Currently reading a book called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 'The Essential Guide' by Dr. Sara Pascoe.
It is a really good read and actually quite reassuring. This is not a plug for the book - we are not on commission!
From page 19, 'Our brains are always learning, even when we don't recognise it. The brain is like a self-programming computer, and once programmed, it tries to hold on to the information; you need to purposefully work to re-program it.'
We talk about the fact that you may have taken years to develop and maintain this fear. Would you be willing to put the same amount of effort into getting rid of it or changing it. We have programmed ourselves to become fearful because we keep repeating it; keep watching those terrible TV programmes about air disasters....
And then there is a really good bit which we definitely talk about during the psychology section of our course which is similar to this.
From page 23, 'Whenever we do something repeatedly, the brain physically strengthens the connections among the underlying brain cells (neurons), whether that's playing the guitar or having negative thoughts about yourself. In this way, your brain tissue cannot discern whether or not you're doing something you really want to; it just takes orders from the fact that you keep doing it!' and from page 25, 'The more we practise or do anything, whether it's a foreign language, negative thoughts, or feeling worthless, we learn it - we become virtuosos, even if we don't want to.'
Certainly makes you think doesn't it. The brain tissue thickens regardless of what we repeat. In other words, we become expert at teaching ourselves how to be fearful...
The great thing about this is that you can re-programme yourself. You have learned to be fearful and it is definitely possible to learn something else - we see up to 2,000 people per year do just that!
Paul & Richard
Virgin Flying Without Fear