You hear people say all the time that they are afraid of something whether that fear is a fear of spiders, a fear of swimming, a fear of being hurt or some other unimaginable thing. It is natural to fear things. While everyone fears something, there are some people who have such an overwhelming feeling of fear and dread that psychologists refer to it as a phobia.
Difference Between Fear and Phobia
It is normal to feel fearful in some situations. Sometimes, feeling fearful is even helpful. Fear is part of the human “fight-or-flight” response. Fear allows our body to make a quick response to a dangerous situation. Phobias, on the other hand, go past ordinary wariness. A phobia places you in a crippling situation.While fear prepares your body to fight or flee, a phobia can be paralyzing making the underlying fear all the worse.
Overcoming Feelings of Dread
1. Face Your Fear: Slowly, one step at a time, face what you fear. The more you practice facing you fear the quicker it will be overcome. If you begin to feel overly anxious or panicky, then stop and try again later.
2. Learn To Relax: There are many relaxation techniques you can learn that will help you overcome feeling of fear and dread. When you become anxious your breathing automatically becomes quick and shallow. Instead practice deep breathing when you feel anxious. Practice deep breathing a few times a day. It is hard to feel tense and afraid when breathing deep.
3. Turn Negatives to Positives: When you fear something negative thoughts easily invade your mind making everything seem ten times scarier than it really is. Learn to identify negativity and find positives instead. For example, when faced with a situation that causes you to be anxious tell yourself you know that everything will be fine. Practice daily. Eventually, positivity will win out.
4. Understand Yourself: Everyone experiences some form of fear or anxiety in their lifetime. For a phobic person, a major tool to overcoming that fear is to understand how that fear developed. Think about when your fear began and try to pinpoint the moment it became a phobia. When you can understand your fear, then you can begin to overcome it.
5. Recruit!: Get a partner to help you as you learn to overcome your fear. This could be a family member you trust or a good friend. The key here is to have someone to whom you can talk out your fear with. It helps to know that there is another person in the situation with you. As you become more comfortable, you will learn to deal with it alone.
It is important to understand that sometimes you cannot do it alone. If you or someone you care for is suffering from excessive fear and that person cannot help themselves, seek professional help.