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How to Overcome Fear-Common Practices

Cognitive Restructuring

• Reframe negative thoughts and beliefs about the source of fear to more rational and positive ones.

Fear is a natural human emotion that can sometimes hold us back from reaching our full potential. Whether it’s a fear of public speaking, heights, or failure, these anxieties can cripple us if we let them. Fortunately, there are effective strategies to conquer fear and regain control of our lives.

One of these strategies is cognitive restructuring. Cognitive restructuring involves reframing negative thoughts and beliefs about the source of our fears into more rational and positive ones.

Often, fear is rooted in irrational thought patterns that make the perceived threat seem impossible to overcome. By challenging and changing these thought patterns, we can reduce the intensity of our fears and develop a healthier outlook.

To begin the process of cognitive restructuring, first identify the negative thoughts associated with your fear. For example, if you have a fear of public speaking, your negative thoughts might include beliefs such as I’ll embarrass myself or People will judge me. Recognizing these thoughts allows you to examine them with an open mind.

Once you’ve identified those negative thoughts, the next step is to challenge whether they are valid or not through evidence-based reasoning. Ask yourself whether there’s any concrete evidence supporting your beliefs.

Often, you’ll find your fears are based on assumptions rather than facts. After challenging your negative thoughts with evidence-based reasoning, it’s time to reframe them into more rational and positive ones.

This step involves consciously replacing irrational thoughts with more realistic statements that counteract your fears. For instance, instead of thinking I’ll embarrass myself, you could reframe it as Everyone makes mistakes while speaking; it’s part of being human.

Additionally, weaving positive affirmations into this process can be incredibly empowering. Repeating phrases like I am capable, I have faced challenges before, or I am learning and growing helps reinforce confidence in facing your fears head-on.

Remember that cognitive restructuring takes practice and patience. It won’t eliminate fear entirely, but it will help you develop a healthier mindset to navigate through challenging situations. By reframing negative thoughts into more rational ones, you’ll gradually regain control over your fears and take steps towards overcoming them.

Read on for more effective techniques that can be used side-by-side with cognitive restructuring to conquer fear. These strategies can be used alone or in combination to strengthen your ability to overcome anxiety and fear. Let’s continue our journey towards conquering fear together!

Exposure Therapy

• Gradually confront the feared situation or object in a controlled manner to desensitize the fear response.

When it comes to conquering our fears, exposure therapy is like our trusty sidekick. It’s all about facing those scary situations head-on, but don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.

The idea behind exposure therapy is to gradually expose yourself to the things that make you anxious or afraid, in a controlled and safe way. By doing this, you can begin to desensitize your fear response and regain control over your emotions.

Imagine this: You have a crippling fear of heights and even climbing a ladder sends shivers down your spine. Well, with exposure therapy, you start small. Maybe you begin by just looking at pictures of tall buildings or watching videos of daredevils skydiving. Then, as you build up your confidence, you might take baby steps, like standing on a low balcony or crossing a sturdy bridge.

The key is to start where you feel comfortable and gradually work your way up. Now, remember that exposure therapy takes time and patience—Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s important not to rush the process because forcing yourself into an overwhelming situation can do more harm than good.

Start by identifying what triggers your fear and break it down into manageable steps. For example, if you have social anxiety and are terrified of public speaking, start by practicing in front of a mirror or recording yourself speaking before bravely stepping onto that stage.

One great technique used in exposure therapy is called systematic desensitization. This involves pairing relaxation techniques with gradual exposure to feared stimuli. So, let’s say you’re scared of dogs (cute little furry creatures). You might begin by looking at pictures of dogs while practicing deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation techniques to calm your mind and body.

Once you feel more relaxed around those adorable pups on paper (or screen), you can move on to observing dogs from a distance, then gradually getting closer until you feel comfortable enough to pet one.

It’s important to remember that exposure therapy shouldn’t be attempted without proper support. Seeking the assistance of a trained therapist or counselor can make a world of difference in navigating this process effectively. Mental health professionals can provide you with tailored strategies, monitor your progress, and ensure that you’re staying safe throughout your journey of overcoming fear.

So, if you’re ready to take control of your fears and show them who’s boss, exposure therapy might just be your secret weapon. By gradually facing your fears in a controlled manner, you can reduce anxiety, build confidence, and unlock a whole new level of courage within yourself. So go ahead – take that first step towards conquering your fear and embrace a life filled with newfound confidence!

