Up next in Self-Help & Improvement (50 videos)
Learn 50 ways to improve yourself with the tips in these Howcast videos.
You Will Need
- Breathing exercises
Learn breathing exercises
Learn to calm yourself through deep breathing. Being able to control your breathing when you’re in the anxiety-provoking moment, like on a ladder, will help fend off the physical aspects of fear, like nausea and heart palpitations.
Find ways to distract yourself when you are doing something frightening. Try a mental exercise, like adding large numbers in your head, or bring along your favorite music.
Get virtual therapy
If your phobia is more serious--and you can afford the treatment--find a therapist who offers virtual reality exposure therapy. A computer will put you in a simulated scary situation, like standing on the edge of a cliff. This is considered the gold standard of phobia treatment.
Try graded exposure therapy
If virtual reality treatment isn’t available, go for graded exposure. A therapist helps you tackle small challenges (like standing on a platform) as you gradually work up to your biggest fear (say, going to the top of a skyscraper). Eight to 15 sessions are generally needed.
If you want a quick cure, consider flooding. That’s when a therapist makes you confront your greatest fear in one brutal, on-site session.
Ask about medication
Ask your doctor about prescribing a medication you can take when you’re forced to be in a terrifying situation.
Try talk therapy
Try talk therapy. Though behavioral therapy works best for phobias, traditional talk-it-out counseling can be helpful for people who developed their phobia as the result of a specific incident, like a childhood fall.