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Phobia of Heights - How To Control It?

Written and reviewed by
B.A.(H)Psychology, M.A.Psychology, Ph. D - Psychology
Psychologist, Noida  •  28 years experience
Phobia of Heights - How To Control It?

Fear of heights is known as acrophobia and affects one in every 20 individuals. Here are a few ways with which you can overcome that fear:

One step at a time

  1. There is a system utilized by a few analysts called 'flooding'. This concept believes that if you try to face your fear head on, in a single blow, then your fear system will be overpowered to the point that when you try to calm yourself down, the fear will be no more.
  2. Techniques that used throwing the person into the water to make them overcome their fear of the same, are of no use. They only traumatize the person further.
  3. One should slowly and carefully work on going to one level of a building and gradually go further on top as they climb a certain level of height.

Lower the fear as you get higher

  1. Terror, fear, and nervousness feel like they simply 'transpire'. We do not portray it, say it, or freeze it as something we 'do', yet as something that "attacks" us. Likewise, there are things you can do regardless of whether you are up high (or going to be) or down low and can take control.
  2. Take deep breaths until you calm down. When people are terrified, they either forget to breathe (for brief timeframes, clearly) or simply breathe in rapidly and forget to breathe out. To improve this, stop and relax for five seconds, then take a very deep breath in and breathe out gradually.
  3. Scale your fear in numbers. Since your mind has a tendency to be overwhelmed by the brain when you are scared, you can really lessen the fear by calming down your brain and its thinking process. Try to number the fear, imagine that something worse could have happened and that you are still in a safer situation.

Forgetting the past

  1. All things considered, do not really overlook the past. However, figure out how to feel better about old memories situated with height. In case you find that you can feel fear just by thinking about past circumstances, keep thinking about them until you start feeling a little comfortable about them.

Prepare your psyche

  1. It will start to feel quiet and calm before you go up somewhere high. So, sit or rest somewhere.
  2. Close your eyes and calm yourself down.
  3. Begin to concentrate on your breathing, with specific thoughts while you breathe out.
  4. Start to imagine other situations where you might be sitting in your room or watching the TV.

Get some perspective

  1. One approach to get a perspective on this is to consistently recall the huge number of people who used to be afraid of heights, but are not anymore scared.
  2. Furthermore, for a more prominent perspective, envision seeing the Earth from a couple of thousand miles away and seeing that even the most beautiful spots look totally flat from that viewpoint. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.
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