As a hypnotherapist, I often work with people who have phobias and fears they just cannot escape. As they realise how much this is affecting their daily lives, they come to me seeking help to alleviate the anxiety and stress that has been caused by the phobia.
Phobias are irrational fears that develop in a person’s mind. They could be of an object, animal or experience. Some of the most popular examples include:
- Social phobia (social anxiety disorder) – the fear of social situations
- Arachnophobia – the fear of spiders
- Claustrophobia – the fear of confined spaces
- Agoraphobia – the fear of open spaces and public places
If a phobia becomes too much, people tend to avoid that particular activity. If we take this into context; imagine having a fear of social situations, they enclosing yourself in your home to avoid meeting people. How isolated would you be after six months? How many friends would be like in a year?
This is often how people’s lives become isolated and lonely, escalating the cycle of depression and anxiety and can lead people into the worst of situations. And this can happen to anyone; phobias are said to be caused by traumatic experiences or can become learned behaviours through repeat patterns of abuse or unease.
Today I want to give some practical advice to those out there who may be suffering with any kind of phobia, helping you to overcome those irrational fears.
Step One: Recognise The Problem
What areas of life are your phobias affecting? Deep-dive into this. Is it your relationships? Your career? Your health? Whatever it is, how bad is it being affected? Is it becoming a more recurring problem, and is it affecting your daily life?
It can be hard for someone to admit they have a phobia, as these fears can seem very irrational to those around them. It’s an essential first step for anyone who wants to be truly rid of their irrational fears once and for all.
Step Two: Provide Meaning
What would it mean for you to solve this problem? That relationship you are consistently ruining because you can’t buckle up the courage to show up to dates? The ten minutes you waste every day walking up the staircase because you won’t take the lift? The experiences you are missing out on with friends because you’re afraid of heights?
How would you feel if you were suddenly free from all of that unnecessary stress and anxiety?
To be able to confidently be yourself in any situation, to no longer be afraid to meet new people and socialise?
It can be priceless to those who want to escape their irrational fears or phobias. Attaching a meaning to why you want to finally make this change and become phobia-free is one of the most fundamental parts of this process. Let your emotion fuel you’re finally letting go.
Step Three: Face Your Fears
What is it you’re afraid of? Face up to it.
There is no better way than dealing with your fears than facing them. It’s as simple as you want to make it. Ask for support from those around you, but facing up to your insecurities and escaping your comfort zone is always the most effective way to cure any phobia.
The good news? It will get easier with time. The bad news? There’s only you who can do it.
Phobias can be debilitating. They can wreak havoc on your life like you’ve never seen before. If you need someone to speak to and want to seek help to overcome your phobia, then get in touch with me.