Phobias affect the quality of life of those who suffer and because they are usually acquired by learning, it is possible to overcome them, provided they are not chronic.
We investigated phobias and today, Wisdom.ninja is teaching you the steps you must take to overcome these fears and start living a carefree life.
A phobia is a feeling of intense fear, disproportionate and persistent in the presence or anticipation of an object, animal or situation that involves little or no actual danger.
These fears may seem insignificant at first, but later they could grow or fester. Here are 10 steps that you should follow to overcome your phobias so they may not affect the quality of your life.
1. Identify Your Phobia
First, you must identify the object or situation that you fear. Although it seems simple, often there is some confusion. For example, fear of elevators can actually be fear of being locked up.
Take the time you need to identify your fear, as this step is the key to overcoming your phobia.
2. Talk About What You Fear
Talking about your fears with others helps you identify your phobia, you vent, get advice and you feel supported.
You can also use a support group where you feel comfortable and help you in the process of overcoming your phobia.
Look at the following picture, do your hands start to sweat when you’re thinking about it?
3. Make a Hierarchy of Fears
Make a hierarchy of the various situations that generate fear, ranging from lowest to highest intensity (certainly within your phobia there are situations that generate more or less anxiety).
At this point, you should break up your fear into smaller fears which are easier to face at first.
Performing some type of relaxation exercise will help you face your phobia. You can visualize a pleasant scene, breathing exercises or meditation. The important thing is that you can do that anytime.
Exercising before exposure to the feared object will help reduce your anxiety level and it will be easier to cope.
At this point, you should imagine different situations in your hierarchy of fears which generate less anxiety. Try to imagine them for a whole minute. Rest and repeat again. When you stop feeling anxious, move to the next position in the hierarchy.
This exercise will help. Through imagination, your level of anxiety decreases.
When you go to face your fears in person, you’ll be calmer.
6. Generate Positive Thoughts
Write down your thoughts that arise when you are in the feared situation on a piece of paper. Turn them into more positive thoughts. For example, the thought “I cannot do it” can become “slowly and with an effort I can achieve anything.”
7. Expose Yourself to Your Fears
Start exposing yourself to your fears gradually, first in the situation that generates less anxiety. Do not force yourself, there’s no hurry. A slow and satisfactory exposure is preferred over a quick and torturous exposure.
When you have been exposed several times to a situation, you will observe that anxiety and fear have fallen considerably, then move onto the next.
8. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Exercise regularly, eat healthy, rest enough hours. This, in turn, affects your overall well-being. You should also read 10 Things You Must Change When You Stop Living Alone for tips on adopting a healthier lifestyle.
9. Beware of Drug Consumption
The use of drugs to relieve symptoms of phobias should only be done under medical supervision, as improper use of them can cause dependence and unintended consequences.
10. Be Patient
To overcome a phobia, you must have patience because most do not disappear immediately. Getting rid of them involves time and effort.
The important thing is to strive and reinforce all the achievements that came along.
With patience, effort and desire, you can overcome all your fears.
Cover photo: newsnish