A phobia loses its power when you retrain your mind to see it differently. Or, use subtle techniques so you can move on with your life.
At its root, this anxiety disorder is an intense response to fear. It can be learned by watching bad things happen to others. By being around people who are always afraid. A terrifying experience or something you never knew you had.
The tendency is to avoid what petrifies. The method works…as long as it doesn't disrupt or damage your way of life.
But, what if it does?
We learn our fears...They can also be unlearned.
The brain changes every time you grasp something new. We build new memory to replace old, phobic ones. Or, unblock what disturbs our vitality.
The amygdala, a tiny but important part of the brain, is often called the “seat of emotion”. It receives information about the meaning of an event long before before you even realize what's going on.
By slowing the process and using other parts of the brain, you can hold in check how the amygdala reacts to sensed danger.
As fear explodes, the 'intelligent' part of the brain doesn't process signals well. A raw, automatic response occurs. And, it's almost impossible to control once it starts.
The amygdala registers what happens. Threats are rated. Then, memory tucks them away for future tie-ins.
At first, the eyes, ears, and 'touch' senses send information to the thalamus. From there, it goes direct to the amygdala.
Any whiff of danger, and the hypothalamus immediately sets off a "just in case" freeze, fight or flight response. Your body then goes through a flurry of changes to put you on notice.
There's sweating, dizziness, fast breathing and pounding heartbeats. Eyes flit nervously. Ears tune in to the slightest sound.
Incoming signals also use a detour. By moving through the thalamus to the cortex, then to the amygdala. The cortex is the area of the brain that 'thinks' about options...."Is there danger or not?"
Here's the problem…
Paths coming from the cortex to the amygdala are not as developed as those from the amygdala to the cortex.
There are many more paths from the amygdala going to the cortex. Because of this, the amygdala exerts more influence on the cortex, the 'thinking' part of the brain, than the other way around.
Once a phobic fear response is turned on, it's hard to be realistic and switch off the alarm. It may well be why anxieties control thoughts. And why, we can't think and 'talk' our way to stay calm while feeling terrified.
But, you can get around this. Here are 5 different ways you can choose from...
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye movement is incredibly powerful. And, can reorganize bad experiences. Emotionally re-process. Become unstuck, and absorbed....A good thing.
Signs which used to appear as dangerous are now, less of a threat. Finally, you can move on...without the phobia.
Here's an article to tell you a little more on "What is EMDR and Why Does It Work?" by Michelle at Creekside Collaborative Therapy. The article isn't long. Or, boring. And, gives you an idea of what's involved. Check it out.
Neurolinguistic programming uses a 'disconnect' method to let in new reactions for what triggers fear. You learn to think and 'talk' to yourself differently. The conversation develops so you feel safe and relaxed.
The mind creates anchors to make sense of what's going on in your environment. It does so by looking out for patterns and connections.
Anchoring lends itself to achieving emotional balance. The goal is to have a 'vault' full of different, positive, emotional moods and mindsets to serve as anchors. They can then be tapped into for any situation.
You'll always have something to fall back on. So, you'll feel secure. And, it boosts confidence.
The therapy, which has a genuine effect on the brain, establishes connection, then re-programs false ideas shaped from fearful memories. Hypnotism changes a mindset...which has an effect on your body.
The method helps you relax and focus. It is, at this stage, where your mind responds unusually well to suggestion. And, makes it easier to get close to what terrifies you without kicking off uncomfortable feedback.
A competent, trained therapist makes sure you feel safe and comfortable before any attempt is made to deal with the phobia.
Known by the Chinese for thousands of years, they've identified healthy vitality is meant to smoothly flow in your body everywhere. Phobias, anxiety, and depression are conditions known to block this natural flow.
TFT uses specific points on the body and light finger-tapping to relieve disturbances. These areas then open up and release 'knots' causing the blockage. The mind, by thinking on the problem while meridian points are stimulated, connects to the body and re-establishes continuity.
The treatment is available through licensed professionals. There is no physical contact between you and the therapist. As light contact is made, the natural ability to heal yourself, takes over.
The Emotional Freedom Technique is painless. Non-invasive. And, you don't even have to believe in it. It still works!
It's a form of acupressure applied to specific points on the body.
Gentle eye movements and using your voice establishes brain connection. The two hemispheres become involved. Somehow, these actions help get to the real issue, re-process the negative, and release the block.
The added twist is...you put into words, what's bothering you.
It's an important add-on…
You become expert at precisely describing what gives you trouble. You know you've hit the bull's eye by what your body 'tells' you.
With this skill in your pocket, no more tongue-tying moments in conversation. You'll know what you want to say. And, it can lead to bigger and better results in your life.
The exercise takes less than 5 minutes. Use it as often as you need it. Do it anywhere. And, it helps for a wide range of problems where you feel 'stuck'.
A phobia can be problematic. Desperately wanting to get control over the anxiety, is usually what motivates to get treatment. Check with an anxiety disorder test to see how extreme your fear is.
Understand the nature of your anxiety disorder symptoms so you can quickly nip the fight-flight-freeze response before it has a chance to explode.
The reminder is…
To help you settle down after a crisis happens, you can listen to soothing music, a stress management tool.
If phobia chokes your way of living, you can retrain your mind or indulge in penetrating techniques to get your life back again. The techniques work even when you don't believe in them. Pick the one that rings true and give it a go!