Fears & Phobias

How to Get Over a Fear of Flying: EFT Tapping for Flight Anxiety

Written by: Nick Ortner

Do you get anxious and overwhelmed anytime you have to set foot in an airport? Does your heart pound at the mere thought of boarding a plane? Do you grip the armrests the entire time you are on a flight?

If so, you’re not alone!

Fear of flying (also known as aviophobia or aerophobia), affects a significant number of people worldwide. According to The Washington Post, about 40% of us are scared of flying to some degree, and about 2.5% actually experience a flying phobia.

But what if I told you there’s a research-backed technique that could help you conquer this fear once and for all? 

Enter EFT Tapping, a powerful tool that can ease your flight anxiety and give you back the freedom to travel with calm and ease.

In this article:

Understanding fear of flying

Man in airport with luggage getting ready to fly on an airplane

When we experience a fear or phobia, like aerophobia, our fight-or-flight stress response gets activated. Our bodies think we are in real danger, and so they switch on that fight-or-flight stress response in an effort to keep us safe. This can happen even though we might be in a reasonably safe situation.

Way back in our ancestor’s days, this fight-or-flight response helped us stay safe in the face of very real dangers – like being chased by a saber-toothed tiger. But these days, we can go into fight-or-flight when we aren’t actually in immediate danger. 

People with flight anxiety experience that kind of heightened stress response when flying in an airplane, or even when just thinking about flying or seeing an airplane in the sky. They may get physical sensations of anxiety when thinking about air travel, such as: 

  • increased heart rate
  • sweaty palms
  • shakiness
  • shortness of breath
  • And more.

In severe cases of extreme fear of flying, people might even experience intense anxiety and panic attacks.

With something like a severe fear of flying, the brain and body truly think we are in danger, and so they respond as if it were a life-or-death situation.

Where does fear of flying come from?

Woman on airplane looking out the window, holding her phone to do an EFT Tapping meditation for fear of flying

Fear of planes, flying, and air travel can stem from different things for different people. 

For some it might be related to a fear of heights, and for others it might be related to a fear of being in confined spaces. Others may experience anxiety when flying because they feel out of control, because they don’t know what will happen, or because they are worried about potential dangers or worst-case-scenarios. 

Many people develop their fear after experiencing a traumatic event related to flying, or after being exposed to airline disasters in the news. Others might have grown up around parents that were afraid of flying. Whatever the reason, the brain and body have learned to trigger that fight-or-flight response anytime they encounter a plane or try to fly.

Whatever the root is for you, and whatever your personal triggers, I want you to know one thing: you can overcome fear of flying. You can release your anxiety, fear, or even phobia about flying… even if that possibility seems far out of grasp right now. 

And you can do it with the help of a simple technique called EFT Tapping.

What is EFT Tapping?

Jessica Ortner with eyes closed tapping on the side of the eye doing EFT Tapping

Tapping, also known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), combines the principles of modern psychology and traditional Chinese medicine. The technique involves tapping with your fingertips on specific points on the body while focusing on the issue you want to resolve – such as a fear of flying. The Tapping points correspond to endpoints of meridians, the same points used in practices like acupuncture and acupressure.

When you tap on these points, you send calming signals to the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain that controls your stress response (the fight-or-flight response). The latest research shows that by Tapping on these points, it can actually reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.[1]

You can learn more about the Tapping technique and how to do it here.

Tapping for fears and phobias: an origin story

Woman on park bench doing EFT Tapping while listening to a The Tapping Solution meditation

Since its inception, EFT Tapping has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, from insomnia to chronic pain to daily stress.

But did you know that Tapping was actually first discovered when a therapist was working with a patient with a severe phobia? 

Back in the 1980s, a therapist named Roger Callahan was working with a client with a severe phobia – a fear of water. Nothing he tried seemed to help her. In a moment of inspiration (and possibly desperation), he had his client tap on meridian endpoints while she thought about water. 

And after just a few minutes, her water phobia was completely GONE. And it was gone for good. She went from being unable to even be around water in any form (baths and showers were terrifying) to being able to head to the beach the very next day. Amazing, right?

Tapping worked very effectively then, and it continues to work to this day, with fears and phobias of all varieties.
I’ve personally worked with people time and time again who have found immediate and lasting relief from phobias (including fear of flying!) after trying Tapping.

Just check out this powerful story of transformation that occurred with my friend Meggan, who struggled with a debilitating fear of flying for years after a traumatic flight in her past. Even I was amazed by what happened after just one Tapping session!

Why Tapping works for fears and phobias

Woman sitting in chair tapping on the collarbone point, doing EFT Tapping meditation

EFT Tapping is a really powerful tool for helping us release stress, reduce anxiety, and even overcome extreme phobias – like fear of flying.

When we use the Tapping technique for something like a fear or phobia, we think about, visualize, or speak about what we are afraid of while also Tapping on acupoints on the body.