Mindfulness Meditation

• Practice staying present and non-judgmental. Acknowledge your fears, but don’t let them overwhelm you.

Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool when it comes to conquering fear and anxiety. In this fast-paced world, our minds are often racing with worries and fears about the future or regrets from the past.

Mindfulness meditation helps us anchor ourselves in the present moment, allowing us to acknowledge our fears without being overwhelmed by them. To practice mindfulness meditation, find a quiet and comfortable spot where you won’t be disturbed.

Sit in a comfortable position, whether that’s cross-legged on the floor or on a chair with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, feeling the air fill your lungs, then slowly exhale.

As you continue to breathe deeply and slowly, bring your attention to the sensations of your body. Notice any tension or discomfort you may be feeling without judging yourself or trying to change it. Simply observe these sensations as they come and go.

Next, shift your focus to your thoughts and emotions. Allow them to arise without getting caught up in them. Imagine them as clouds passing by in the sky. They come and go, but you remain grounded as the observer.

If fear arises during your meditation practice, acknowledge it with compassion and curiosity. Instead of trying to push it away or ignore it, gently bring your attention back to your breath or bodily sensations. By observing fear without judgment, we can begin to loosen its grip on us.

Consistency is key when it comes to mindfulness meditation. Aim for at least 10 minutes of practice each day, but feel free to extend this time if you feel comfortable. With regular practice over time, you’ll notice that fear becomes less overwhelming as you develop greater resilience and inner peace.

Remember that mindfulness meditation is not about getting rid of fear completely; rather, it’s about building a more compassionate relationship with our fears so that they no longer control us. By staying present and non-judgmental through mindfulness meditation, we can begin to cultivate the strength and courage needed to overcome fear in our lives.

Deep Breathing

• Utilize controlled breathing techniques to calm the body’s physical response to fear.

Deep breathing is a powerful tool to help you conquer fear and regain control over your emotions. When faced with a fear-inducing situation, your body’s natural response is to enter into a fight-or-flight mode.

This can lead to rapid breathing and an increased heart rate, raising your feelings of fear. By practicing deep breathing techniques, you can counteract these physical responses and bring a sense of calm and relaxation to your mind and body.

To start harnessing the power of deep breathing, find a quiet and comfortable space where you can sit or lie down. Close your eyes and take a moment to focus on your breath. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing the air to fill your lungs completely. Feel the expansion in your chest as you breathe in, then slowly exhale through your mouth, releasing any tension or anxiety that may be present.

As you continue with this practice, pay attention to the rhythm of your breath. Take slow, deliberate breaths that extend both the inhale and exhale. Aim for longer exhales than inhales as this signals to your body that it’s time to relax.

While practicing deep breathing techniques, it helps to visualize yourself in a peaceful setting. Imagine being surrounded by nature or engaging in an activity that brings you peace and joy. This visualization helps shift focus away from fearful thoughts while promoting feelings of calm.

Another effective technique is known as diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing. Instead of shallow chest breaths, this technique involves using the diaphragm muscle located beneath the lungs for more efficient breathing.

Place one hand on your abdomen just below the ribcage and inhale deeply through your nose while allowing your belly to rise. Then exhale slowly through pursed lips while gently contracting your abdominal muscles.

Incorporating deep breathing into daily life outside of fear-inducing situations can also help regulate anxiety levels. Take a few minutes every day to practice deep breathing techniques, even when you’re not feeling particularly anxious.

By making it a habit, you can train your body and mind to respond with calmness and clarity in the face of fear. Remember, deep breathing is just one tool in your arsenal for overcoming fear and anxiety.

Combine it with other strategies such as cognitive restructuring, exposure therapy, and building a strong support system to develop a full approach to conquering fear. With practice, you can regain control over your fears and lead a more fulfilling life.

Positive Visualization

• Imagine facing and conquering your fear and building confidence.

When it comes to conquering fear, one powerful technique that can work wonders is positive visualization. It’s like creating your very own mental movie where you star as the fearless hero who triumphs over their worst fears. By vividly imagining yourself facing and conquering what scares you, you reinforce feelings of confidence and strength within yourself.

To begin, find a quiet and comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to help relax your mind and body. Now, think about the specific fear that haunts you.

