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Facing a Fear of flying with Hypnotherapy

At 30 000 feet above the ground, hurtling along at 900 km/h, it’s only natural that most people feel some degree of anxiety and stress when flying. Human beings evolved to live on land and spent millennia sailing the seas, but commercial air travel has only been widely accessible since the 1950s. As many as 40% of people experience some fear of flying, and almost everyone dislikes having to do so. But flying allows us to explore the world, visit family, go on holiday, and do business. So, why then, do so some people dislike it? One word – fear. 

Many people hate flying and would prefer to avoid it altogether. But today, it isn’t easy to travel without flying – especially if you’re from Australia. Aside from having to go airborne for many hours just to leave the country, travelling from places like Perth is hard unless you’re prepared to step onto an aircraft. 

But while most people simply bury those in-flight feelings of anxiousness, some of us are prone to acute panic attacks, extended bouts of stress in the run-up to a flight, and even physical symptoms that make flying a nightmare experience. This severe fear, also called clinical aerophobia, afflicts an estimated 2.5% to 6% of adults and can cause many problems in our lives, hampering our ability to travel at all. 

This blog looks at what causes a fear of flying, how hypnotherapy can be used to treat this anxiousness, and how we can take to the air stress-free while transforming our travel into a calming experience. 

The problem with flight

Since the Wright Brothers took to the skies over 100 years ago and the first commercial airliners started ferrying people around the globe, people have always been afraid of flying. Flying isn’t a biological norm for us. Just like people get seasick on the ocean, so too do stress levels increase when taking to the air or even thinking about it. We’re not designed to fly, so when we do, our fight or flight response kicks in. The problem is that there’s nowhere to go once those seatbelt signs have been switched on. 

Aside from those terrifying Hollywood movies showing planes crashing to Earth, news of plane accidents, technical design flaws, and even the risk of warfare far below us, is enough to put the bravest of us off flying for good. And then there’s COVID…

But in truth, flying is incredibly safe. You’re 500 times more likely to die in a car crash, eight times more likely to die by electrocution, and even four times more likely to get struck (and killed) by lightning than you are to die from flying. At any given moment, there are half a million people in the skies, and with more than 180 000 pre-COVID flights per day versus an average of 8 (mostly non-fatal) commercial airliner accidents per year, the odds are in your favour. 

Why people fear flying

So why the fear of flying? While we think we’re afraid of dying in an aeroplane, we’re really afraid of flying at all. Our brains just love to play out the worst-case scenario. People fear flying for numerous reasons, and thankfully, we can confront and deal with almost every single one of them, especially by using the techniques employed by hypnotherapy. 

Fear of crashing – This is where people are concerned that the plane will fail or not make it to its final destination. This is one of the most common fears related to flying. 

  • Why – This could be due to worries over the design of the aircraft, pilot competence, hijacking, or technical failures.
  • How hypnotherapy can help – Affirmations and reassurances can be planted in the subconscious, enabling the client to focus on remembering that they’re safer in the air than they are on the ground. 

Confined spaces – People living with claustrophobia are particularly vulnerable to developing a fear of flying, and this fear of confined spaces can often be misinterpreted as aerophobia. 

  • Why – Planes are essentially long metal cylinders with little room to move about in. Add in a couple hundred passengers, and things can get cramped quickly. 
  • How hypnotherapy can help – Hypnosis techniques are designed to address ingrained fears beyond flying. Claustrophobia can be treated via hypnosis exercises that allow people to confront their fears away from air travel. 

Less oxygen – Aircraft cabins need to be pressurized at high altitudes, but the pressure is still only equivalent to what you’d experience at the top of a 6 000 to 8 000-foot mountain peak. This can leave you feeling short of breath and on the verge of a panic attack. 

  • Why – Less air pressure means less oxygen. And while there is enough air in the cabin to breathe, planes also pump in less O2 to lower the risk of fire breaking out. 
  • How hypnotherapy can help – Hypnotherapists are masters of breathing exercises. Once a client has been taught how to control their breathing, they can regulate how fast they’re inhaling and exhaling, giving their body the correct dose of O2 when they need it. 

Afraid of heights – While gazing over the edge of a 50-storey balcony would give most people the sweats, cruising at 30 000 feet above terra-firma can be downright terrifying for almost everyone.

  • Why – Planes are designed for cruising between certain altitudes (usually 30 000 to 45 000 feet) to reduce ground-level noise, optimize fuel efficiency, reach the correct speeds, and allow pilots time to react if something goes wrong. 
  • How hypnotherapy can help – Like claustrophobia, a fear of heights is experienced by many people in everyday life. Hypnotherapists are trained to help you identify these fears’ root causes, triggers, and symptoms and put mechanisms in place to manage them. 

Crowded space – Many of us naturally dislike being crammed into strange places with unfamiliar people. This isn’t necessarily a disorder, it’s simply a preference that can feel like a fear when we’re placed in uncomfortable situations with many people close to one another. Like on board a plane. 

