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Dealing with irrational fears: Here's some action pointers from Psychologists!

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

The fear of heights, for instance, is so common that it's considered a phobia. And this is one of the more well-known phobias in existence today. The fear can affect anyone at any age: a child could be going on the school bus and feel too scared to go to the top floor because they're afraid they won't be able to get down. While most people would never intentionally hurt themselves because of these fears, anxiety disorders are much more common than often imagined.

If your fear of heights is severe enough, it could cause you great difficulty in daily life. For instance some people experience the symptoms of anxiety when they feel their plane is about to take off. This can make it difficult to travel or simply enjoy everyday activities like shopping at the mall. If you're living with an irrational fear, but feel trapped in a situation because you don't know how to get rid of the fear, there are ways to overcome them.


Tips for Overcoming Irrational Fears


1. Don't be afraid to ask for help: There is nothing wrong with asking others for advice when it comes to dealing with irrational fear. The only thing you should fear is allowing yourself to continue living a life in which you're afraid of what could happen if you expose yourself to the situation that's causing the irrational fear. If you end up feeling more stressed and anxious, then what's the point? Getting help can provide you with a better understanding of your irrational fears, which will enable you to learn how to cope with them in a healthy way.


2. Try facing your fears head on: This can be quite difficult. But if you want to overcome your irrational fears, then it's important to face them head on. As long as you feel trapped by your fear, you're not really experiencing the situation from an objective standpoint. For instance, if you feel that another passenger is angry or aggressive towards you or the person sitting next to you, then it could be time for a change in perspective. Lean on your observations of the situation around you and take note of the fact that there are other passengers on the plane too! You won't be able to escape from everyone's gaze.


3. Take things one step at a time: Don't be afraid to start out small. If you're afraid of heights, then you don't have to jump out of an airplane. Going up just a couple flights of stairs can be considered a minor victory, as long as it's not your worst fear. If you start conquering your irrational fears, you'll realize that life can be pretty awesome when you're not tied down by your own thoughts and unrealistic expectations!


4. Positive thinking is the key: You might think this is going to the other extreme from step 1 but it actually isn't! You just have to replace all the negative thoughts in your head with positive ones. These thoughts can be as simple as "I'm brave enough to go down the stairs without being fearful of what might happen." And if you do have irrational fear, try to think in a positive manner, like "I'm not going to let this person see me as a coward because I'm afraid of heights." If you start thinking positively, then it's more likely that you'll develop your courage by taking the first step towards conquering your fears.


5. Get a pet! Studies have shown that those who have pets tend to feel less pressure emotionally during times of stress and anxiety. A dog or cat is no different from another human being in that it could bring you comfort on days when your own human companionship isn't enough. If you don't have a pet, try visiting one of your local animal shelters or rescue organizations. You could be saving a life and beginning to conquer your irrational fears all at once!



6. Get out in nature: Take a walk in the park or visit an animal rehabilitation center. While you're busy thinking about your irrational fears, you'll be too caught up in the experience to focus on what's causing the anxiety. There are numerous sources of nature for you to take advantage of near where you live. Plus, being outdoors could help reduce stress and anxiety levels as well.


7. Evaluate yourself: While getting down to the core of your irrational fears can be difficult, it could help you overcome what's holding you back. Think about why you have these irrational fears and then write down a few things that might help you get over them. For instance, maybe you're afraid of heights because you're living in a big city and are surrounded by tall buildings that remind you of your worst nightmare or something similar to it. Once you identify what's causing the irrational fear, then finding a solution becomes a whole lot easier!



8. Practice and prepare beforehand: This is a great way to get rid of irrational fears. For instance, if you have a fear of speaking in public, then practice by going to a local library or coffee shop and reading aloud from a book that you love. You could also read the newspaper. Practice can help you become better at not being afraid of your irrational fears whenever they come up in real life situations! Also, preparing beforehand will help you to relax when it comes time for the real thing.


9. Get a friend or family member on board: If you have someone who can support your efforts to eliminate your irrational fears, then this person will be there for you during the tougher times. But you should also be prepared to tell this person all your fears in the first place. If you don't, then they could become hurt or embarrassed by your irrational fears.


10. Overcome the fear: Although it can be tempting to give up on irrational fears, that's not the right way to deal with them. You have to learn how to conquer them, or else you'll never overcome these feelings that cause so much stress and anxiety every day! So use these tips as a guide and get ready for a life where you're not afraid of what could happen if you expose yourself in certain situations.


Takeaway

If you follow these 10 steps, then you'll eventually be able to overcome your fear of irrational situations. The best results will come when you're able to combine as many of these steps as possible. For instance, going outdoors can help reduce stress and anxiety while getting a pet could make you feel less alone during stressful times.


The trick is to start out small and work up to the bigger fears that are holding you back.


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