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How To Overcome a Phobia Easily: Enjoy Life Again
Phobias affect about 30 million Americans, and can destroy the quality of life of those who suffer from them. A phobia is an overblown fear of something that is not presenting a threat.
There are considered to be 3 basic kinds of phobias:
- Social anxiety fears
- Fear of open spaces, also known as agoraphobia
- Specific phobias, which can involve fear of animals, feathers, vehicles, nearly anything
Although there is no real physical threat offered to those suffering from phobias, they can still produce physical symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, fainting, and heart palpitations. In fact, the increased stress associated with severe phobias can cause high blood pressure and cardiac problems. Panic attacks often go hand-in-hand with phobia, and can heighten the anxiety you feel.
If you suffer from a phobia, it is in your best interest to learn how to overcome your phobia as quickly as possible. A normal fear or apprehension will not cause you to avoid a situation – if you have a phobia of cats, you will refuse to visit a home that has cats in it.
Professional help is one way to overcome phobia, and fortunately it seldom takes very many sessions before you are able to leave your fears behind. A combination of therapy and the right medications can provide an escape for you from your fears. Very often, beta blockers are the first medication tried, and if no success results, then sedatives will be prescribed.
However, it is also possible to overcome phobia without professional medical assistance. If you have a sympathetic and supportive family member or friend, you will find that the process will go much better.
There are ways to overcome phobia and get back to enjoying life in a normal way once again:
- Regardless of what may be the source of your phobia, practicing meditation can help you to come to terms with it, and make it more likely that you will be able to overcome it. Very often, the levels of chemicals in the brain become skewed. Meditation increases the amounts of DHEA and GABA to your system, which will help to restore the equilibrium of your mental processes.
- Pinpointing what is precisely the cause is one step to conquering phobia. A generalized fear is not really a phobia, you are probably dealing with acute anxiety, but each phobia will have a starting point. When I was very small, a hound dog jumped up on me, took my doll and ran off. For years, I was afraid of dogs. However, being around the dogs of friends gradually rubbed my fear off me and now I am a devoted dog owner.
- Meet your phobia head on. You’re really tougher than this fear, and the best way how to overcome phobia is to face it, rather than avoid it. Avoidance just means that there will be fewer places you will go and place more limitations on your life. If, like I was, you are afraid of dogs, introduce yourself to them a little at a time. You can even start with puppies and work your way up to mastiffs.
- Fear of something like bees or snakes will need a different approach than you would take with dogs or cats. In this case, practicing relaxation techniques when you are around bees or if you fear there may be snakes nearby can help you to enjoy the outdoors again without being afraid.
- Agoraphobia is a fear of leaving home. People with this disorder will often reach the point where they are unable to force themselves to go to the store for food. An acquaintance from high school developed this condition when she was in her early 30s. It became so bad that she wouldn’t even leave her apartment to go to the doctor after she developed a heart condition. As with other phobias, the way to overcome agoraphobia is to set a goal for every day: make yourself go to the door, then the next day open it, after that take a step outside, etc. Incrementalizing a progression out of your home into the world is a great way how to overcome this phobia.
Remember, when you start taking action against your phobia that it will take some time to overcome it successfully. It took some time to develop, just look at it as a process in reverse. Patience, courage, and a desire to life fear-free are the best ways how to overcome phobia.