Many people suffer with phobias but the most common challenge is trying to overcome a fear of heights. This is known as one of two things, altophobia or acrophobia.
This is not just a basic fear of heights but an incredibly distressing situation for many people.
Many situations can set off the trigger including: climbing stairs, driving alongside a cliff, riding an escalator, going inside a tall building or standing on a ladder.
It is important to know if you have a normal fear of heights or altophobia.
Some of the symptoms that should alert you include: rapid heartbeat, panic attack, trouble catching your breath and sweating profusely.
If you are, in fact, dealing with trying to overcome a fear of heights then it can wreak havoc in your life. It goes without being said that you need to face your fears, overcome the fear of heights, and reclaim your life!
There are many things that can cause a person to develop a fear of heights. It can come about as a result of having some type of traumatic experience in your past. Sometimes people develop a fear of heights from simply watching TV programs that depict another person experiencing a traumatic event! If you have had a time of major emotional trauma then this could have inadvertently led to a fear of heights.
Our unconscious minds are very powerful and can easily associate a negative situation with a fear of heights. This is how easily this terrible phobia can materialize in the mind of the unaware.
Certain steps can be taken to help you overcome fear of heights and these include:
* Confront your fear by discovering where it stems from
* Try to overcome fear of heights by understanding your fear and recording it in a journal whenever you feel it coming on – in this way you will learn to know what causes it, how long it lasts
* Make an effort to overcome fear of heights because the longer that you avoid it, the more comfortable you will become with it – in the end it will become part of your life!
* Practice relaxation techniques such deep breathing exercises, muscle soreness and muscle tension release or meditation to relieve tension and anxiety and overcome fear of heights.
* Expose yourself gradually to the fear of heights by approaching the situation or object that terrifies you – take small steps until you are comfortable
* Banish negative thoughts such as “What if?” “What could happen” from your mind and learn to live in the moment
* Think positively and practice soothing self-talk to instill more confidence in yourself and help overcome fear of heights
* Join an online group where you can discuss your fear of heights with others who have the same problem
* Treat the fear of heights with alternative therapies such as hypnotherapy or visualization techniques
There are also many therapies to help you overcome a fear of heights. Exposure therapy, psychotherapy, flooding therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and systematic desensitization are some of the most common approaches to healing an individual. All of these have proven to be very successful but only one of them might work for you.
Your therapist will work closely with you by helping you to learn a better way to react in a given situation. They will help to encourage positive thought patterns and arm you with a set of skills that can help you to confront the fear and panic. In extreme cases medication is sometimes prescribed to help lower the symptoms that are experienced physically. Make sure that you know the side effects of these medications because sometimes they are even worse than the phobia itself.
Natural remedies can also play a positive and major role in helping you deal with your fear of heights or altophobia:
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