Fear of flying, anxiety and panic attacks – how I beat them all (and got my life back!)

After beating panic attacks and anxiety, including a fear of flying, Amy booked a round-the-world holiday and quit her job!

Amy post-Thrive Programme with her fiancé

“I spent a number of years in my late teens and early 20s battling anxiety and panic attacks. I felt locked in an endless cycle of struggling to sleep and then fighting off feeling anxious or depressed and wondering when the next panic attack was going to happen. In desperation I tried a number of different therapies and products, but nothing worked or if it did it wouldn’t be long before I slipped back into my old ways of thinking.

I became reliant on medication to help me sleep and keep my anxiety at a manageable level as well as maintain the exterior of a semi ‘happy’ person. Over the years I developed a profound ability to hide my inner battles through fear of being judged or labelled.

Many of those closest to me would never have known due to the very thick mask I had created. Having attempted university twice, but leaving both times due to my symptoms, I moved back to my hometown of Cambridge and slowly built a life which I was able to ‘enjoy’, however this was mostly because the medication allowed me to.

One day, I decided that my fear of flying (another symptom of my anxiety) had become too much and I needed a hypnotherapist . I had booked a holiday but I was terrified of getting on the plane – I didn’t want to go. After a bit of research, I found someone based in Cambridge and sought help.

His name was Rob Kelly – he explained to me that I was creating my fear of flying through my high desire for control and that hypnotherapy was not what I needed. What I needed was a psychological training programme called The Thrive Programme. I was also told that by taking on the programme I would resolve my other symptoms of anxiety (I found this very hard to believe as, by now, I just assumed that I was the way I was).

I had six sessions with Rob – and I began to feel better from the very first one. I then proceeded to quit my job, book a round the world ticket (for one) and stop the medication. My life had begun to change dramatically for the better.

As I applied the skills and techniques I had learnt, I started to like the person I was and therefore began to fear judgement a whole lot less. I certainly had blips over the next year or so whilst I perfected my new found skills, however I can honestly say, hand-on-heart, that I have now cured myself of those symptoms.

I was shown how to take control of my emotions and how to approach life without over-thinking or fearing outcomes. I now love my life – especially my two kids and fiance – with every ounce of my being and I am free of the anxiety that I allowed to hold me back.

I cured myself, so I decided; why not spend my life helping others do the same? I qualified as a Thrive Consultant in 2013 and I’ve never looked back. I LOVE watching people change their lives every week and it’s a privilege to be a part of that process.

I’m living proof that it is possible to overcome mental health challenges and live the life you want – help is available and it really does work.”

Amy Smith

Visit www.thrivewithamy.org and www.thriveprogramme.org

Amy has been making the most of her life since beating severe anxiety and her fear of flying