Seven quick and effective ways to cure your fear of flying

While flying is easily one of the safest ways to travel, that doesn't help much when you have a phobia - but there are tricks you can use to ease them
  • Harley Street therapist Christopher Paul Jones shares his top tips
  • Repeatedly tapping points on your body while onboard can reduce anxiety 
  • Moving your eyes from left to right while conjuring certain images helps too 

While flying is easily one of the safest ways to travel, that doesn't help much when you have a phobia. 

As with all anxieties, however, there are ways you can trick your mind into easing up - just ask the therapist who cured his own morbid fear of flying, so much so that he has since flown over the Pyrenees strapped to the outside of a helicopter. 

Here, Harley Street practitioner Christopher Paul Jones shares seven of his secrets with MailOnline Travel, from tapping your pressure points, to moving your eyes in a sideways motion. 

1. Find the Cause of Your Fear

'Most phobias have a trigger point when the mind first linked danger to flying,' Mr Jones explained. 'Say you’re a young child and you experience a turbulent flight; in that moment your mind links flying to danger.

'Very often people are not aware of the triggers, but they are still affecting your beliefs and choices.

'The best place to start therefore is to explore its origins. What are some of the events from the past that made your mind link fear to flying?' 

2. Challenge Your Beliefs

According to Mr Jones, it’s worth asking yourself, 'what do I need to believe in order to feel afraid of flying?'

Then ask yourself how true that belief really is. What do you choose to focus on when you have the fear? What do you focus on when you don’t have fear?' 

3. Creating a New Stimulus Response

'There is an old saying that love and hate cannot exist in the same place. This is also true for feelings like fear and calm,' Mr Jones said.

By tapping on a number of acupuncture points whilst thinking about your fear you can drastically reduce it 

He advises creating a new 'trigger' which is linked to positive emotions and memories, and using this each time your phobia rears its head.  

The key, he suggests, is to imagine a time when you felt completely calm and relaxed - sitting on a beach, for example, or being around people you love. 

'When you have fully connected to this positive event, squeeze your fist to create a link between the emotion and the gesture,' he says. 

'Keep repeating this as many times as you like and then test it by squeezing your fist. If it’s strong enough, just the act of squeezing your fist will bring back that calm feeling.' 

4. Change the Image of Flying

'The part of the brain that deals with visual memory is highly active when you see something for the first time,' Mr Jones states. 'With everyday events this will fade over time, but this is different for a phobia.

'One of the ways to change the impact of your mental images is to scramble them. What would it be like if you made that image small? What would it be like if you drain the colour from it?

He adds: 'Imagine running the whole event backwards like you’re rewinding a DVD. Imagine the picture was a tiny dot or had Mickey Mouse ears. Notice what happens to the fear when you play with these images.' 

5. Tap Away the Fear

'A popular method to stay relaxed in the moment is known as Meridian tapping,' says Mr Jones. 

'By tapping on a number of acupuncture points whilst thinking about your fear you can drastically reduce it.'


Tap each of these places in order for about five seconds each while thinking about flying.

Hand: Take two fingers and tap on the part of your hand that you would use to do a karate style chop.

Fingers: Tap each finger either side of the nail.

Eyebrow: Tap just above and to one side of the nose, at the beginning of the eyebrow.

Side of the Eye:  Tap the bone bordering the outside corner of the eye.

Under the Eye: Tap the bone under an eye about one inch below your pupil.

Under the Nose: Tap the indent between the bottom of your nose and the top of your upper lip.

Chin: Tap midway between the point of your chin and the bottom of your lower lip.

Collar Bone: Tap the junction where the sternum (breastbone), collarbone and the first rib meet.

Under the Arm: Tap the side of the body, about four inches below the armpit.

Top of the Head: Tap with your fingers back-to-back down the centre of the skull.

Keep repeating this until the feelings have gone. 

6. Get in Touch with Both Parts of the Brain

One side of the brain deals with logic and the other side deals with emotion. 

Harley Street therapist Christopher Paul Jones, pictured, cured his own plane phobia

Harley Street therapist Christopher Paul Jones, pictured, cured his own plane phobia

'If you access both at the same time whilst focusing on your fear you will find the emotions reduce,' advises Mr Jones. 

'The way to do this is look straight ahead while thinking about your fear of flying, then allow your eyes to move slowly from left to right passing between the bridge of your nose.'

Keep repeating this left to right process, he instructs, and you’ll notice your phobia reduces in intensity. 

7. Take Control of your Emotions 

'Remember a phobia is not something you catch like a cold,' he states. 'It’s something you have to do, even if up until this point it has been unconscious.

'If you change your thoughts, feelings or images, you will feel different. If you change more than one thing, you should feel even better. Practice these tips and see how you get on.'  

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By Mathias Dillion 03/01/2017 00:21:00