Fears and Phobias

There are so many situations that can create fear that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between fears that are real and those that exist irrationally in our own minds. Some fears may seem irrational to most people, but for those individuals who suffer from certain fears, they are very real. Often times these irrational fears are known as phobias.

Fear is a basic human emotion that is experienced when we are in the face of danger and harm. It is that emotion that triggers our self preservation flight or fight response. Adrenaline seems to explode inside and at a critical time can give us extreme strength and power. Fear, like most other emotions, requires awareness and management. When you become fearful of someone or a situation, the first step is to determine if the fear is real or justified. In the face of fear it is vital to remain calm and rational. You need to stay objective and focus on the best way to eliminate or reduce the threat of fear.

There are several different phobias some are common or better known than others like acrophobia, a fear of heights, hydrophobia, fear of water and claustrophobia, a fear of small and enclosed spaces. Some types of phobias are not so well known like ailurophobia, a fear of cats, ophidophobia, a fear of snakes, arachnophobia, a fear of spiders, or triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number thirteen. These fears or phobias may seem quite irrational to some, however they are very real to others. This includes social phobias as well. Most of us manage social engagements on different levels with family, friends, and co workers with little difficulty. To other people, these experiences would be overwhelming to them and they wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Social phobias are commonly referred to as social anxiety disorders. The characteristics of a social anxiety disorder include apprehension in meeting new people and a self consciousness about normal everyday situations. One who experiences this anxiety often feels and thinks that others will judge him or her in great detail. Thing is, most who have this disorder know they have it, and yet as illogical as these feelings and thoughts are, they are in some ways unable to overcome it. Social Anxiety disorders can vary greatly in intensity from one person to the next. Some can have a somewhat normal phobia (butterflies) about performing on stage or speaking in public to those who have a difficult time being in public, and may end up not going to work or school. This disorder manifests very real physiological responses including perspiring, stammering when talking, shaking, blushing, hyperventilating, and nausea. Social phobias can often trigger other disorders like depression.

Don’t confuse a phobia or fear with dislike. I used to think that I had agoraphobia, a fear of open spaces, but actually I like open spaces, wide open spaces. For me, it’s a fear of crowds, and it’s not so much a fear as it is a dislike. I’m not one for large crowds. Agoraphobia is a social phobia resulting in one not being able to go outside the boundaries or the limitations of a self designed safety zone. This fear is manifested by the perceptions that anyone outside this safety zone is harmful and enforces the belief that bad things happen outside the safety zone.

Actually most phobias and fears are usually developed early in your life and if you still, from time to time, have those dreaded feelings, it is most likely coming from your past. We all suffer from anxiety and feelings of apprehension now and again. It’s fairly common simply because most of our attitudes and how we see or perceive the world around us is brought forth from childhood to adulthood. Think about a fear or phobia that you have, don’t dwell on it, just acknowledge it, and try to determine why that particular situation or experience makes you feel the way you do. Go back as far as you have to and see if you can identify the experience that still makes you feel this way today. If you can, you may be able to realize how irrational it is, and use this as a positive first step in getting past it.

For example, I have a phobia about rodents, specifically rats and mice. Actually I’m not really afraid of them; it’s just that I find them disgusting filthy creatures. I don’t even like looking at them, they repulse me. Spiders and snakes, other reptiles and insects, don’t bother me like they do most people, but rats and mice freak me out and give me the heebee jeebees. I know it’s irrational, but that’s how I feel.

It is this process of recognition, confrontation, reconciliation, and separation that can help you overcome those fears and phobias and lead to an improved quality of life. Most people do recognize their irrational fears and phobias and for most people, that’s about as far as it gets. They realize that something in their past may have caused this fear or phobia, but they think that it has nothing to do with the way they feel now. It is essential that you realize that your past experiences can and do significantly influence your fears and phobias that you have today. This confrontation process is needed if you have any hope of getting past any fear or phobia. Depending on the seriousness of your issue, this process can be as simple as acknowledging it, and in realizing that it is an irrational feeling will be a good first step in eliminating it. The final step in this process is reconciling the fear or phobia and separating you from it. At this point you have established that this fear or phobia had developed during your childhood, and realizing this can empower you to react differently as an adult, and possibly eliminate the fear or phobia. In most cases this is not an overnight process and the duration will depend or vary on the seriousness of the issue, and if help is needed, how effective the therapist is. Keep this in mind, some people can reduce or eliminate their fears and phobias on their own and the help of a therapist may not be needed.

