Fear is something that we are all familiar with and have all had to deal with at one point or another in our lives. As children, we may have found ourselves going to bed with the covers over our heads or a nightlight on to keep the boogie men at bay. Or perhaps fear made its presence known on that first big test you had to take at school or the first time you had to do a big presentation at your job. Whatever the case may have been, fear is something that touches us all, but for some fear can be worse than it is for others. Here’s the thing: Fear is a natural part of life and it has a purpose. In fact, you can say there’s nothing wrong with fear.
So Fear Is …Good???
So you mean that fear is actually good for something? Yes, that is exactly what I am telling you. There are many things in life that need to cause you some fear. Why? Well, fear actually acts as a healthy warning sign that let’s us know there are things in the world that represent danger. It can help to provide us with the necessary triggers to assure our survival in dangerous situations. So fear, in healthy doses, can cause people to act and think decidedly more careful and cautious than they might otherwise when faced with situations that present a level of danger. It also helps them by influencing how they organize and prepare themselves in case they are presented with a similar difficult or dangerous circumstance in the future. Imagine for instance a child playing near an active stove. If the child were to touch the hot stove, he/she would burn their fingers. This experience would then trigger an association between touching the hot stove and the pain of burning their fingers, creating what could be considered a “healthy” fear of touching a hot stove. In the future, that child would be very hard pressed to touch their fingers to a hot stove again. So you see the problem isn’t fear, but rather the problem is irrational fear.
Now, while the above situation presents us with what may be considered a healthy fear, in some instances something that may be considered a healthy fear can take on an irrational intensity. So what exactly is the big deal with an irrational fear? Unlike with a “healthy” fear, an irrational fear of an object or situation can often seriously interfere with your ability to enjoy living a normal life. You will find that if you have an irrational fear, you will do the best you can to totally avoid those things and situations, which are causing that fear. While initially it may not seem like a big deal, over time you may find that your fear keeps you from doing things or participating in situations that you would otherwise enjoy. Some common fears that many people share include a fear of : flying, heights, drowning, snakes, spiders, sharks or mice. Fears can also be of a more social type and can include the fear of: rejection, poor performance in sports, school, theatrical activities, and sex. People might also fear performing at work, failure in life, loss of control and even something that others may consider positive, such as success. Some may experience a fear of impending danger, darkness, open or closed spaces, death, a fear of blood, contamination, or even the unknown. These are just a few of the fears that people may have and each one of these can vary in intensity.
Origin of Irrational Fears
As you can see, irrational fears can come in all forms. So how do people form irrational fears? Well in the same way that there are various types of fears, there are different reasons as to why the fear may have developed. There are some fears that we have that are simply a product of evolution and have been passed down, even though it may not make sense to fear these things. On these occasions, though the fear may seem logical, such as in the case of a fear of heights, the level of fear may misfire creating a more intense fear than necessary.
For some, the irrational fear they have has been learned. For instance, it may be that a parent may have had an intense fear of let’s say spiders or mice. In watching their parent’s reaction and the fear associated with coming into contact with spiders or mice, children will often grow to develop a similar fear of their own which mimics that of the parents. In other instances, a fear can be learned as a result of an incident. For example, someone may develop an intense fear of dogs after being attacked and bitten by a dog.
Sometimes, however, a fear may also be developed out of nothing and be reinforced by fear itself. How does this work? Well, it may be the case that you are aware that you have a fear that you know is a bit unusual. You may then tell yourself that it shouldn’t cause that much fear and attempt to suppress that fear. However, you may see the object or find yourself in a situation that causes that fear and as a result experience severe anxiety. What this does is that it now helps to reinforce your fear – your brain tells yourself that it really IS something that you should fear, and you become more likely to fear the object or situation the next time you are presented with it. And so it is that fear causes more fear, because fear tells you that you’re right to fear it. Your brain then convinces you that you must be afraid of something very real, because otherwise, why would you experience that much fear? In the end, every time you encounter your fear (even if it’s just in a dream), your fear of that stimulus becomes even more pronounced.
Hypnosis To The Rescue
So how can you overcome these irrational fears and start living an irrational fear-free life? While on some conscious level you may understand that your fears are irrational, these reactions are often uncontrollable as they are frequently created by ideas and thoughts that remain out of our awareness in the unconscious mind. This is where hypnosis presents a solution to those suffering from these types of fears. Through hypnosis the reason for your irrational fear can be explored in a way that allows you to be in control, in a safe and relaxed state of mind. If your fear is based on an event, hypnosis can guide you through it and create a process that will help to desensitizes you so that the you experience less fear, and become more resourceful when faced with it. In the case where the fear can not be tied to an event, hypnosis can directly enable you to associate different, more positive feelings when thinking of or dealing with the object or situation feared. You will find that you will end up having more courage, confidence and calmness when encountering the original feared object or situation.
If you find yourself dealing with an irrational fear or phobia,
we can help you overcome it at the Miami Hypnosis Center.
Give us a call for a consultation and start on the road to living a fear-free life today!