15 Aug How to overcome a fear of heights
Acrophobia describes an intense fear of heights that can cause significant anxiety and panic. Acrophobia may be one of the most common phobias. It’s not unusual to feel some discomfort in high places. For example, you might feel dizzy or nervous when looking down from the top floor of a skyscraper. But these feelings may not cause panic or prompt you to avoid heights altogether or play games at real money casino.
If you have acrophobia, even thinking about crossing a bridge or seeing a photograph of a mountain and surrounding valley may trigger fear and anxiety. This distress is generally strong enough to affect your daily life. The main symptom of acrophobia is an intense fear of heights marked by panic and anxiety. For some people, extreme heights triggers this fear. Others may fear any kind of height, including small stepladders or stools. Here are ways to overcome the fear of heights.
Recognise anxiety for what it is. Understanding the body’s fight-or-flight response will help you recognise and tolerate the bodily sensations caused by anxiety, and prevent you from misinterpreting them as something dangerous.
Gradually expose yourself to the things that make you anxious, starting small. Although initially very difficult, gradual exposure to our fears is crucial, as it allows us to learn that we are safer and more able than we originally thought. Make a list of situations related to your phobia, order them in terms of the anxiety they cause, and test them out, one by one.
Starting small can make it easier. For example, you can use mental images or photos before approaching real situations.
Use relaxation exercises. Dedicate some time to testing out which relaxation exercises work best for you. They can be helpful to use before, during or after exposures, or indeed for any other anxiety-provoking situations.
Discover your beliefs. Try to understand what it is about heights that causes you anxiety, by asking yourself questions and writing down your answers. What do you fear might happen when you are up high? How likely is it, do you think, that this will happen? What would you need to experience in order to no longer believe this?
Check if you’re using any defence behaviours. Safety behaviours – such as holding on to rails or shutting your eyes when you’re near heights – can maintain your anxiety in the long run. In your list of graded exposure activities, try to include some where you test out not doing these behaviours, just like creating a budget to minimize your spending at the best online casinos for US players.
Exposure therapy. Exposure therapy is considered to be one of the most effective treatments for specific phobias. In this type of therapy, you’ll work with a therapist to slowly expose yourself to what you’re afraid of. For acrophobia, you might start by looking at pictures from the point of view of someone inside a tall building. You might watch video clips of people crossing tightropes, climbing, or crossing narrow bridges. Eventually, you might go out onto a balcony or use a stepladder. By this point, you’ll have learned relaxation techniques to help you conquer your fear in these moments.