Is it public speaking? Heights? Spiders? Whatever it may be, visualize yourself in a situation where that fear presents itself.
Imagine every little detail as if it were happening in real life.

See yourself standing confidently on stage delivering an engaging speech to a captivated audience. Feel the rush of excitement running through your veins as applause fills the room. Visualize every word flowing effortlessly from your lips and notice how confident you look and feel in this moment.

As you continue visualizing, tap into your senses. Hear the sounds around you—people clapping, supportive cheers filling the air—and feel the warmth of accomplishment spreading throughout your body.

Notice how empowering it feels to conquer something that once seemed insurmountable. But don’t stop there!

Take this visualization exercise even further by imagining different scenarios where fear might arise in your life. Picture yourself calmly climbing a tall ladder with ease or gently holding a spider without any trace of panic on your face.

With each visualization practice session, try adding more challenging aspects to make it more realistic over time. The key is to repeatedly expose yourself mentally to these fearsome scenarios but always end with a positive outcome—a victorious version of yourself overcoming anxiety and fear.

Remember, positive visualization is not a magical cure for fear, but rather a tool that helps build your confidence and rewire your thinking patterns. By consistently engaging in this exercise, you will gradually condition your mind to embrace courage and face down your fears with newfound confidence.

Support System

• Seek guidance and encouragement from friends, family, or professionals to navigate through fear.

Having a strong support system is important when it comes to overcoming fear and conquering anxiety. Seeking guidance and encouragement from friends, family, or professionals can make a world of difference in navigating through the challenges that fear presents.

Friends are often an invaluable source of support during times of fear. They know us well and can provide a comforting presence when we need it most.

Whether it’s lending an ear, offering words of encouragement, or simply being there to hold our hand, friends have the ability to make us feel safe and supported. Sharing our fears with friends can also help alleviate some of the burden we carry alone.

Family members are another pillar of support when it comes to overcoming fear. They offer unconditional love and understanding, creating a safe space for us to express our fears without judgment.

Family members can provide practical help as well, such as accompanying us during challenging situations or offering guidance based on their own experiences. Their constant presence reminds us that we are not alone in our journey towards conquering fear.

Sometimes seeking professional help becomes necessary when facing overwhelming fears or anxieties. Therapists and counselors have the expertise to guide us through the process of confronting our fears in a safe and controlled environment.

Professionals equip us with valuable coping strategies and techniques to manage anxiety effectively. Those who specialize in areas like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can assist in identifying thought patterns that contribute to fear and guide us towards more positive thinking.

Support groups dedicated to overcoming fear can be helpful as well. These groups connect individuals who share similar experiences or phobias, providing a sense of community where stories are shared, advice is offered, and victories are celebrated.

Being part of such groups helps normalize feelings of fear while fostering hope and inspiration through witnessing the progress of others.

Online communities deserve recognition for their role in supporting those grappling with fear. The internet connects people from all walks of life who may be experiencing similar anxieties or fears.

Online forums, social media groups, and discussion boards allow individuals to share their stories, offer advice, and find solace in the fact that they are not alone in their struggle. These virtual communities can provide a sense of belonging and empower individuals on their journey of overcoming fear.

Support from friends, family, professionals, support groups, and online communities can help you conquer your fear. They offer different perspectives, guidance, empathy, and resources that help your navigate through the challenging process.

Whether it’s a reassuring friend or the expertise of a therapist, building a strong support system enhances our ability to confront fear head-on and, in time, overcome it. Remember that reaching out for support is never a sign of weakness; it is a testament to our strength and determination to conquer fear.


• Treat oneself with kindness and understanding, reducing the self-criticism that can increase fear.

When it comes to conquering fear, one key ingredient that often gets overlooked is self-compassion. It’s the art of treating oneself with kindness and understanding, and it plays an important role in reducing the self-criticism that builds fear.

So, let’s look into how practicing self-compassion can help us overcome our fears and anxieties. First, self-compassion involves acknowledging that fear is a natural human response.

Instead of putting ourselves down for feeling afraid, we can remind ourselves that everyone experiences fear at some point in their lives. By recognizing this common humanity, we create more space for understanding and compassion within ourselves.

Next, self-compassion encourages us to adopt a non-judgmental attitude towards our fear. Often, when faced with something terrifying, we tend to label ourselves as weak or inadequate for feeling afraid.

