Remember when air travel was actually fun and exciting and you looked forward to the adventure? Remember when blankets and pillows were free, and having to pay extra for excessive luggage weight was unconscionable? Rising fuel costs and profit margin pressures have changed everything. The glamour is gone, replaced by stress!
Let’s face it. Airline travel isn’t what it used to be and it will never return to those days when people got dressed up in their Sunday best for travel. Those days are long gone! Airline travel is certainly no longer a new phenomenon and while many travelers still face their fears of flying, today’s airline traveler must cope with the more prevalent challenges of the increased stresses associated with air travel. Consulting hypnotists find themselves in helping the public in applying stress reduction strategies to make their adventure more palatable. The US economy, the on-going threats of terrorism, the shear number of travelers today and new security rules all contribute to greater stress for the passenger preparing to fly. This article presents some of the key strategies that enable the stressed traveler to manage and minimize their stress levels and make the flying experience pleasant for themselves and their traveling neighbors.
While hypnotists around the world have been helping travelers cope with their fear of flying, today’s jet setters face an increasingly stressful experience in the air and on the ground. One only needs to look at celebrity incidents in the air, such as the recent air skirmish between Victoria Olsteen, wife of the famous evangelist Joel Osteen and a first class flight attendant. The travelers in coach as well as the first class passenger are all on edge due top the stresses of air travel. At the 2008 National Guild of Hypnotists convention, a group of consulting hypnotists reported a rising demand for air travelers seeking assistance in managing stress associates with flying. According to Dr. Dwight Damon, President of the National Guild of Hypnotists, “we are seeing a sharp increase in demand for hypnotists who can assist today’s airline passenger manage their stress of flying. The anticipated stress of flying is causing many people to avoid flying altogether or to delay their travel plans until absolutely necessary but for the business flyer especially, travel is unavoidable.” Dr Damon cited several potential stress creators that can put a traveler over the edge. “The check-in process, going through the TSA security checkpoints, dealing with extra fees for luggage, and simply being among other stressed out travelers whose behavior impacts everyone – all contribute to a potential disaster if the traveler isn’t ready to manage his or her stress.”
Consulting hypnotists are going beyond the process of helping people prepare to address their fear of flying. By focusing on several key strategies to help the air traveler manage the stress they experience throughout all aspect of flying, from planning their trip and packing properly, to airport procedures, and during their flying experience, they are helping to make air travel the pleasant experience it once was for the traveler.
First of all, travelers should make a conscious decision to do everything they can to make the flight a positive experience. “In spite of the added measures today, he air traveler still has many aspects of their experience still within their control,” said Dr Damon. “It starts with picturing a positive experience, and with having personal strategies for dealing with the myriad issues that are bound to arise during the travel experience. How you decide to react to a situation that arises will heighten or lessen your personal stress, and the stress of those around you.”
Secondly, proper planning for the flight is crucial, with consideration of all aspects of the flight. Nobody looks forward to the new challenges of today’s airline regulations. Is sufficient time being allotted to pack, get to the airport on-time and get through security comfortably? The proper planning makes it much easier for the traveler to apply known hypnotic strategies to their journey. With a focus on the destination, and a pleasant as possible flight experience, the traveler can focus on breathing techniques, positive affirmations throughout the stress points, and in working toward the positive outcome of the flight.
Finally, it helps if travelers can identify in their minds – or on paper – specific trigger points that will help them manage their stress. Personal awareness of anxiety levels, fatigue, and impatience – with preplanned strategies for coping with these factors go a long way to reduce stress. For example, focusing on the ‘clicking of the seatbelt’ can trigger deep relaxation for the traveler so the goal becomes arriving at your seat with a smile, a sigh of relief and the anticipated relaxation. With this in mind the traveler works toward this positive picture and manages stress in order to reward him or herself with the positive outcome.
By creating the scene of a positive travel experience in your mind, you become more steadfast, in control, and the stress points along the way – from packing to boarding to being seated and through to arriving at your destination – will minimally impact your journey.
John Miller is a Consulting Hypnotist/Hypnotherpaist in K-W