The interesting thing about fear and phobias is that so many people share the same ones. The top five are public speaking, death, spiders, the dark, and heights. We’re guessing it won’t be long before nomophobia — fear of being without your cell phone — tops the list. Of these, the only real potential dangers are death and heights so it should be easy to get over them right?
Nope. According to PsychCentral, “Phobias are persistent, irrational fears of certain objects or situations. Phobias occur in several forms; the fear associated with a phobia can focus on a particular object (specific phobia) or be a fear of embarrassment in a public setting (social phobia),” and, “Approximately 4 to 5 percent of the U.S. population has one or more clinically significant phobias in a given year.”.
Methods for overcoming phobias vary
There is no one-size-fits-all method for overcoming fear. Everyone’s different so naturally certain methods work better for some people than others. The key is to keep trying until you find one that works. We’ve all been told that you can conquer any phobias if you face them head-on. This is also known as exposure therapy and it’s usually done incrementally over a long period of time.
A new British reality show called Fright Club challenges 60 people to do this in just three days. How has this not been done before? We’re betting it’s only a matter of time before there’s an American version. Exposure therapy is also widely used to treat PTSD but recent studies have suggested that it may not be very effective unless you have a positive attitude. Then again, when is that not true?
Just like you can use negative associations to curb bad habits, many people find learning to associate their phobias with something neutral helpful. Virtual reality is the latest high-tech version of this. Experts find VR exciting because the entire experience feels real to the patient but it’s a completely controlled environment so there are no surprises and therapists can make necessary adjustments to specifically tailor the treatment in real time. A similar approach, that you can do on your own, is to find the thrilling side of your fear so it feels more like riding a roller coaster or watching a horror flick than dying a painful death.
If you’re game, hypnotherapy isn’t an overnight cure but it has been shown to work for some people. Along the same lines, mindfulness meditation and breathing techniques not only reduce stress, they can also help you overcome fear. A school in India has incorporated this into their curriculum to help students who developed phobias connected to the massive deadly earthquake in Nepal last April. Whichever method you try, remember that you won’t overcome your fear overnight and if what you’re doing isn’t working, don’t give up just try something else.
The post The Fearless Ninja: How to Conquer Your Worst Phobias appeared first on Mundo Hispanico