However, through self-compassion, we learn to observe our fears without judgment or criticism. This shift in perspective allows us to approach our fears with a gentler mindset.

Another aspect of self-compassion involves offering ourselves comfort and reassurance during times of fear. Just like we would console a friend who is scared or anxious, we can provide ourselves with words of encouragement and support.

By soothing our inner selves rather than dismissing or belittling our fears, we create an environment conducive to overcoming them. Moreover, self-compassion helps us cultivate patience and understanding towards our own progress in conquering fear.

It’s important to remember that overcoming deep-seated fears takes time and effort; it doesn’t happen overnight. With self-compassion as our guide, we learn to appreciate the small steps forward we take on this journey without putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves.

Practicing self-compassion allows us to prioritize self-care while facing our fears head-on. It means recognizing when we need rest or support during difficult times and granting ourselves permission to take breaks and seek comfort.

By nurturing ourselves physically and emotionally, we can build confidence and inner strength, which are vital tools in overcoming fear. Self-compassion is a powerful tool when it comes to conquering fear.

By treating ourselves with kindness, understanding, and non-judgment, we create an environment that fosters growth and resilience. So the next time you find yourself faced with fear or anxiety, remember to be kind towards yourself.

Embrace your humanity, offer comfort when needed, practice patience, and prioritize self-care. With self-compassion as your ally, you’ll find the strength to overcome your fears step by step.

Physical Activity

• Engage in regular physical activity to release endorphins and reduce stress, which can ease fear.

Engaging in regular physical activity is not only beneficial for your physical health but can also play a significant role in overcoming fear and anxiety. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, which are often referred to as the “feel-good” hormones.

These endorphins interact with receptors in the brain, reducing pain and triggering positive feelings. This natural mood booster can help ease fear by promoting a sense of well-being and relaxation.

Whether it’s going for a walk, hitting the gym, or participating in a group fitness class, any form of physical activity can have a positive impact on your mental state. Physical exercise can act as an outlet for built-up tension and stress, diverting your focus away from fearful thoughts and redirecting it towards the present moment.

When you’re active, you may find that your mind becomes focused on your movements rather than dwelling on anxious feelings. Moreover, regular exercise helps regulate cortisol levels in our bodies – cortisol being commonly known as the stress hormone.

Reducing cortisol levels through physical activity makes it easier to overcome fear. High levels of cortisol can intensify feelings of anxiety and make it more challenging to control fear responses.

Through consistent physical activity, we may keep cortisol levels balanced so fear doesn’t overwhelm us. In addition to hormonal benefits, physical activity provides us with a greater sense of control over our bodies and emotions – important when combating fear.

As you engage in different forms of activity or strength-building exercises, you may start noticing improvements in your strength and endurance over time. You may also perceive yourself as stronger when facing fears or anxiety-inducing situations.

Furthermore, regular physical activity promotes better sleep patterns which are essential for emotional well-being. Getting enough restful sleep allows our minds and bodies to recover from daily stresses and makes us more resilient when facing fears during waking hours. By ensuring that we are well-rested, we increase our ability to control fear responses and maintain a more balanced emotional state.

Physical activity can also play a social role in overcoming fear. Participating in group fitness activities or team sports provides an opportunity to connect with others who share similar interests. This social support and friendship can offer encouragement, motivation, and a sense of belonging when facing fears. Sharing experiences and challenges with others can make the journey of conquering fear feel less daunting. It can also create a supportive network that reinforces one’s determination to overcome the fear.

Incorporating regular physical activity into our lives is a powerful tool for overcoming fear and anxiety. The release of endorphins, reduction of stress hormones, promotion of greater self-control, improved sleep patterns, and the potential for social interaction all contribute to creating an environment where fears can be faced head-on. So, whether it’s going for a walk or joining a dance class – remember that physical activity not only benefits your body but also empowers you on your journey toward conquering fear.


• Gain knowledge about the fear-inducing situation or object to better understand its nature and reduce uncertainty.

When it comes to facing our fears head-on, knowledge truly is power.

Educating ourselves about the fear-inducing situation or object can provide valuable insights that help us navigate through our fears with a greater sense of understanding and control. So, let’s dive into how gaining knowledge can empower us in conquering fear.