  • Why – Airline companies are businesses that must turn a profit. While a plane flying from A to B uses the same amount of fuel, pays the same crew, and is charged the same taxes, those planes aren’t always full. So, airlines double book, pack passengers onto combined flights and configure seats with less legroom to make as much money as possible. 
  • How hypnotherapy can help – Hypnosis can help us deal with the feelings of stress and discomfort that arise when we’re forced into a space with others we don’t know. Calming practices and exercises designed to help us confront this tension are taught to clients who can put them to work in elevators, while waiting in line, or even at the shops. 

Germs and infection – We’re still battling the lingering effects of COVID-19, and many people are still terrified of the threat posed by the deadly virus. Despite the controversial effectiveness of vaccines and mask mandates, many people feel that air travel is a significant exposure risk to COVID and other diseases. 

  • Why – Despite their best efforts, crews cannot 100% sanitize aircraft, leaving us feeling disgusted and vulnerable to the thousands of germs and microbes living on interior surfaces and seats. 
  • How hypnotherapy can help – We’ve been living with germs and bacteria for millions of years, but science has only recently educated us as to their existence. Hypnotherapy can help patients accept simple facts and truths, including that our microscopic neighbours do more good for us than harm. 

How Hypnocare can help you beat that fear of flying – Perth’s hypnotherapy experts

At Hypnocare, we understand that living in Perth means wanting to travel beyond Western Australia requires a need to fly. We’re here to help you deal with the fears and stresses that can come from even thinking about going airborne. 

For years, we’ve helped thousands of our clients overcome the fears, stresses, anxieties, and pain caused by everyday challenges, trauma, and, yes, flying. Give us a call, or reach out to learn more about what our trained hypnotherapists can do for you. 




Perth/Fremantle Call Linda 0409079435

Midland/Mundaring Call Jan 0423936933

Medical Disclaimer

Results will vary from person to person.

For More Information & Disclaimer: Full Medical Disclaimer Here

Hypnocare Hypnosis Clinic Fremantle

Linda Milburn

Located in Hilton, 3 min from Fremantle, WA.

0409 079 435
08 9388 6322

Hypnocare Hypnosis Clinic Darlington

Contact: Jan

0423 936 933

hypnotherapist perth

Linda Milburn

Involved in Natural Healing for over 30 years

Fellow Member of the (AHA) Australian Hypnotherapist Association

Past SEO and Board Member of the AHA for 8 years



Let us know how we can help you

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Have been seeing linda for a few months now and has changed my life for the better greatly! I was sceptical at first but Linda made me feel so comfortable and she really is great at what she does My issue was with alcohol and no longer is an issue for me. Thanks again Linda

I was a habitual worrier. If all was ok my mind would search for the next problem. I came out of my second session with Linda and this had disappeared. I felt light. I had a realisation that whatever my situation, I had a choice. It was highly liberating and has persevered. I ended up studying hypnosis and have a new respect for what Linda helped me achieve. She's genuine and down to earth. Thanks Linda

Linda is a very experienced practitioner in the field. I feel very lucky to have had support from such a seasoned professional. Thank you for all you have done to help me progress Linda. It is much appreciated.

It’s been 8 weeks smoke free and the idea of picking up a cigarette is so unappealing I now sometimes wonder how I was ever a smoker. My skin is better, I'm not carrying around guilt every day, I don't stink, I'm not as anxious, basically I'm so happy it's all behind me and count my lucky stars I don't have to live that smoker life anymore. I think I was really ready to quit this time, and can't thank Linda enough for helping me make that happen. I didn't know if I had the strength to quit for good, but the session we did reminded me just how strong I am. Thank you millions and millions Linda, that one afternoon in your chair has changed my life and helped me kick a habit I've struggled with for over 10 years. Thank you so very much 🙏🙏

In 2008 I visited Linda in her Subiaco clinic to treat a psychological tick involving constant jaw clenching/clicking (probably around 200 times per day - for years). After just 1 session it stopped dead immediately - 100%. It has now remained a forgotten habit for 9 years... had I not gone to her, I would have probably developed an arthritic jaw by now!

Wow! There are no words that can really express my transformation after a few sessions with Linda. When I initially came to see Linda, I was suffering from anxiety and depression from a number of traumatic experiences I had been through in recent years. My anxiety and depression had started impacting my work, relationships and health. I averaged 2 HRS of sleep a night and sat on my couch every painfully stricken day, debilitated by everything that was going on. After my first session, I drove out of Linda’s office feeling light as a feather; I slept like a baby that night and signed up to a gym. By my 3rd session, I was comfortable with speaking to a group of people, I was sleeping regularly and had a huge motivation to go to the gym six days a week. Not only is my life on track, I am following my dreams. Things that I promised myself I would do one day, I am already doing. What stood out for me, was that Linda’s work taught my inner being to help myself, rather than rely on other people to help me find my way. Linda’s work not only instantaneously helped me, the effects of Linda’s work has unfolded over the last 3 months. Thank you Linda. You are truly a blessing.

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