FACING YOUR FEARS
Take a moment to think of something you’re afraid of. Maybe it’s spiders, heights, needles, or even social situations. What do you do when you come across the thing you fear?
If you’re like most people, you avoid the source of your fear as much as possible. Fear and anxiety are deeply unpleasant emotional states designed to keep us safe from real dangers, so avoiding things that trigger those emotions seems logical. However, when it comes to irrational phobias, avoiding the cause of your feelings isn’t such an evolutionary advantage.
It may sound counterintuitive, but avoiding something relatively safe increases your fear. For instance, if you refuse to get a flu shot because you’re afraid of needles, you may feel better at the time but the next time you’re asked to get a flu shot, you’re less likely to say yes. Your fear only increases and you become trapped in a cycle of anxiety and avoidance.
The best solution is to face your fear and expose yourself to the cause of your phobia. This can feel daunting, but therapy and medical hypnosis are both extremely helpful ways of reducing phobias.