it takes to avoid the situation.

Many of my clients say that they feel safer in a car. They think that they are able to escape the confined space of a car more easily than an airplane.  When I point out that it is not necessarily true, it makes no difference to the client.

You see, fears are not based on logic. Fears are illogical beliefs that are held by the subconscious mind. In order to overcome fear, it makes sense to use techniques that are creative. They may even seem somewhat illogical.

The Swish pattern can immediately remove any fear, including the fear of flying.  It’s something you can even do on your own.

Here are five steps:

1. Create a picture in your mind of yourself flying in fear. What does that look like?

2. Create a picture in your mind of yourself flying with calm sense of confidence. What does that look like?

3. Take the first picture and make it black and white. Then make it really small.

4. Take the second picture and make it vibrant and colorful. Then make it really big.

5. Focus on the big, vibrant, colorful picture of yourself flying with confidence.

Practice this several times.

Realize that some find they get better results when guided by a professional. You can get more details about this technique and others in my program, “Lose the Fear – and Fly!”

Continental Turbulence and Fear of Flying

Does the recent Continental airplane turbulence incident make you fear flying even more?

Airplane Turbulence Safety

I’m not surprised.

That’s because the media focused on the emotional stories of the passengers after they had an emergency landing in Miami. One after the other, the terrified passengers shared their stories with the media. One bumped her head so hard on the panels above that it cracked the plastic as well as her head.

These stories could turn even the most fearless fliers into a fearful flier in a jiffy. The media likes to focus on these emotional stories. Even better when they are hysterical!

It seemed to come out of nowhere, but as I explained yesterday, turbulence is possible even in clear weather.

Since it was in the middle of the night, many people had taken their seatbelt off so they could stretch out and sleep under a blanket. A blanket may make you feel snug and safe but it’s no substitute for your seatbelt.

The fact is that every single one of the injuries of the twenty six people who were hurt was unnecessary. If each and every one of them had been wearing their seatbelt during the flight, no one would have been hurt, the interior of the cabin would not have been damaged and there would have been no need to divert the plane to Miami for an emergency landing.

In our everyday life, we take precautions for our own safety. We look before we cross the street. We lock our doors at night. We keep our wallet in a safe place.

Instead of focusing on the stories of fear and hysteria, I want you to focus on what you can do for your own safety. Next time you fly, take some safety precautions.

Listen to your pilots and flight attendants when they give safety announcements. The flight attendants are on board for your safety.

The simple action of fastening your seatbelt during flight will make flying safer for you.

Allow this to give you peace of mind and reduce your fear of flying.

You can get even more tips by signing up for “7 Tips to Fly Stress Free” in the upper right corner.

Continental Airplane Turbulence

Today’s Continental airplane turbulence incident injured 26 people and required an emergency landing in Miami during their flight from Rio de Janeiro to Houston.

ContinentalI want to point out that the Continental emergency landing was not because of the airplane. It was because of injuries related to turbulence. They could have easily been avoided.

Some people ignore the pilot’s advice to keep their seatbelts fastened. They’re thinking “What could happen? The flight is so smooth.” Or, they feel uncomfortable with the seatbelt tightened. Maybe they never wear their seatbelt while driving a car and so they aren’t used to the feeling.

We can’t make you keep your seatbelt on, but we strongly suggest that you do.


Today’s airplane turbulence incident is a perfect example.

I’ve flown to South America many times and I’m familiar with that area. There aren’t a lot of other people flying in that area and that means that there are fewer reports of turbulence.

Of course, if there is a storm, our weather radar will pick it up and we’ll be able to go around it.  We’ll slow down to soften the rough ride as well as maintain the structural integrity of the airplane. When we can’t go around it, we make an announcement to the passengers to expect some turbulence and give an extra reminder to put your seatbelts on.

Sometimes airplane turbulence is not expected.  We fly into what is called ‘clear air turbulence’.

What is clear air turbulence?

The air is clear. There’s no storm and so it doesn’t show up on our weather radar screen. The turbulence is unseen. The only way we know about it in advance is if pilots report it to air traffic control.

Pilots will report clear air turbulence when they fly into it so that others can avoid it. In areas where there are a lot of other people flying, this works really well. In areas where there is less traffic such as where the Continental jet was flying, there were probably no reports made.

This is a volatile time for weather in the Caribbean. They were probably flying in an area where the wind was going in one direction and then suddenly shifted to another direction. Turbulence is when the wind is changing directions and flows from high pressure toward the low pressure.

These injuries could have been avoided if they had been wearing their seatbelt.

Understanding the nuances of turbulence can be reassuring  and will help to reduce your fear of flying.  Always keep your seatbelt fastened. It’s not just for airline safety. It’s for you own safety as well.

You can learn more ways to overcome fear of flying in my program “Lose the Fear – and Fly!”

What to Do When You Fear Flying and Yet You Still Need to Fly

Even though you may fear flying, at some point you may find that you have a compelling reason to travel. Perhaps you need to travel for an important business trip, to visit a loved one, or maybe someone keeps bugging you to go on vacation and you finally give in.

