Are you a fearful flyer? Does your heart race or your palms sweat at the mere thought of getting in a large metal tube that weighs as much as 395,000 lbs. at takeoff, is 159 feet long (more than half the length of a football field), and somehow manages to stay in the air 35,000 feet above the earths surface? If so, you have plenty of company. If you have doubts about that, next time you are in an airport take a look at the number of people in bars and lounges, even at 9:00 a.m., who need to down a little liquid courage before they can board a plane.
Separate surveys conducted by Boeing and USA Today since 9/11 indicate that one out of every six travelers is highly fearful of air travel, and millions more experience some degree of anxiety. Even frequent flyers commonly experience symptoms of stress such as increased heart rate, nausea, heavy sweating, shortness of breath and panicky or uncontrolled thoughts. With todays heightened security procedures, tightly packed planes and an increasing number of flight delays, the logistics of air travel itself are becoming ever more stressful. Add aerophobia or fear of flying to the mix and air travel can be an absolute nightmare. It is no wonder that so many travelers routinely resort to tranquilizers or alcohol. According to a 1997 study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, more than 60% of fearful fliers use sedatives or alcohol to try to reduce their fear. Since 9/11, that number may well have increased. While alcohol may provide temporary relief, the down side is that it can also cause anxiety and interfere with a persons ability to function after landing.
Fear of flying seriously impacts those who struggle with it. It not only sabotages family vacations, school trips, family and class reunions, holiday trips and honeymoons, it cripples or interferes with the careers of millions of Americans. There are countless numbers of people who have been forced to pass up promotions or miss out-of-town meetings, conferences, training sessions or sales presentations because of their terror of flying. You may be one of them.
There is a cost to employers as well in terms of decreased productivity and strained working relationships. According to Jim Abelson, director of the Anxiety Disorders Program at the University of Michigan, The cost to employers is substantial. Many employers dont know the price they are paying because the cost is hidden. Some of the costs are not so hidden. Consider the case of John Madden, former commentator on Monday Night Football, who traveled to games in a plush $800,000 private bus because he could never conquer his fear of flying.
There are also other less obvious consequences for employers. Less qualified employees may be hired for positions requiring air travel, or less capable workers may have to be sent to out of town meetings and industry conferences. Companies have been known to fire employees who cannot fly. This seems to be a common occurrence when a small company is bought out by a larger one and a fearful infrequent flyer is suddenly expected to fly more.
Aerophobia is miserable and easily triggered. Even the sight of an airport, the smell of the plane, the closeness of seatmates, or a childs loud screaming can send someone over the edge. It is a complex fear involving many different aspects. While each persons fear is unique, some of the most common components are:
Fear of crashing or falling out of the air
Fear of being out of control
Fear of being trapped with no way out
Fear of turbulence
Fear of the plane breaking apart
Fear of heights
As debilitating as it is, fear of flying is not something anyone has to live with. It can easily be overcome. There are numerous classes and programs offered by airlines, psychologists and even retired pilots. Although many of these are quite effective, they also tend to be time consuming and expensive. A common approach in these programs is to bombard the conscious mind with an overload of information about safety statistics and demonstrations of aerodynamics and how the plane works. While this information is certainly helpful, it does not address the root cause of the fear which lies in the subconscious mind. As Albert Einstein said, No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.....
Energy therapies such as NLP, EMDR, hypnosis, PSYCH-K and EFT are all highly effective ways to neutralize and release this fear at the subconscious level. While many of these therapies require the assistance of a practitioner or therapist, EFT is something everyone can learn to use on their own. It is a process that can be put to use anywhere and everywhere to reduce fear of flying or any other type of fear or emotional issue. The EFT process establishes direct communication with the subconscious mind by tapping on a series of meridians on the upper body. The process is easy to learn and the effects are long lasting or permanent. Learning to use EFT can open doors to a whole new world. If you have been avoiding air travel because of your fear, take a step toward freedom today. No longer will you have to turn down promotions or job assignments and avoid vacations to distant places.