Fear is a response that people display when they feel as if they are threatened in some way. Fear is felt when someone believes that an action, situation, or person is going to harm them physically or emotionally.
Basic Human Emotion and Instinct
Fear is one of the most rudimentary human emotions needed for survival. Everyone feels fear at one time or another, but most of the time, fear is totally unnecessary.
However, it is an instinct that has saved us for generations and one to take seriously. You don’t want to dismiss all feelings of fear, but you do want to categorize them so that you can move past your fear when it’s safe to do so.
Fear Versus Anxiety
While both fear and anxiety produce stress responses such as tension, higher pulse, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms that come from our inborn “flight or fight” nature, they are different in that anxiety is more vague, while fear is felt for a known rational threat (unless it’s a phobia).
Fear Is Both Bad and Good
Even though most modern people’s fears aren’t life or death, they are still part of the person. The problem comes if fear is getting in the way of achieving success or enjoying life. If you are too scared to leave the house, that’s a crippling fear to have and one that is best worked through with professionals so that you can have a full life. But if you are afraid of that spider, there may be a good reason.
The most common fears involve fear of dirt, flying, speaking, storms, and fear of open spaces. Only a couple of those come with the potential for death, even if very rare. Common fears can be worked through once acknowledged carefully and purposefully so that you can eliminate roadblocks in your life.
One problem with avoiding fear is that it can cause you to be stuck in your life, stagnant, and going nowhere fast. It’s normal to avoid fear, though, so it’s best to write down your fears and determine which ones aren’t helping you so that you can work toward overcoming those that are stifling your life.
Analyze each fear to see whether it’s something you need to be fearful of or something irrational and maybe even unreasonable. If it’s something holding you back from success in some area of your life, get help to overcome it – even if it’s a real fear such as fear of flying as compared to a fear of being abducted by aliens.
Everyone experiences fear. Sometimes it’s helpful and sometimes it’s not. It’s how you react to it and work around it that matters. Don’t allow fear to stop you from achieving or doing anything that you want to do. If the fear is real but you really want to do something, working through the fear can make all the difference.
A phobia is a fear-based reaction to something irrational in nature. There is no scientific reason to feel as fearful as you do over the thing that causes the phobia. Now, this isn’t to say that some phobias aren’t based on the potential for real harm, but most of the time, no harm will really come to you. Let’s look at some of the most common phobias and how to deal with them.
Here a a few list of common phobias;
- Social Phobia – Also known as social anxiety disorder, this is a phobia that can affect everyone differently. One person might only be afraid of speaking in front of people, while another fears just chatting at the dinner table. The main thing that really affects someone with a social anxiety disorder is the fear of panic attacks. It literally causes someone to feel as if they are dying when going out, being around others, and interacting with them.
- Agoraphobia – This is the fear of being alone in spaces that you’re afraid you cannot get out of. Sometimes this is wide open spaces, but sometimes it’s specific spaces like malls or large outdoor arenas. This fear is often characterized by panic attacks when trying to leave the comfort zone. This can affect people severely, including keeping someone from ever leaving their home or a room in their home.
- Aerophobia – The fear of flying is a common phobia. Some people can fly through their fears, but others cannot and need to find alternative transportation. This fear can be very limiting if someone wants to experience a new type of life or career that requires traveling.
- Mysophobia – This very common phobia is the fear of germs. Due to this fear, it may be hard for the person to go out around people. They may be afraid to touch others or touch surfaces, and it might manifest as keeping a home spotlessly clean and overly washing the hands, which (ironically) can end up causing skin infections.
- Glossophobia – This is also a very common fear. People are so fearful of public speaking that they often describe it as scarier than death. While some people simply suffer from some stage fright and can get through it, a person with this phobia will avoid public speaking at all costs. This can damage their grades in school and career later.
- Anthropophobia – This is different from social anxiety because the fear of people manifests as fear of even people you know. People who have this fear are terrified of everyone, not just people they do not know.
How to Deal with Phobias
To overcome your phobias, the first thing you need to do is identify them and judge what level they’re approaching.
If you need to get professional help to overcome the phobia, this is often the best course of action. The other way to deal with it is to acknowledge it and work through the fear a little each day. Keep a journal and develop plans to push through this phobia one step at a time.
You can also try hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, and even a life coach who specializes in your particular phobia. However you choose to deal with it, know that it’s not impossible to overcome a phobia if you want to and are willing to try what the professionals ask you – such as desensitization, neuro-linguistic programming and/or medications that can help.