Look Your Phobia in the Eye

Any phobia is a concern, a phobia is a gripping feeling that you are out of complete control. It is a fright that is out of control, and can seem like the walls around you are closing in. Your body is trying to shell you from the danger by expressing an emotion, but many times your body releases too much and you are closed in and unable to function.

If your natural shielding feeling that you have becomes out of control it turns into fear which turns into dread and then is a phobia. There are many treatment plans that I will explore, and if used correctly they will assist you with getting on with your life even with a life functionally.

A phobia will restrict your behavior and restrict your work if you let it. I know that it is uncontrollable when it happens, but it is possible to dull the fear. One successful method is a drawing down process of being within a certain radius of your phobia. Say that you have a phobia of spiders. Start with a picture and have it across the room or even on the porch outside. Try walking past it a few times. Even though you get the jitters when you do, it is important to realize that they won't last forever. You are going to change the way that you look at fear.

The second step is to take the picture inside if it was outside and move it a little closer to you. If you are able to have the picture within 3 feet of you that is consider this a major success. That proves that you are able to function and starting to control your phobia. If not that is ok, you will work up to it. Just start bringing the picture closer to you and eventually it will be within 3 feet of you. Wear down the fear. If you are exposed to it often enough the phobia will wear down to dread.

Once you are dreading it then start to handle the picture. It may give you the willies at first but pick up the picture and put it in a different spot in the house. If you are able to do that then you are ready to move onto the next step. If not keep practicing on this step and continue when you are ready.

The next step is to go within 20 feet of your fear. Say it is a spider. Go to the zoo and you don't have to walk in, but at least be where you can see the spiders for a few moments then walk away. Try to wear it down, and do it every day until you are ready to walk in.

Once you are ready to walk in, don't go directly up to the tank and start pecking on the windows. Stay away about three or four feet away, do this for about a week, at least 5 times. Until you feel that you are able to get closer. If you are ready to get closer then proceed. If not, it will come soon enough; look how far you've already come.

The next step is to be within 1 foot of your initial fear. Do you notice that I used initial fear? Even though you are extremely afraid at this point, you have taken the phobia away and now are dealing with, not dread, but fear. A fear is much easier to overcome then a phobia. You've come so far as of right now, there is just a few more steps and your fear will be very dull. Take your time on this step. It is important that you are comfortable with what you are doing. I know that sometimes you may not feel extremely comfortable, and at the beginning if you were comfortable then you wouldn't have even had the picture, but the main focus is to take the fear and get rid of it.

Now you are at the point where you can be without the case at least in the same room. Go up to someone that is holding it and stand at least 3 to five feet away. Relax take a few deep breathes and realize that it is a controlled situation and you are in control. Always remember that you are in control of the situation because you can choose to leave if you prefer, but you don't want to give up this opportunity to get over the phobia and go on with your life. When you are ready proceed to the next big step.

The beginning of the end is to be within 1 foot of the fear. After you have been within 1 foot of the fear and able to do that at least 4-5 times then you may precede to the last step.

Last but not least is to touch it. This is the last one, if you want to go further and hold by all means work your way up, remember to take it slow and that you are in control of the situation. Even if you are only touching a hair near it, you have still accomplished so much. I am so proud of you for facing your phobias and looking fear in the face, and conquering it.

A phobia is something that can be crippling to anyone that has one. Whether your fear consists of spiders, snakes, clowns, or anything else that gives you the willies, remember that you can overcome your fears; it just takes a little warming up to do the trick. Before long we'll all be skydiving from a helicopter — unless you're afraid.

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