First, take the time to research and learn about what triggers your fear. Whether it’s spiders, heights, public speaking, or something entirely different, understanding the root cause of your fear is crucial.

By gathering information on its nature and characteristics, you’ll be better equipped to handle it effectively. For example, if you’re terrified of spiders but know they are generally harmless creatures, you can start dismantling irrational beliefs that increase your fear.

Next, seek out reliable sources such as books, articles, or even documentaries that provide detailed information related to your fear. Knowledge not only sheds light on the unknown but also empowers us with practical tips and strategies for overcoming specific fears.

There are countless resources available on self-help websites or even from experts in the field who specialize in anxiety disorders and phobias. Furthermore, consider reaching out to professionals who specialize in dealing with specific fears and anxieties.

These resources possess a wealth of expertise and can offer guidance tailored to your unique situation. Therapists trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help identify thought patterns contributing to fear while offering practical techniques for managing anxiety effectively.

Additionally, connecting with others who have faced similar fears can be helpful in overcoming your own fears. Joining support groups or online communities dedicated to tackling specific phobias provides an opportunity to learn from others who have successfully conquered their fears or are working towards conquering them.

Don’t underestimate the power of personal experience as a form of education. Sometimes, the best way to conquer fear is to face it directly. By gradually exposing yourself to the fear-inducing situation or object in a controlled manner, you can gather firsthand knowledge and overcome uncertainty. This exposure therapy allows you to challenge any negative assumptions you might have and build confidence as you witness your own resilience.

Education plays a vital role in conquering fear. Armed with knowledge about the nature of our fears and how they impact us, we can develop strategies for managing anxiety and overcoming our fears.

By doing research, consulting professionals, seeking peer support, and gaining personal experiences through exposure therapy, we equip ourselves with valuable tools necessary to confront our fears head-on. Remember, knowledge empowers us to take control and move towards living a life free from the grip of fear.

Goal Setting

• Set manageable goals to gradually challenge and overcome fear, building a sense of accomplishment over time.

Setting goals is a powerful tool when it comes to overcoming fear. By setting manageable goals, you can gradually challenge and conquer your fears, while building a sense of accomplishment over time. So, let’s dive into the world of goal setting and explore how it can help you on your journey to conquer fear.

When it comes to goal setting, it’s important to start small and work your way up. Begin by identifying which fear-related situations you want to overcome or face.

For example, if you have a fear of public speaking, start by setting a goal to speak up in a small group discussion or present in front of a trusted friend or family member. As you achieve these smaller goals, gradually increase the level of difficulty until you feel confident enough to tackle larger challenges.

Another essential aspect of goal setting is making sure your goals are realistic and attainable. Setting unreachable goals can lead to frustration and de-motivation.

Break down your larger fears into smaller steps that are more manageable and doable. This way, you can experience success along the way, which will boost your confidence and keep you motivated.

To make your goals even more effective, make them specific and measurable. Instead of saying, “I want to overcome my fear,” try something like “I will give a five-minute presentation at work next month.” By having clear objectives in mind, you’ll be able to track your progress more easily while also holding yourself accountable for achieving them.

It’s also crucial to create a timeline for achieving your goals. Assign deadlines for each step along the way so that you stay focused and motivated. Breaking down the process into smaller milestones with specific timeframes will help prevent procrastination and keep you on track towards overcoming fear.

And don’t forget about celebrating each milestone reached! Treat yourself with rewards for accomplishing each goal – big or small – as this will reinforce positive feelings around facing your fears head-on. Recognize the effort you put into pushing past your comfort zone and acknowledge the growth you’ve achieved.

Remember, overcoming fear is a journey, and every step forward is worth celebrating. By setting manageable goals, breaking them down into smaller steps, making them specific and measurable, creating a timeline, and celebrating your accomplishments along the way, you’ll be well on your path to conquering fear.

So go ahead, take that first step towards facing your fears head-on. You have the power within you to control fear and overcome it one goal at a time.

In Conclusion

Overcoming fear is a journey that requires patience, determination, and self-compassion. Through cognitive restructuring, we can reframe our negative thoughts and beliefs about the source of fear, empowering ourselves to see things in a more positive light. Exposure therapy allows us to gradually confront our fears in a controlled and safe manner, breaking free from their grip.

