Have No Fear
According to Robert Leahy, PhD, we live in the Age of Anxiety. About 18% of American adults (40 million people) suffer from related conditions, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.
Common phobias include fear of spiders, snakes, germs, closed spaces, flying, and illness. With proper care, most fears and anxieties are treatable. Here are some steps you can take:
- Seek professional help: See a doctor if anxiety is affecting your life. For phobias, cognitive behavioral therapy may be used — gradual exposure to the object or situation that’s causing the fear. Medication can be used to treat situational anxieties such as fear of flying.
- Make a list: Write down your fears, then educate yourself. Anxiety disorders develop from complex risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events, according to the ADAA.
- Learn relaxation techniques: Practice meditation or deep–breathing to calm yourself when facing an anxiety–inducing situation.
- Use positive thinking: Visualize overcoming your fear — for instance a safe takeoff and landing — while remembering happy moments in your life. Associating positive thoughts with your phobia can be a tremendous help.