Overcoming Phobias


One way in which many people could greatly improve their lives and develop themselves is in overcoming phobias. These conditions are quite common amongst humans and there are many different types. What exactly is a phobia? It is a type of fear, but not a normal fear – not the fear of actual danger, as such. It is generally defined in the field of clinical psychology as a type of anxiety disorder, a persistent fear of something, but a purely irrational fear. Suffering from a phobia can be so restrictive and inconvenient to normal life that it is important to make efforts to overcome it if you can. Here are some tips to help the fears and feelings of discomfort loosen their grip:

* It’s important not to avoid the feared object or situation. Write down the hierarchy of your feared situation/object. If you hate snakes, for example, the fear/distress range would run from reading about snakes (least frightening) to picking one up (extreme end of the anxiety range).

* Confront the least intimidating item in the range and try to regulate your anxiety. Remain in the situation until anxiety decreases. Take deep breaths to calm you, and concentrate on staying calm. Move to the next item.

* When you entertain frightening thoughts relating to your phobia, write them down and find good arguments against them.

* Take small steps. If you try to rush you may feel overwhelmed and discouraged. But if you don’t take any steps at all, you may never be able to get over your phobia!

* Learn some breathing and relaxation techniques which should help you manage your anxiety and fear.

* Try positive thinking. Stay optimistic when facing your fears. Remind yourself that you do have the power to overcome your phobia: there is no real danger.

* Empower yourself in other areas of your life. Take up a hobby, join a club or take a course. This may help you feel more confident and able to conquer your fears.

* Find out as much information as you can about your condition. One good way to do this is to join a support group.

* Promote a positive frame of mind in yourself. You have all the tools you require to overcome your phobia – you just need to believe in yourself.

* Try out some of the therapies that are available: psychotherapy, counseling and hypnotherapy. They generally have a good success rate in conquering phobias.

One important thing to remember is that in order to live a full and normal life everyone has to step outside their comfort zone from time to time, whether or not they are phobic. If you don’t ever do this, you risk becoming more and more fearful and restricted in your activities and not ever really living life to the full.

I hope you got something from this blog, and I appreciate your votes and comments.


Picture courtesy of www.wikipedia.org.uk

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