As soon as you decide to make the trip, the feeling of dread kicks in. The feeling starts small and then begins to build so that by the time you get on the airplane you’re stuck in the middle of a full blown panic attack.

What do you do?

As an NLP Master Practitioner I understand that we tend to move in one of two directions. We either move away from something we fear, or we move towards something we desire. Realize that we tend to take action based on the direction of our most dominant thoughts.

As you prepare for your flight, what are your thoughts? Are you thinking of all the things that could go wrong? Or, are you thinking of all the good things that will happen when you get there?
One reader writes that she buys the newspaper each day for several days before her flight. If there is a hint of any bad weather such as a thunderstorm or heavy winds, she begins to panic.

What she is actually doing is preparing herself to be terrified during the flight. And never even tells another soul. Does this sound like you?

To make matters worse, she worries about what will happen to her children if something happens to her. She is convinced that if something extraordinary happens during flight then her children will not be taken care of appropriately. As a result, she and her husband often take different flights. I hear this all the time.

As the day of the flight gets closer, you can feel the fear grow stronger. All kinds of worries and doubts begin to surface. Stress and anxiety takes over.

Anxiety is when you live in the future.

After all, anxiety is a fear of what might happen. It’s worrying about things that might go wrong. Your mind is racing as it comes up with all kinds of possible scenarios. All of them bad.

How do you prepare for your flight?

What if, instead of thinking of all the things that could go wrong, you prepare in a different way?
Instead of getting on the plane with all of the thoughts and emotions swirling around in your mind, you can learn to relax during flight.

Through the use of self hypnosis, you can turn your attention to the things that you want to happen.

I give you various tips and techniques in my Lose the Fear and Fly audio to help you through your next flight. Even more importantly, when you practice self hypnosis in the days and weeks before the flight, your mind will already be in the habit of relaxing. It will be easy for you.

Here’s a tip you can follow right now:

Think about what you DO want to feel like when you travel.

What will it look like?

What will it sound like?

What will it feel like?

Be very clear about all the details and make them as vivid as possible.

Focus on this and you will find that this is the direction you will begin to move towards.

Get more here:Lose the Fear – and Fly!

Flight Safety and Turbulence

I’ll give you the answer to the burning question: “Is flight safety adversely affected by bumping airplane turbulence?”

Understand Airplane Turbulence to Overcome Fear of Flying

Understand Airplane Turbulence to Overcome Fear of Flying

For those of you that are afraid to fly, bumping turbulence is a great concern.

I’d like to take a moment and answer the questions and concerns submitted by Larry. I greatly appreciate the comments and questions that some of you with the fear of flying have been sending to me. Keep it coming!

Larry wants to know:

1. What causes the bumping?

2. How much of a flight safety problem is it?

What causes the turbulence?

As a child, I remember lying in the grass watching the puffy clouds go by. I spent hours imaging different shapes in the clouds. Even today, I sometimes look up at the clouds and see a face or an animal.

Flying through the clouds is a different story. It seems that those puffy clouds don’t like getting run over by an airplane.

The turbulence that we feel in an airplane when flying through clouds is simply the circulation of the air. It’s an updraft of going from warm air to cool air and it creates a bumpy ride.

You may say, “I don’t see any clouds and I still feel turbulence!”

Look out the window, do you see mountains? They may be beautiful, yet there is a little known effect called ‘mountain waves’ which also cause a bumpy ride. There are variations of temperatures in all the nooks and valleys of a mountain range. If we remember from school that warm air rises, we can realize that these variations of temperatures are circulating as a result.

How much of a flight safety problem does turbulence create?

Mild turbulence does not cause a flight safety problem at all. You may not like it, especially if the flight attendant has just delivered a hot cup of coffee to you. It may cause you to grip your armrest until your knuckles are white. Your heart may beat faster or your stomach may knot up in discomfort.

If turbulence gets severe, it could be a flight safety problem. It could cause a structural problem with an airplane. That is why pilots practice and rehearse this very situation twice a year in a simulator.

Pilots know that when they experience turbulance it’s time to make some changes not only for flight safety but also for the comfort of their passengers.

Pilots are trained to handle this situation in the simulator and also have lots of hands on experience with it as well because it is so common.

When I hit turbulence, I simply check in with the air traffic controllers and ask if other pilots have reported smoother altitudes.  Then I’ll slow down and go to the altitude where I’m likely to find less bumps.

The moment of sheer terror for people with a fear of flying.

“I’ve been having a smooth ride and now that it’s time to land it’s getting really bumpy again!”

Yes, I know, this happens all the time. Your pilot has found the right cruising altitude for a nice smooth ride and then it gets really bumpy for the landing.

That’s because of something known as the Coriolis Effect. Simply put, the wind is shifting and changing directions as you get closer to the airport. The result of this wind rotation is a very bumpy ride.

I pride myself on my smooth landings, yet sometimes a bumpy landing can’t be helped.

Be sure to get your “7 Tips to Fly Stress Free” by completing the form at the upper right. Also, you’ll find step by step details about how to overcome fear of flying once and for all in my program “Lose the Fear – and Fly!”

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