By practicing mindfulness meditation, we can cultivate resilience and learn to acknowledge our fears without getting overwhelmed by them. Deep breathing techniques offer an immediate tool for calming our bodies’ physical responses to fear.

By taking slow, deep breaths and focusing on each inhale and exhale, we can regain control over our emotions and start feeling more centered. Positive visualization is another powerful technique that enables us to imagine successfully facing and conquering our fears.

By visualizing ourselves confidently navigating through anxiety-inducing situations, we strengthen our belief in our ability to overcome any challenge. A support system plays a crucial role in helping us conquer fear.

Whether it’s seeking guidance from friends or professionals who understand what we’re going through or surrounding ourselves with supportive family members who uplift us during difficult times, having people on our side makes all the difference.

Additionally, practicing self-compassion is key to breaking free from the cycle of self-criticism that often accompanies fear. Treating ourselves with kindness and understanding allows us to build resilience and face challenges head-on.

Engaging in regular physical activity is not only beneficial for overall well-being but also serves as a powerful tool for managing fear. When we exercise, endorphins are released in the brain which reduces stress levels and helps alleviate anxiety-induced fear.

Educating ourselves about the nature of the fear-inducing situation or object empowers us with knowledge that dispels uncertainty and fosters a sense of control.

Setting achievable goals gives us something tangible to work towards as we navigate through fears. Each small step forward builds confidence, allowing us to conquer our fears one at a time.

Remember, overcoming fear is not an overnight process but rather a continuous effort. Celebrate each victory along the way and remain optimistic about the progress made.

In closing, by embracing these strategies and techniques, we can take charge of our fears and live a life with less anxiety and more courage. It’s important to remember that fear is a natural part of being human, but it doesn’t have to define us.

With perseverance and the right mindset, we can conquer any fear that stands in our way. So go forth with confidence and embrace the journey of overcoming your fears!

Your Fear Goes Up and Down

Are you someone who would rather climb the stairs than take the elevator? You call it squeezing in a workout after being sedentary the whole morning. Or perhaps you claim it's a faster route. These are both typical, normal, and acceptable reasons. But what if you need to be in the conference room on the eleventh floor in five minutes, and you're wearing your business suit and wingtips? Would you still prefer to take the stairs? If your answer is yes, then maybe it's time to take a closer look at your reasons for avoiding elevators. Elevators stir all sorts of emotions in passengers. From the discomfort of closeness to strangers to the sensations in our gut, elevators can be a source of the heebie-jeebies for many, but for some, they can also be a source of terror. Let's dig a little deeper into the latter, and see what this terror is all about and what can be done to manage it. To begin with, does being inside an elevator give you chills or the sweats? Or does it trigger an unpleasant memory? Perhaps you remember movies you've watched where something terrible happens inside an elevator. From Silence of the Lambs, The Shining, Final Destination 2, or the king of all elevator horror films, 2010’s Devil, the elevator becomes witness to something sinister and horrible. And you want nothing to do with any of it. You know that you're not claustrophobic. You can deal with heights just fine, too. And you know that you're not going to be trapped inside. All of these contribute to a fear of elevators—but they don't apply to you. Yet being inside one does something to you. It's hard to explain.

What is the Fear of Elevators Called?

What you have is a fear of elevators, which is called elevatophobia. It is most commonly triggered by an experience of getting stuck inside either due to a power outage or technical maintenance. Hearing about other people's experiences or watching a movie about similar circumstances can prompt a fear of elevators getting stuck with you inside. Usually, claustrophobics and agoraphobics may also develop elevatophobia because the triggers and objects of these fears are related. Claustrophobia is the fear of closed and cramped spaces, while agoraphobia is the fear of being trapped without any means of escape. Put the two together, and the elevator becomes the perfect combination of both phobias. The space is limited and closed, with only one means of entry and exit. You can add another point of access if you consider climbing the cables like they do in the movies, but that certainly isn't ideal.

Symptoms of Elevatophobia

If for some reason an elevator stops due to an outage or some technical difficulty, passengers with elevatophobia may go into full panic mode. Even if the maintenance team advises that it will just be a matter of minutes, by then, the person's mind has become irrational with the fear of the elevator falling, being stuck for hours, or other unpleasant thoughts. You would expect a person to exhibit the following physical symptoms: Additionally, you would be filled with that overwhelming anxiety where you feel that you have zero control over the situation. You start fearing the unknown and are filled with negative thoughts about death and imminent doom. You become irrational and unresponsive.

