Fears & phobias can quickly take control of our lives and send us in a downward spiral, crippling us, paralyzing us, and preventing us from living our lives to the fullest, which is why learning how to overcome our fears can be such a difficult and demanding endeavour.
Fortunately, all fears are learned, and can therefore be unlearned by practicing self-discipline and coping techniques until they finally go away.
Here is how you can overcome some common fears & phobias:
Aerophobia, Fear Of Flying
While flying is a hassle for most travelers, for others it’s more than just an inconvenience; it’s absolutely terrifying. Whether it’s caused by irrational anxiety or other phobias, such as the fear of heights or confined spaces, aerophobia is a difficult fear to overcome.
However, if you’ve decided to rise above it, there are many things you can do to make air travel a calmer, easier and more bearable experience.
Try familiarizing yourself with the plane and learning what causes turbulence, talk to the cabin crew and ask for their help and support, or even practice some distraction and breathing techniques. And most importantly of all, learn how to control your thoughts.
Remember that flying is statistically the safest form of travel, and that all those frightening thoughts and imaginations of catastrophes is just your anxiety tricking you into thinking you’re in danger, when you’re actually perfectly safe.
The Fear Of Driving
Even though it lacks an official name, the fear of driving is an incredibly common occurrence. Instead of enjoying the freedom they get with a driver’s license, many people become terrified of the thought of getting out on the road and interacting with other drivers.
If you are scared of driving a car as well, the simplest solution to your fears might be to get driving lessons with a highly qualified instructor.
Not only will having another person in the vehicle with you help you feel calmer and more focused, but a professional who has lots of experience will also teach you everything you need to know about driving safely and help you feel more comfortable and confident in the driver’s seat.
It might also be a good idea to play some relaxing, but not distracting, music, practice some calming breathing techniques or even use positive affirmations as a way of relieving your anxiety.
Acrophobia, Fear Of Heights
Being one of the most common phobias in the world, almost everyone can relate to a fear of heights, at least on some level.
While we’re all aware of the fact that being high up is more dangerous than staying on the ground, much like other anxiety disorders, this phobia manifests as a distorted and exaggerated version of a survival instinct.
From sweating and trembling to having difficulty breathing, people who are afraid of heights can experience a wide array of symptoms, even when they’re standing as low as a second-story balcony, behind the safety of a sturdy railing.
If this is the case for you as well, the best way to overcome your phobia might be by gradually exposing yourself to your fear.
Set small goals for yourself, such as moving an inch or two closer to a certain balcony railing every day, and success can happen sooner than you think.
You might even want to try taking advantage of modern technology and use virtual reality as a means of treating your fears.
Zoophobia, Fear Of Animals
From spiders and snakes to cats and dogs, the fear of animals is another incredibly common phobia people are faced with, and one that is much harder to avoid on a daily basis.
Whether it’s caused by a bad experience someone has had with an animal in the past or by creating an over-generalized, exaggerated negative image of an animal, zoophobia can be a difficult fear to overcome.
However, it can be done. Firstly, find out what the exact cause of your phobia is and try to fix your negative thinking patterns, in order to make the process of treating your fear easier to manage.
Then, try to familiarize yourself with the animal in question by learning everything you can about it, analyzing your beliefs and trying to find evidence to support them; you’d be surprised at low little you actually find.
Lastly, you need to gradually expose yourself to the animal until you can finally feel relaxed in their presence.
No matter how serious a fear or phobia may be, it can be overcome with patience, perseverance and strength. However, if you can’t manage it by yourself, it would always be wise to seek the help of a professional.
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Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.