Around one in ten Canadians have a phobia of something.
Are you terrified of spiders? Are you have a fear of heights? Whatever your phobia, it can really wreak havoc on your everyday life.
A phobia can be an irrational or extreme fear of something. This can be connected to childhood or a bad experience later in life.
If you have decided the time has come to learn about overcoming phobias, you’ll be glad to hear there are many ways to conquer your fear. Let’s check them out!
1. Gradually Desensitize Yourself to the Fear
People say that you should face your fears. This can be terrifying. You don’t have to do everything at once.
Are you scared of heights? You can slowly build up to higher and higher levels.
Do you have a phobia of spiders? Gradually get closer to spiders until you can even tolerate touching them.
By desensitizing yourself to your fear over time, the phobia may gradually go away. You may never totally overcome the fear, but learn to cope with it better.
This is also known as the “fear ladder” in which you gradually expose yourself to more extreme versions of your fear.
2. Embrace the Flooding Technique
What is the worse thing you can imagine?
Once you have experienced the worse of your fear, you may be able to handle anything. This is a daring way to conquer your fear.
Are you claustrophobic? Spend an afternoon in a small closet by yourself. Every small space will feel huge compared to this experience.
Are you a bit of a germaphobe? Roll around in the mud and cover yourself in other people’s germs. See what happens?
When you eventually undertake this experience and come out the other side without any problems, you won’t feel so much fear.
3. Get Involved With a Support Group
If you’ve got a phobia, you may start to feel that you’re crazy and strange. Nobody understands how you feel.
That’s why attending a support group can open up your eyes to the fact that you’re not alone. There are lots of people who have had similar experiences.
The support group can help each other to overcome your fears. Whenever you’re scared, contact a support group member to give you assurance.
4. Educate Yourself on the Topic
Are you afraid of something which is totally irrational? This may be because you don’t actually understand anything about the topic.
Actually, one expert says that around 20-25 percent of people suffer from the fear of flying.
Surely, the experience of flying in the air is understandably terrifying. But, what if you knew how airplanes actually worked?
For example, airplane accidents are extremely rare. Even when they occur, people often aren’t injured. Knowing more about your fear can help you build the confidence to overcome it.
5. Relax How to Relax Right
When you’re scared of something, it’s not just a bunch of thoughts whizzing around your head. No, you’ve also got the physical symptoms.
Does your breathing speed up? Does your heart beat faster? Do you start to shake?
These are common symptoms which can be handled with relaxation techniques. Pick up a few methods to help yourself relax.
Experiment with daily mindfulness, regularly listen to soothing music and try out hypnosis. You never know what could help you with your phobia.
6. Recruit the Support of a Friend
You don’t have to overcome your fear by yourself. Remember, you have friends and family who can step in to help you deal with your phobias.
Are you scared of being in a crowd of people? Ask a friend to accompany you when you expose yourself to crowds.
You can even ask your friend to gradually walk a little bit behind you. Build up to longer and longer distances until you’re practically on your own.
7. Take Medication for Your Fear
There is no magic pill which can help you with overcoming phobias. Medications also shouldn’t be taken without the advice of your doctor. And yet, medication can help your recovery from your fear.
For example, beta-blockers are used to prevent the effects of adrenaline worsening your fear. You could also take anti-depressants to help you balance your mind during times of distress.
8. Experiment With Biofeedback
No, it’s not science-fiction. Biofeedback can allow you to learn about how your body responds to stress.
Your doctor attaches electrodes to your body. You’ll then be able to watch a monitor which displays your heart rate, muscle activity, etc.
By watching how your body responds to stress, you may be able to more effectively learn to overcome your fear. Knowledge is power!
9. Exposure Therapy
Getting help from experts and loved ones is important. You need to know that you’re not on your own here.
However, ultimately, it’s down to you to overcome fear. Learning to grab the steering wheel on your fear can be helpful.
You can achieve this with the help of exposure therapy. This is a type of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) which can help you to gradually take control of your fears.
With the support of self-help books and support groups, you can battle your phobias. This isn’t quite the same as saying “do it anyway.”
Instead, it’s about recognizing that at the end of the day, you’re the only person that can conquer the fear.
Phobias can seriously ruin your life. You shouldn’t simply learn to live a limited life always in fear.
With our tips, you learn about overcoming phobias so you’re not controlled by your fears and anxieties any longer.
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