Many people have an irrational fear, and even the most successful, confident types may battle their own inner demon. Being scared of spiders, snakes, heights, flying, enclosed spaces – all these are very common, but there are also stranger phobias, such as balloons and bananas. If you have such a fear, the fact it has no basis in fact can make it all the more difficult to deal with. You feel stupid and ashamed. Trying to hide your phobia causes you more stress, which can then intensify the fear, until it becomes a real issue that affects your life. If this happens then you need – and deserve – some help. There is no better place to start than with our sympathetic readers at The Circle, who will understand you and help you put things into perspective.
WHAT CAUSES FEARS?
You may be at home in the slick world of Twenty-first Century civilization, but your brain is still programmed with the responses of the Stone Age. This means that in some people there is a kind of generalized anxiety, that would have been great for survival, way back when. In primitive times you would have been the one who spotted the sabre-toothed tiger or the wolf-pack on the hunt, but nowadays we are all comparatively safe. However, your millennia-old instincts may not accept that, and so you are left with an unease that has to focus on something.
Phobias may begin very early in life, with a trauma that you don’t remember consciously. For instance, you may have woken from a nightmare and looked up from your cot to see a straggly bunch of flowers against the light from the window. This may have looked like a huge spider – you can guess the rest! Or you may have been locked in a cupboard, unable to escape. There are a host of things, large and small, that could trigger phobias in childhood.
Past life connections are also relevant. If you drowned at the end of your previous life then you may well be scared of water, or if you were thrown from a cliff, heights may terrify you. This is not recognized by the established medical profession, which makes some phobias very hard to treat. However, our intuitive readers at The Circle will pick up this sort of issue and give you the guidance and support you need.
OVERCOMING YOUR PHOBIA
If you have had your phobia for a long time and it is affecting your behaviour, you may feel there is no way out. Once you start to think this way, you feed the phobia, giving it more power. In extreme cases this can result in normal life grinding to a halt, such as with severe agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) which can result in a sufferer being housebound. Clearly, something has to change.
• Start by telling yourself that you fear is not irrational, as such, it is just inappropriate and misplaced. There is a part of you that is reacting as if you still lived in a cave, which actually makes you a survivor. Stop feeling stupid and disempowered and resolve that you will turn your instincts to your advantage.
• Try to find the cause of your fear, such as childhood trauma or past-life experience. Some phobias actually disappear when their roots are cut open. You may need the support of a therapist for this, and you can start with a reading from The Circle.
• Research the possible meanings of your fear – for instance, some people say spiders represent a negative mother complex and snakes inhibitions about sex. These interpretations may not apply to you, but what does? If you can de-code the messages from your subconscious it may stop bothering you!
• Tackle your phobia through what is called ‘graded exposure and desensitization.’ This means that you start with facing a mini-manifestation of your fear, such as a photograph of a spider or standing on the second rung of a ladder – look at it/remain in place until anxiety subsides. Then touch the photo/go up the ladder and so on. For spiders there are toy replicas, TV programmes, small varieties to imagine touching and then actually touch. Each time you take a step, hold it until you calm down before proceeding, and if you need to go back a step at any time, do so. Eventually you will defeat your phobia.
• Hypnotherapy is a very effective tool in curing phobias. Your therapist will keep you in a relaxed state while you go through each of the steps that exposes you to your fear, in your imagination. Under hypnosis this is all very real to you, yet you stay calm. Then in your everyday life you find you just do not have the fear any more! I have seen this happen with countless patients of mine, who now regularly fly off to foreign places or face snakes or escalators in complete comfort.
You owe it to yourself to deal with your fear. Don’t let it beat you! Encouragement and advice is just a call away at The Circle, so don’t put off the start of your healing journey.
PUBLISHED: 01 September 2014