Fears and phobias
Fear and phobias are topics that are often seen as negative and bad but this shouldn't really be a taboo subject anymore.
There are 530 officially recognised phobias and fears and over 10 million people have some form of phobia or fear in the UK.
It is known that phobias and fears generally occur twice as often in women than men. It is said that almost 25% of the entire world's population has some form of a fear around flying (aerophobia) whilst 6% have a severe form of claustrophobia (the fear of being trapping in small spaces).
The approximate age that phobias and fears usually appear is seven years old and specific phobias can run in families. Things like the fear of spiders (arachnophobia) affect up to 50% of females compared with approximately 10% of males. Social phobia is the fear of social situations (meetings, parties etc.) and is characterised by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness that can usually develop in early adolescence and can cause difficulties in forming and maintaining social circles.
How fears/phobias work
Our brains retain memories of fearful experiences that help us recognise potential threats, the heart pumps blood to the muscles faster and more forcefully to enable our muscles and body to be prepared during the fight or flight response.
The muscle tension is what can cause the shaking we associate with our fear, our hairs on our arms etc. can raise as the body attempts to cool down, we start to sweat as our body and mind prepares to run away or stand and fight to survive. Some associated symptoms can also be a weird sensation or churning stomach, sensations in the head, legs, hands or chest as the blood rushes around our bodies and these symptoms can be mild or in extremes overwhelming.
These experiences and resulting physical reactions cause a template in the brain to be created and if or when we experience a similar situation the brain refers to that template to understand what it did last time and react in the same way this reaction then reinforces the pattern of behaviour and the fear begins to grow and become an automatic response each and every time.
We can overcome a fear or phobia by seeking appropriate support from trained therapists. One possible way forward is the reframing of the fear/phobia and the therapist can teach you relaxation and breathing techniques to help in supporting you during your counselling or hypnotherapy.
As the brain interprets a new pattern of behaviour it creates a new template giving the individual the choice in how to respond in these situations giving control back to the individual.
Don't let your phobias or fears affect your life any longer seek support and advice from professional hypnotherapists and counsellors to enable you to control your reactions in a more positive way.
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