Let us first understand what fears and phobias are. Fear is a feeling that makes us aware of a dangerous situation and irrational fears are know as phobias. So it is ok to have a fear but not a phobia.
Now how do we determine whether it is a fear or a phobia? It’s quite simple, look around you and see if everyone around you is scared of a particular thing. If yes then it is a fear else it is a phobia.
It is ok to be scared of standing on the edge of a cliff without any railings, anyone would be scared of falling down and this fear will make you protect yourself from falling. But getting scared to stand at the edge behind a well protected railing would be a phobia.
Similarly it is ok to be scared of a Lion, because being scared help you protect yourself from the hostile animal. But it is not ok to be scared of a small kitten or cockroach which cannot even harm you.
Now that we have identified our phobia let’s understand the reason behind this phobia.
There could be 3 types of reasons behind phobias:
- Due to past experiences:
If your phobia is due to past experience, then analyze why some event occured last time and what precautions can you take to avoid any harm to yourself. For example some people are scared of heights because in the past either they almost slipped or they saw someone slip. So in that case we can take precautions like staying away from the edge of a terrace or cliff, or wearing safety equipments if it is for an adventure sport.
2.Due to some negative story:
In this case first we must analyse whether the story is true. If it is made up then there is absolutely no need to be scared because it doesn’t exist. For example there is no need of being scared of ghosts as they don’t exist. Ghost stories are either made up, or they occur due to hallucinations.
3. Due to some negative news:
If it is a news or a true story, just analyze how often does the incident even occurs. For example if you are scared of sitting in a flight because of flight crash or flight hijack news. But these days so many precautions are taken and these incidents happen once in a trillions of times. So there is no need to be scared because we are all lucky people and we will always be safe.
Now that you have analyzed and you know that your fear is unnecessary, you need to take a final step to get rid of your phobia. You need to face your fear.
If you fear darkness, go and stand in a dark room for some time and when you see that nothing really happens, your fear will no longer exist.
If you are scared of a dog or cat, find a friendly pet near you and go and interact with it. Then you will no longer be scared.
Basically phobias are just in our mind. We just need to logically explain to our mind that the phobia is baseless. We just need to tell our mind “Chachu All is Well”.
I hope now you can analyze all your fears in similar way and get rid of them.
Let me know in the comments, what phobia you had and how did you overcome it. And if you have any trouble fighting any phobia you may also ask for help in the comments. I can help you analyze your fears.