The fact that you’re alive today proves you’re good at reacting — you’ve survived everything life has thrown at you over the years. Your body was built to react automatically to anything and everything that your senses can perceive. Completely automatically, we take care our ourselves and do whatever needs to be done to deal with what’s happening at the moment. This autopilot system keeps us safe and well every day all day, in so many ways that most of the time we hardly even notice it’s happening.
Becoming more aware that this is such a normal part of everyday life can really help you to cope better with your fear of flying and with feelings of claustrophobia, and it’s a big part of what we focus on in our 2-day Non-Flyer group treatment for flying anxiety.
Reacting versus Responding
Reactions happen immediately, they’re completely automatic and there’s no thinking that goes into them. We have no control over our automatic reactions because they happen completely by reflex.
Whenever the brain senses that something may be different from our expectations, silent alarms go off and the body activates its fight-flight-freeze systems to protect us from harm. It doesn’t matter whether that ‘trigger’ was a noise, a sensation, feelings of motion, or even a thought about some future event that might be scary or dangerous, the brain lives by the motto: ‘It’s always better to be safe than sorry’ and it sounds your body’s alarms. Muscles tense, heart rate increases, we gasp a breathe of air and our attention focuses on that one, perceived ‘threat’. In that brief instant, nothing else matters because the brain acts as if its very survival is at stake.
You can get rid of your anxiety about flying and feeling claustrophobic on airplanes by accepting that that process is totally normal and totally out of your control. When you have a body that constantly sounds alarms and reacts as if everything is potentially dangerous, then the only way to cope better is by improving your skill at making sure that whatever you choose to do AFTER an automatic reaction happens is something that will work for you and not against you. This is what we refer to as RESPONDING.
Responses are deliberate acts that we think about and can choose to do or not do anytime we feel like it. Most fearful flyers and people who struggle with claustrophobia don’t often think about what happens after they have a fear reaction. Instead, they tend to predict they’ll continue to feel afraid or that something awful will happen if they do try to fly somewhere. At that point, most of them decide they’re not even going to try, even though they tell us that usually results in frustration, disappointment and self-doubt. In our course we show you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Your story doesn’t end there.
The Non-Flyer Group Treatment for Flying Anxiety & Claustrophobia
In our 2-day, weekend workshop, we teach you how to really tell the difference between automatic reactions and the responses you get to choose afterwards. Do you want to head into panic when you think about flying? Or, do you want to reconnect with that same sense of confidence you have in so many other areas of life, harness your coping tools and continue your journey towards more comfortable travel? That’s up to you.
You’re probably already very good at recovering from anxiety anyway! Most people don’t run screaming from their kitchen every time the smoke alarm goes off. The noise gets our attention, triggers the automatic reactions that focus our awareness on whatever might be causing smoke or fire, and then moves us to take care of whatever needs to be done. In most cases, it’s usually something totally mundane, like fanning the smoke away and promising we’ll clean those bits of fallen cheese off the floor of the oven before we use it again. Same thing when it comes to flying: Most of the time, the events that activate your body’s automatic, defence and protection reactions are totally mundane — and not dangerous!
We’ll show you how to practice keeping your thinking brain on so you can continue to make conscious choices about how you want to respond, instead of allowing your biology to take over. Fearful flyers don’t usually think they can do this, but anyone can, and we’ll show you how in our 2-day workshop.
Upcoming Groups – Spring 2020
Our next weekend groups will be held on:
Saturday, April 18, 9am – 5pm & 3 spots remaining!
Sunday, April 19, 9am – 6pm.
Saturday, May 2, 9am – 5pm & 3 spots remaining!
Sunday, May 3, 9am – 6pm.