All people experience fear. Be it a panic attack or a social phobia, it can bring about fear symptoms.
When you encounter your feared object or scenario, your nervous system goes into overdrive.
As a result, you channel negative thoughts. Worse, you suffer from a specific physical feeling: palms sweating, trembling, high blood pressure.
While these anxious feelings may be paralyzing at times, you can get over them. What you have to do is familiarize yourself with the common types of fear and how to overcome them.
Fear of Enclosed Spaces (Claustrophobia)
As per the American Psychiatric Association, claustrophobia is a phobia of closed spaces. So when you enter, say, a tunnel or elevator, you feel overwhelmed.
You may end up suffering from panic attacks with symptoms including fast breathing and heart rate.
As open spaces are not available all the time, the physicians’ first recommendation is to stay physically calm.
Building exposure in your daily life and coupling it with medical treatments will help as well.
Fear of Public Speaking
One of the common specific phobias is glossophobia—the fear of speaking in public. In fact, it affects 4 out of 10 Americans.
Glossophobia symptoms are similar to those of an anxiety attack. They include sweating, trembling, and a fast heart rate.
To overcome your speaking-related anxiety, you need to:
- Know your topic well
- Be organized
- Practice your speech on the other person
- Do some deep breathing exercises
- Join support groups like Toastmasters
Fear of Flying
Aerophobia is a mental health condition where people have intense anxiety due to flying. To make matters worse, even the thought of it can trigger generalised anxiety disorder.
If you have aerophobia, you may experience shortness of breath, a choking sensation, and cold hands.
As with other phobias, overcoming this fear means undergoing therapy and medication treatment.
Self-help strategies such as latching onto triggers and anticipating your phobia will help as well.
While a dog is man’s best friend, people with cynophobia suffer from anxiety problems whenever they see canines.
Do you want to overcome your fear of dogs and the physical feelings that come with it? You need to:
- Expose yourself (little by little) to actual dogs or through virtual reality
- Imagine dealing with dogs (active-imaginal exposure)
Intense Fear of Failure
Most people’s common fear is that of failure. No one likes to fail, after all.
When you have this particular phobia, you’re eventually stopping yourself from achieving success.
Overcoming fear of failure or atychiphobia may be challenging, but it can be done by:
- Determining where the trepidation comes from
- Thinking positive
- Visualizing all outcomes, good or bad
- Learning from the events that happen
Fear of Loss
It’s normal to feel anxious about losing the people we love. The same goes with the reality of losing control.
That said, the best way to overcome uncomfortable sensations is to break your thought patterns. You need to improve your self-esteem and always look at the positive side of things.
Fear of Change
The fear of change is also one of the most common phobias. In fact, people tend to go to great lengths to avoid such changes.
That said, the only way to face your fears is to adopt the following self-help methods:
- Acknowledge that change is part of life
- Accept the situation, no matter how disheartening
- Step outside of your comfort zone
Fear of Loneliness
As the old song says, nobody wants to be lonely.
Sadly, this fear can get in the way of your life, especially if you’re basing your decisions on it.
If you want to address this fear effectively, you need to:
- Reach out to others. You don’t have to deal with everything alone.
- Do some deep breathing, mindfulness, or muscle relaxation exercises.
Fear of Rejection
If you’re very conscious of what people think about you, you fear rejection.
As a result, you end up changing your personality and actions to fit into the mold.
Although challenging, accepting this fear is all about facing it. Avoid negative self-talk!
It’s a matter of knowing your worth and validating your feelings.
Fear of the Unknown
Also known as xenophobia, it’s the rejection & fear of new experiences or situations. Such phobias develop in people who want to keep total control of their environments.
While this common fear can bring unpleasant physical sensations, facing them head-on is the way to go. Exposing yourself to the unknown—at least one step at a time—is the way to total personal and spiritual freedom.
A great deal of fear can take a negative toll on your mental health and well-being. That’s why it’s vital to acknowledge your fears and anxiety disorders. If you continue to be afraid of things, you won’t achieve the fulfillment you deserve.
While it’s easier said than done, there’s no need for you to worry. As long as you’re willing to take the plunge, life coach Rhonda Britten can help you out.