Most people are afraid of something at some point in their lives.  After all, fears are a natural part of being human. Fear is what kept her ancestors safe.  However, sometimes fear evolves into something much bigger, which is referred to as a phobia.

When a person has a phobia, it’s beyond the point of just feeling fearful. People may fear for their lives.  Some people are so afraid of their phobias that they are unable to function in their presence. For example, someone with a phobia of being bitten by a dog, may not be capable of doing anything as long as there is a dog present.  

 Irrational fears can hold you back from personal relationships, your job, and even your own happiness. So, the question becomes, how do you have a functional life when phobias are getting in your way? Here are some of the best ways to overcome your phobias, and take control of your life again. 

Gradually Expose Yourself

Most professionals agree that the best way to get over your phobia is to gradually expose yourself to what you’re afraid of. By slowly tackling your fear through small exposures, you’re eventually getting yourself further and further.

It may take a while; however, with small steps forward, many people have reached great success through desensitizing themselves over time. 

Consider Hypnosis

Hypnosis has worked for many people for overcoming their fears.  While under hypnosis, a patient’s subconscious is coached into changing their way of thinking.  You can do this either through the help of a professional or by listening to recordings in headphones. 

Hypnosis is not always guaranteed to be effective; however, for people who are willing to try anything, it may be worth a shot.

Join a Support Group

Support groups can be great for feeling less alone in your situation. Sometimes your phobia may leave you feeling crazy or abnormal. However, when you meet other like-minded people, you realize that there may be hope for you after all. 

By working on your phobias together, you will feel a sense of community and support. 

Consider Medication

During the process of trying to overcome your phobias, you may find that medication helps you cope.  In cases of extreme anxiety or elevated heart rate, medication may be critical for you to handle your physical reactions to your fears. 

You may want to discuss different options with your doctor to determine whether medication is the right route.

Read more: Unfamiliar Environment: Blend in Easily with These Tips

Be Patient With Yourself

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and conquering a phobia is certainly no small feat.  Be patient with your progress, and try to reward yourself for each small victory.  Be patient, and self encouraging, and overtime with enough commitment, you can make it to the other side. 

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