Harley Street therapist, Christopher Paul Jones, approaches fears and phobias in an unconventional yet highly effective way, focussing on the emotional aspects of a fear, which are hard to shift using logic alone. If you have a holiday coming up and have a fear of flying or traveling, these top tips could help…
1. Challenge Your Thoughts
Phobias like flying can actually incorporate several different fears. For example, a fear of heights, loss of control, fear of turbulence or claustrophobia when the doors shut and you cannot get off.
It’s worth pin pointing which of these you fall into and when is it your fear starts on any journey.
Then ask yourself:
“What do I need to believe in order to feel afraid?”
“How true is this belief?”
“What am I focusing on when I have this fear?”
“What do I focus on when the fear is small?”
2. Change The Image
The part of the brain that deals with visual memory is highly active when you see something for the first time. With everyday events, this fades over time, but it’s different for a phobia.
Neurological imaging has shown that visual memory is just as active when you think about your fear, as when you felt it for the first time. One of the ways to change the impact of your mental images is to scramble them. Get the image in your mind of what you’re afraid of, for example, the aeroplane taking off.
What would it be like if you made that image small? What would it be like if you drain the colour from it?
Imagine running the whole event backwards like you’re rewinding a DVD. Imagine the picture was a tiny dot, or had Mickey Mouse ears, the add in some classic Benny Hill music as you think of your journey. Notice what happens to the fear when you play with the images.
3. Tap Away The Fear
A popular method to stay relaxed in the moment is known as tapping. By tapping on a number of 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 your journey:
With two fingers, the part of your hand that you would use to do a karate style chop.
Each finger either side of the nail.
Just above and to one side of the nose, at the beginning of the eyebrow.
Side of the eye
The bone bordering the outside corner of the eye.
Under the eye
The bone under each eye about one inch below your pupil.
Under the nose
The indent between the bottom of your nose and the top of your upper lip.
Midway between the point of your chin and the bottom of your lower lip.
The junction where the sternum (breastbone), collarbone and first rib meet.
Under the arm
The side of the body, about four inches below the armpit.
Top of the head
With your fingers back-to-back down the centre of the skull.
Keep repeating this until the feelings have gone.
4. Get In Touch With Both Parts Of The Brain
One side of the brain deals with logic and the other side deals with emotion. If you access both at the same time whilst focusing on your fear, you will find the emotions reduce.
To do this, 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 and you’ll notice your phobia reduces in intensity.
5. Take Control Of Your Emotions
In order to feel afraid, you must have a belief about it, make a picture in your mind and have feelings that go with it. You even have to breathe and move in a certain way.
In order to reverse these feelings and feel good, you also have to be doing something with your internal thoughts, feelings and images.
If you change your thoughts, feelings or images, you will feel differently. Happy holidays!
Christopher Paul Jones, aka The Breakthrough Expert, is a therapist based in Harley Street who specialises in helping people let go of their fears, anxieties and even their phobias; from a fear of public speaking to anxieties around work, Christopher has helped hundreds of people to ‘let go’ and get their lives back. To book a one-on-one session with Christopher, go to christopherpauljones.net
and follow him at @breakthruexpert or on breakthroughexperttv.com