Some fears have the potential to cause serious mental anxiety more than others. Fear of rejection has the ability to create negative feelings and emotions for most people. Fear of rejection can greatly affect how you feel about yourself, how you see your life and life in general, and how you interact with others. How you interact with others, due to fear of rejection, can influence those around you. Fear of rejection was probably experienced during childhood and resulted in a low self esteem. This fear may be a little more difficult to eliminate depending on how often this is experienced during childhood and adolescence. Boosting your confidence and self esteem will improve your sense of self worth and the fear of rejection won’t be as dramatic as it once was. It is important to be realistic by knowing and accepting your limitations. No one can do everything and being rejected need not be taken personally. Don’t worry about what others may think of you and don’t alter your feelings and thoughts based on what someone else does or says about you.

It can be very difficult for some people to try new things. If it is new and something you haven’t done before you really don’t know if you would be any good at it. Of course the only way to know that is if you try it. Fear of failure can stop people in their tracks. Oddly enough one of the biggest reasons most people have a fear of failure is because of what someone else might think of them. Let’s face it, we live in a world where success is everything and failure is looked down on. Nobody likes a loser and that’s a lot of pressure for success. Failing at anything should be looked upon as a proving ground and a learning experience. Think about this question, how would you know success if you have never failed? The important lesson here is to learn from your failures and don’t make the same mistake twice. It is through this process that you will learn patience, perseverance, and you will become more determined to succeed because of your failures, mistakes, hardships, and fears.

There are other self help techniques available, but again, depending on the seriousness of the fear you may need to consult a professional therapist. One of the most common techniques used by therapists is gradual exposure. The therapist will gradually expose you to the fear or phobia in question until you can face it on your own. Keep in mind though, that there will be setbacks and a good therapist will allow for this. This is fairly common, so don’t be too concerned about it, and remember eliminating fears and phobias is not an overnight process. Stick with the therapy it will help you immensely as this type of therapy has been proven to be the most efficient and effective.

If your fears and phobias are not that significant and you realize how irrational they are, then you may be able to reduce or eliminate its hold on you by using positive affirmations. Learn to let go of your insecurities and trust yourself that you can deal with it positively. Keep this in mind, fears and phobias are a learned response to certain conditions or situations, so consequently they can be unlearned, even ones that are the most intense. You can control your fears and phobias, you just have to learn how, and it will take time.

Hopefully, no one knows you better than you. With that being said, start right now by being extremely aware of your mind talk, those conversations you have with yourself. Work hard on keeping those dialogs positive. There is enough negativity in the world that surrounds you every day, you don’t need it in those talks you have with yourself. It may not be easy, and you still may need help, but it’s a good first or second step. You will need to practice and you will have to engage heavily in self efficacy, that is believing that you can overcome your fear or phobia, and positive self talk is a great step in the right direction. A very effective way of eliminating a phobia or fear is to face it head on by controlling how much you interact with a fearful experience, and by using gradual exposure leading to participation. Once you do this you should be able to get past your fear with minimal difficulty.

A very good source of self efficacy is to watch or observe someone else experience and overcome the same fear or phobia that you have. By witnessing such an event can enhance that expectation that you have regarding the same. Another source of self efficacy is to pay close attention to your physiological responses to a fearful situation, i.e. racing heart, shaking, and or rapid breathing. The first thing you need to do is find a way to reduce these sensations. To use self efficacy in this type of situation try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or hypnosis. You can reprogram yourself, control your fears and phobias, and lead a more positive happier life. Just refuse to give up.

To be in compliance with United States Federal Trade Commission Regulations, I must tell you that I, or my publishing company, may receive a commission from the sale of these products or programs. It takes a great deal of time to research, investigate, assemble, and publish, and to be honest, the few dollars  in commissions I, or my company, make in bringing you the best of the best in programs are what keeps my company going.  Allow me to take this time to thank you for reading this article and reviewing the following offers.


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