Possible Complications of Elevatophobia

When the panic sets in, the possibility of emergencies related to pre-existing conditions may make themselves known. This might include serious health crises like heart attacks or asthma attacks. When this happens, fear becomes a medical emergency. Elevator rides do not last long; it's just a matter of minutes or even less. But the fact that a person can escalate from panic to a near fatal medical situation classifies the fear of elevators as a 'hard phobia.'

Trying Some Self-Help Methods

Your fear of elevators can likely interfere with your social and work life and relationships. Not everyone understands that elevatophobia, like most phobias, can be crippling. But don't be disheartened. Depending on the level of your fear and level of control, you can gradually face and manage your phobia. Here are some recommendations you can try:
  1. Make a List of Everything that Entails Riding in an Elevator This is a systematic approach to getting over your anxiety. By following a step-by-step process, you can identify where the fear kicks in at its strongest. You can write a list of steps like pressing the topmost button and waiting to arrive on that floor, watching as the door closes and opens, being alone inside the elevator, or having delays with the doors opening. Now try doing the opposite. For example, face away from the door or occupy yourself with your phone so that you are distracted.
  2. Create Your Fear Ladder Although the name says fear of elevators, it is not the whole process that scares you. There are just phases and parts of the elevator riding experience that cause you to panic. So go back to the list you initially created and label the fear level you feel. You can do it numerically, too, like ten being 'really scary,' six, 'manageable scary,' and one, 'not scary at all.' You can put the corresponding fear levels so you can focus more time and effort into activities that are more scary to you.
  3. Face Your Fear By now, you have identified what scares you the most. You can try repetitive action to minimize your fear and increase your sense of ‘normalcy’. Remember that the longer you expose yourself to your fear, the better you get at handling your emotions. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stop. Pushing yourself too fast and too soon can backfire. Modify your pace and go slower instead.
  4. Talk About Your Fear People by nature, unfortunately, are not quick to offer understanding and support. You need to tell them what's wrong before they can empathize. Talk to someone who you trust and ask for their support, especially in the initial phase of overcoming your fear. If you are too afraid to ride the elevator alone, you can ask them to go with you, and before you realize it, you are on your floor, and there was no indication of panic.
  5. Learn To Be Patient Be patient with yourself and your predicament. This is, after all, your fight against fear. It might take hundreds of elevator ride practices before the fear gets under control. Even then, there might be some hesitations and episodes of nervousness. These are acceptable and expected, so cut yourself some slack and congratulate yourself for every progress.

Seeking Professional Help

Along with self-help, you can always enlist a medical professional's aid to support you with your elevatophobia. Talking to someone who has experience with similar cases can be comforting, because you know that you are not alone, and this situation can get better. Talk to your doctor about the severity of your fears and the symptoms that you experience. Explain how you deal with it in an attempt to control it. An exam and a health history are made to ensure that there are no unrelated or underlying problems that your symptoms might mask. Usually, phobias like this are approached with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Your doctor will talk about these options with you, and it's entirely up to you, with your doctor's recommendation, what you want to pursue. For psychotherapy, the most common type is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which aims to help you find different ways of behaving, thinking, and reacting when about to step inside an elevator or when already inside it. With medications, there are beta blockers and benzodiazepines, but note that these can have side effects. Whatever these side effects are, you should promptly share it with your doctor.

Simple Tips to Overcome Elevatophobia

Elevators are not perfect, but their likelihood to malfunction, fall, or get stuck is very low. If you are not fully confident with this information, you can help overcome your elevatophobia by learning common elevator safety tips and basic elevator operations. These should help curb your mild fear until you become more self-assured. In addition to that, here are some of the things that you can do to gradually overcome your fear of elevators—both in getting on and riding one.


Yes, elevatophobia can be a challenge in today's world, but don't allow the elevator to win. Don't let it stop you from taking a job on the top floor or attending a social gathering on the rooftop. Sure, you can take the stairs if you insist and arrive winded and sweaty, with the party about to wrap up. But is this the quality of life you seek? Elevators are designed to make life easier. There are guaranteed ways to help you overcome elevatophobia. Take the first step and seek help. Soon, you’ll see yourself breezing through the floors with those arduous stair climbs little more than a memory.
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