Having phobic responses can range from being annoying to stressful. Read this page about phobias to learn how to Master Phobias with Hypnotherapy.
Phobias, learnt or inherited
It is certainly the case that some Phobias are learnt, that is we develop them during life, opinion remains varied on whether some are inherited.
Start talking about phobias in a group and you won’t have to wait long to hear the word Spider. A ‘fear’ of spiders is wide spread. Spiders may have an image problem, but their publicity team is really on fire. It’s quite hard to comprehend how widespread Arachnophobia is, especially as it is often labelled as an irrational fear of spiders.
In the interests of balance, we should remember that as every yin has a yang duality exists for phobias in the form of philias. Yes, all you spider lovers out there that makes you arachnophiles; personally, I am more middle ground.
On a broader spectrum all phobias are considered as irrational, often even the sufferer knows the fear is irrational. So why do these fears build up?
We can box away for now any phobias that are inherited, assuming this is a thing, if their inherited they came from your ancestors. Social learning is a process that fits the phrase ‘monkey see, monkey do’ – this really was tested with monkeys.
If we see or hear someone reacting or perhaps even just talking about a fear, we can absorb the information. So long as we can find a thread of threat to work with our self-protecting brains can work this up in to a huge risk. Preparing all kinds of reaction ready for the day the risk hits, and then the starter pistol fires and we go full on into fight or flight.
And of course, mixed up in the fight or flight response is the tendency to embellish and turn up the memory; making the next pesky arachnid even bigger and scarier.
More Phobias (and philias)
Just in case you need a few more examples to keep the imagination working:
- Agliophobia- Fear of pain
- Chionophobia- Fear of snow
- Felinophobia- Fear of cats
- Soceraphobia- Fear of parents-in-law
- Scolionophobia- Fear of school
The list really does go on for quite a while, so much so that you should consider Agateophobia; that’s the fear of insanity.
Phobias come in two general flavours, Simple and Complex. A simple phobia has a single trigger, Felinophobia above (fear of cats) is an example; there can of course be more than one cat.
Complex phobias are situation based, this could be the sweaty palm moment as your number gets called at the deli counter; what may go wrong as you step forward in front of the other shoppers? This example can be slotted into a sub category of Social Phobia; seems we do care what others think of us.
Phobias, what are they good for
As we struggle to make sense of the modern world from within our slowly evolving bodies and with reasoning that could do with an update, phobias do still have a place.
Okay we did say earlier that all phobias are considered irrational, so, lets blur the lines a little here and welcome the idea of fears. To be in fear of somethings is good, it helps to protect us; we just need to be rational.
Benefits of Mastering Phobias
Having a full on phobic response is not only exhausting and limiting in life but also self-reinforcing; meaning next time it can be more intense. Exercising some control will bring some benefits, for examples:
- Less wasted energy and attention
- More focus for the task at hand
- Better managed responses to stimulus
- Strategies for those less desired life situations
- Improved sense of self
Should I keep this Phobia?
I have been asked this question. The answer must be no, if you find yourself logically questioning the preservation of a phobia (an irrational fear) kick it out!
What about a new Phobia?
We hear about and witness events at a faster rate than ever before and this can give rise to what we consider are new phobias; at least to us. We considered above the idea of social learning; when we witness first hand or are told about someone else’s experience we too can become effected. There could ensue a contest in your own mind between your logic and someone else’s; you may be surprised how that one plays out.
Also, a latent fear buried ‘at the back of your mind’ may be brought into renewed focus, embellished and updated then stored away again; essentially creating a new illogical response, phobia.
If in the case of a simple phobia we can realistically see ourselves being faced with the trigger of a ‘new phobia’ we could reasonably relabel this a fear; phobias tend to arrive less consciously. With a complex phobia the situation is more, well, complex. It is unlikely that you would be aware of a new complex phobia forming. As mentioned above complex phobias are situation based and need more depth; often forming over a period of time through habits and routines.
Making sense of and resolving phobias sets a challenge, very often the person with the phobia is well aware how illogical it is; or quickly becomes so.
Scared of a little spider? ‘I can assure you he’s more scared of you’. Sound familiar? He probably hasn’t even though of you, rendering that untrue. Nevertheless, most spiders would struggle to pose a risk to you without weapons.
We tend to need ‘proof’, I put this in inverted commas as that could be ‘imagined proof’; the kind I use when my wife asks me about the chores she set. We can also master phobias with hypnotherapy by playing to our own appreciation of how illogical the phobia is; enhancing the ridiculousness to the point we can’t find it creditable.
In some cases, we can break down the phobia into smaller sub categories and build more appropriate strategies. Most of all we should be realistic about our own ability to catastrophise and see irrational fears as creditable threats.
There is no one size fits all solution here and the start has to be gaining a true understanding of your perception.