This process sends calming signals to the brain, letting it know that we are not in any real danger and that we can relax and let go. Ultimately, Tapping tells our body that we are, indeed, safe

By doing the Tapping, we help to rewire the brain, so it no longer goes into that fight-or-flight response when we are exposed to whatever triggers our fear. 

While we tap, we literally calm down our brains and our bodies, so they can feel relaxed and at ease even when we are looking at an airplane, walking into an airport, boarding a plane, taking off for a flight, encountering turbulence while flying, and so on.

Curious to learn more? You can read all about the science and research behind Tapping for fears and phobias here.

It’s not just hearsay – it’s evidence based!

Man on airplane looking Tapping meditations on his phone to help overcome fear of flying

Tapping really works for things like fears and phobias. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Numerous studies, including those published in prestigious journals like the Journal of Clinical Psychology, have shown EFT Tapping’s effectiveness in reducing anxiety and fear.

For example, a 2022 study looked at the effect of Tapping on people who were scared of flying. The participants practiced the Tapping technique while they were exposed to fear-inducing stimuli related to flying.

And the result was amazing. Fear of flying scores went down almost 50% after Tapping. Before they tried Tapping, almost 90% of the participants met the official criteria for a flying phobia. But after they Tapped, only 24% did.[2]

And that’s just one of the many research studies showing how effective Tapping is for overcoming fears.

I share these stories and this research with you because I find it SO inspiring. I know that conquering a fear of flying is possible with the help of Tapping. 

And I believe that freedom is possible for you, too!

How to get over a fear of flying with Tapping

Man with eyes closed and headphones on doing EFT Tapping meditation

So, how can you use EFT Tapping to overcome your fear of flying? Simply start Tapping!

Tapping doesn’t require any special equipment or tools. You can easily learn how to do it on your own, and you can do it whenever and wherever you need it most. 

And we have so many resources to help you get started. You can check out our Tapping 101 page for a quick-start guide and overview to the process.

Or, if you prefer to be guided through in real time with audio and visual prompts, try one of our FREE guided Tapping meditations! We know that fear of flying is common, and so we’ve developed specific guided meditations in The Tapping Solution app to help people with flight anxiety.

The Tapping Solution App

The Tapping Solution App is like a little coach you can carry with you in your pocket, there for you whenever you need support.

Our Fear of Flying Collection is FREE in the app and includes three powerful meditations to help you use Tapping to overcome your fear:

Other Tapping meditations in the app you might want to try whenever you are feeling afraid include:

I encourage you to explore the app, and play around with Tapping! Invite Tapping to become your companion on any journey, helping you release your fears so you can live a free, full life.

And if you need a little more motivation to get started, just read this inspiring testimonial from one of our users:

“​​After a bad panic attack on a plane about 10 years ago, I stopped flying. After learning Tapping and practicing it for a few years I found the courage to fly again. I used the sessions for flying in the App in the weeks before flying then the day of on the ride to the airport, standing in line to check in and then on take off. I did it!!! Couldn’t have done it without Tapping.



Fear of flying doesn’t have to hold you back. With EFT Tapping, you have a powerful, research-backed tool at your fingertips. So why not give it a try? You might just find the freedom you’ve been looking for.

Just imagine what’s possible for you… Imagine a future where you can fly with ease, and travel wherever you want to go calmly and confidently…

So keep Tapping, and see how your fear (and your life) transforms. 

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

P.S. Remember, everyone’s experience with EFT Tapping is unique. For some, the fear may reduce significantly after just a few rounds of Tapping. For others, it may take more time. Just commit to the practice – even a few minutes a day can go a long way and add up over time. 

And know that it is okay to seek help. If you’re finding it difficult to manage your fear of flying on your own, work with a trained EFT practitioner who can help you through the process.

  1. Stapleton P, Crighton G, Sabot D, O’Neill HM. Reexamining the effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial. Psychol Trauma. 2020;12(8):869-877.
  2. Wittfoth D, Beise J, Manuel J, Bohne M, Wittfoth M. Bifocal emotion regulation through acupoint tapping in fear of flying. Neuroimage Clin. 2022;34:102996.

Blog Comments

Leave a Comment

Your Comment

Over 20 Million Tapping Meditations Played in Our App! Get Instant Access to our "Releasing Anxiety" and "Sleep Support: Quiet The Racing Mind" Tapping meditations.
Yes, I agree to receive email messages from The Tapping Solution & understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.

Connect With Us on Social Media

Follow The Tapping Solution on Facebook or Instagram!

Follow the producer of the Tapping World Summit Nick Ortner on Facebook or Instagram!

Follow the host of the Tapping World Summit Jessica Ortner on Facebook or Instagram!

Follow the producer of the Annual Tapping World Summit Alex Ortner on Facebook or Instagram!

Close ×
Over 17 Million Tapping Meditations Played in Our App!
Get Instant Access to our "Releasing Anxiety" and "Sleep Support: Quiet The Racing Mind" Tapping meditations.
Yes, I agree to receive email messages from The Tapping Solution & understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.