Fears and Phobia

FEARS AND PHOBIAS


Fear self-magnifies. It is when you are afraid and envisioning all that might go wrong that the energy underlying your fear grows. A tiny flicker of anxiety can easily develop into a terror that manifests itself physically and eventually paralyzes you into inaction.
 

Though fear is literally an evolutionary gift meant to sharpen your senses and energize you during times of great stress, it can nonetheless become a barrier that prevents you from fulfilling your potential by causing you to miss out on rewarding, life-changing experiences. During the period before you face your fear, you may have to deal with a barrage of negative thoughts and emotions. Walking through it, whether your fear is public speaking, taking part in an activity that makes you nervous, or asserting yourself when the odds are against you, may be equally as difficult. But once you have emerged unscathed on the other side, which you will, you will likely wonder why you assumed the worst in the first place. As you spend time worrying about what might happen, it's good to know that your fear probably won't happen at all. It may feel like a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders, and you will likely feel a sense of passionate pride. Walking through your fear can mean taking risks and can require both practice and patience. Since it is challenging to act when you are gripped with fear, start small. 

Each step you take into fear will strengthen you and help you confront future fears with poise, courage, and confidence. You will also find that when you are willing to stare your fear in the face, the universe will always offer you some form of aid or support. When you see the heights of accomplishment and personal evolution you can attain when you walk through your fears, your faith in yourself will grow, allowing your next step to be easier.  Fear is a natural emotion that protects people from harm when they face real and imminent danger. A phobia is an excessive fear or anxiety related to specific objects or situations that are out of proportion to the actual danger they present. 

Specific phobias typically fall within five general categories:

  • fears related to animals (spiders, dogs, insects)

  • fears related to the natural environment (heights, thunder, darkness)

  • fears related to blood, injury, or medical issues (injections, broken bones, falls)

  • fears related to specific situations (flying, riding an elevator, driving)

  • other (choking, loud noises, drowning)

These categories encompass an infinite number of specific objects and situations.

Fortunately, when phobias interfere with a person's life, treatment can help. For specific phobias, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with exposure treatment is advised. Relaxation and breathing exercises also help to ease symptoms.

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