“Leaving the ground scares people,” notes Jeffrey Rose, a clinical hypnotist in Long Island, New York. This fear often stems from the feeling of not being in control during a flight. However, what individuals can control is their thoughts, and this is where hypnosis can be beneficial. During a hypnotherapy session, Rose guides a patient into a hypnotic state and introduces patient-specific positive therapeutic suggestions to replace specific fears or habits related to flying.

At its core, hypnosis works by replacing negative thoughts like “My plane is going to crash” with positive affirmations such as “My flight will be safe.” By altering thought patterns, individuals can gain a sense of control over their thinking and behaviors, ultimately becoming more confident flyers.

To manage flight-related anxiety effectively, Rose recommends a combination of hypnotherapy and lifestyle changes. These changes help reduce overall stress levels before flying, putting individuals in a better position to cope with anxiety during the flight.

As a part of these lifestyle changes, Rose, who is also a nutritionist, advises avoiding caffeine (known to boost cortisol levels) and alcohol (dehydrating and heart rate-elevating) in the days leading up to a flight. Instead, he recommends staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Additionally, exercise can help reduce stress hormones, so taking a walk around the terminal can be beneficial before boarding.

By implementing these strategies, individuals can better manage their flight-related anxiety and approach air travel with increased confidence and a sense of control.