Do you suffer from irrational fears of illness, death, people or heights? Here, find easy strategies to get rid of fear and phobia.
You know what it’s like to be afraid of something, whether it’s thunderstorms, going to the dentist, a stranger at your door, or losing someone dear to you.
Fear is a normal reaction that warns our bodies to be careful.
Anxiety is a type of fear, which is more concerned with worry and the future, rather than fear of something that is actually present.
A phobia is an expressed permanent fear, usually excessive or unjustified, that appears in connection with the expectation of a specific object or situation.
But when fear, phobia and anxiety become a common pattern in our life, it becomes a problem.
In the rest of the article, learn everything about fears and phobias, and read simple tips on how to get rid of fear naturally and without the use of drugs.
The most common general categories of fears
Specific phobias are a broad category of unique phobias related to specific objects and situations.
Phobias come in all shapes and sizes. Since there are an infinite number of objects and situations, the list of specific phobias is quite long.
Certain phobias usually fall into five general categories:
- fears associated with animals (spiders, dogs, insects)
- fears associated with the natural environment (heights, thunder, darkness)
- fears related to blood, injury or medical problems (injections, broken bones, falls)
- fears related to certain situations (flying, elevator ride, driving)
- other (choking, loud noises, drowning)
Those categories include an infinite number of specific objects and situations.
There is no official list of phobias, so clinicians and researchers make them up as needed. This is usually achieved by combining the Greek (or sometimes Latin) prefix that describes the phobia with the suffix – phobia.
For example, fear of water would be named by combining hydro (water) and phobia (fear).
There is also such a thing as fear of fears (phobophobia). It’s actually more common than you might imagine.
People with anxiety disorders sometimes experience panic attacks when they are in certain situations. These panic attacks can be so unpleasant that people do everything to avoid them in the future.
For example, if you have a panic attack while sailing, you may be afraid of sailing in the future, but you may be afraid of having a panic attack or fear of developing hydrophobia.
Types of common phobias
Studying specific phobias is a complex process. Most people do not seek treatment for these conditions, so cases generally go unreported.
These phobias also differ depending on cultural experiences, gender and age. Research has found that some of the most common symptoms of phobias include:
- aerophobia – fear of flying
- autophobia – fear of loneliness
- arachnophobia – fear of spiders
- acrophobia – fear of heights
- astraphobia – fear of thunder and lightning
- ergophobia – fear of work and responsibility
- claustrophobia – fear of closed or cramped spaces
- misophobia – fear of infection with bacteria or viruses
- philophobia – fear of love
- hemophobia – fear of blood
- hydrophobia – fear of water
- ophidiophobia – fear of snakes
- trypanophobia – fear of needles and medical procedures
- thanatophobia – fear of death
- thalassophobia – fear of the sea
- zoophobia – fear of animals
Specific phobias tend to be incredibly specific. Some so much that they can influence only a few people at the same time.
They are difficult to recognize because most people do not report unusual fears to their doctors.
Examples of some of the more unusual phobias include:
- alectorophobia – fear of chickens
- onomatophobia – fear of names
- pogonophobia – fear of beards
- Nephophobia – fear of clouds
- cryophobia – fear of ice or cold.
So, if you want to know how to overcome fear, read the rest of the article for easy tips and strategies to overcome fear and start a new life without phobias.
The best ways to get rid of fear
1. Learn more about your fear
The first step may be the most difficult, but it is also very necessary.
You cannot overcome the fear that remains hidden in the dusty recesses of your subconscious, you must face it.
When you look towards a person, you see him, learn how he looks and behaves. Likewise, when you look toward your fear, you notice things you didn’t know before. This awareness helps you overcome obstacles caused by fear.
To help yourself face your fears and anxieties, try keeping a journal for two or three weeks.
Record any patterns you notice – do your palms get sweaty and your stomach clench when you hear the doorbell?
Do you have more anxiety symptoms in the morning or evening? What do you usually do when your fears arise? Write down anything that seems significant.
Putting your fear patterns and symptoms into writing can help demystify them. Most importantly, knowing everything about your fear gives you an idea of how to get rid of it.
2. Positive imagination helps overcome phobias
Imagination is a wonderful thing and gives you power, creativity and the ability to think outside the box.
Unfortunately, an active imagination can be a harmful tool when it makes you think about negative things. Your imagination can magnify your fears, making your situation seem much worse than it actually is.
Instead of letting your imagination lead you down the dark corridors of fear, use it intentionally to overcome fear.
Choose a calm moment when you are relaxed and not anxious. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a situation that usually causes fear. For example, if you fear getting lost in a crowded building, imagine yourself in a busy airport.
Now imagine how you calmly resolve the situation. You don’t freeze and start crying. Instead, look for an information desk or sign to help you regain your sense of direction. You imagine yourself arriving at the correct parking space, unlocking the car door and driving home safely without any bad accidents.
The peace you experienced in your imagined scenario can actually help you get through the real ordeal more calmly.
3. Use your brain in a different way
Your fear and phobias arise from a certain part of your brain and allow emotions to override rational thought. When you feel your dreaded symptoms coming to light, try using another part of your brain.
Think about numbers for example. A nurse in a clinic may ask a patient to rate their pain on a scale of 1-10. Use this scale for your anxiety. How anxious are you when it’s perfectly calm, and how much when you’re experiencing your worst symptoms?
Stop and analyze. Do you rate your fear as a 7? Very good. You can work on getting it down to a 4 or 3. Try the next step to lower your fear score.
4. Focus on your breathing
Breathing is more important than you think. Fear usually begins with short breaths.
Short breaths cause numerous negative reactions in your body that quickly become an anxiety attack. The key to overcoming those quick bursts of anxiety is breathing control.
Fortunately, deep breathing is not complicated. Once you recognize that you are afraid, stop and focus on your breathing.
Breathe in and then breathe out slowly. Make sure that the exhalation is longer than the inhalation. This is not just some psychological trick; deep breathing forces your body to physically calm down.
5. Practice mindfulness (mindfulness)
You’ve heard of mindfulness exercises, but what exactly are they?
Mindfulness or mindfulness is a passive thinking activity that allows you to become more aware of your fear. As you learned in Step 1, mindfulness helps you overcome fear and phobias.
Practice these mindfulness tips during some of your less severe periods of fear and anxiety. When you recognize the symptoms of fear, sit down and think about what is happening to you.
This is like a mental journal entry. Watch for symptoms as soon as they appear and do nothing about it.
Just sit and watch yourself as the moment passes. Being passive raises your self-awareness and prevents you from doing the typical things you do when you experience fear. It helps you get out of a rut.
6. Use nature as your therapist
Talking to a therapist is a great way to overcome fear. However, you can’t always be in your therapist’s office.
Try going for a walk instead! The natural beauty found in parks, backyards, or where something green grows helps reduce symptoms of fear and anxiety. Nature calms people, reducing stress levels and changing moods from anxious to relaxed.
In addition, the physical activity of walking or running outdoors requires us to use the brain differently, which can cause a shift from irrational fearful thoughts to clearer thinking that can help overcome fear.
Get rid of fear with these methods
Phobias are persistent, intense and unrealistic fear of a specific object or situation.
Specific phobias are associated with certain objects and situations. They typically include fears related to animals, the natural environment, medical problems, or specific situations.
Although phobias can be extremely embarrassing and challenging, therapy and medication can help.
If you think you have a phobia that is interfering with your life, talk to your doctor for an evaluation and treatment options.