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Top 5 ways you can conquer your phobia

August 10, 2019

A phobia is a powerful response to a frightening stimulus, and can lead to reactions which may seem extreme or irrational to other people. However, if you are the person living with a phobia, your fear is very real, and your reactions are difficult to control. Here are five ways to conquer your phobia forever.

#1 Make a plan to gently desensitize yourself

This involves exposing yourself to the thing you fear in small, manageable doses, in surroundings where you feel safe and supported. For example, if you’re terrified of horses, you might begin by looking at pictures and videos, gradually build up to standing with a trusted friend to watch someone riding in a paddock across the road, and eventually work towards being able to sit in the saddle yourself.

#2 Jump straight in the deep end

If gradual exposure doesn’t seem like your style, consider the opposite approach. This involves deliberately exposing yourself to the thing you fear, without breaking the process down into tiny steps. For example, if you’re afraid of water, you might immerse yourself fully in a pool as part of a swimming lesson. This works very well for some people, and not as well for others, so it’s important to make a decision which feels right for you.

#3 Get informed

Sometimes, you can bring a phobia back within manageable bounds simply by learning more about the thing you fear. For example, if you’re terrified of flying, you might find that researching flight safety statistics and safety procedures on board modern airliners helps you to feel in control and confident enough to board a plane.

#4 Learn to relax

When you encounter something you fear greatly, you feel a range of unpleasant physical responses: your heart races, your breath becomes fast and shallow, your muscles tense, and so on. As your body feels these responses, your fear increases still further. Learning relaxation techniques such as meditation or breathing exercises can help you to stay calm and stop your response from escalating.

#5 Seek professional help

One of the most effective ways to conquer a phobia is to seek professional help, particularly if the fear you are feeling is having a serious impact on your quality of life. Professional counselors can help you resolve underlying emotional baggage which may be adding to your difficulties, teach you strategies to address your fears, and help you to feel empowered to make significant changes.

Ilona Nichterlein uses a combination of counselling and hypnosis to assist people who are struggling with phobias and anxiety management. She can help you clear away the blockages which have prevented you from overcoming your phobia in the past, and support you to make positive changes for a phobia-free future. Call her on 0411 046 175 to book an appointment or for more information.

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