Do you feel squeamish and nervous while climbing a steeply stairs or during rock climbing? If you do, you’re not alone. At least 1 out of 20 people suffer from this kind of irrational fear of heights. This condition is termed as “Acrophobia”. Acrophobic people feel extremely conscious and scared of climbing, going down or being at a height. It can be Mt. Everest or it can simply be the first floor of a building. The problem is you’re scared of height for no reason, and you want to get over it.
Here are the steps to conquer your fear of heights.
Make yourself Aware
The first step of your war with your enemy “height” is to understand it. Self- awareness is very essential before you go and diving in to solve it. Read about the phobia of heights (Acrophobia), how it can be caused and how you can tackle with it. Research and get knowledge on the condition, and try relating with yourself. Whoever said, knowledge is the way out of darkness, said it all true after all.
Share about it with your loved ones
If you’re acrophobic, you would be greatly distressed and upset whenever you are confronted with heights. But, you’d likely see people around you doing the height activity without any problem. You need to know that your version of story is different than theirs.
Don’t expect your family, friends and colleagues to understand your fear unless you tell them. Share about your fear and problem with heights to them openly. Don’t feel embarrassed and worried that they’ll judge. They love you, and they’ll support you through this.
Find a good therapist
Yes! You need a good therapist. Phobias need treatment methods including therapies like Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), system desensitization and exposure therapies. Don’t worry! These therapies are just heaps of counseling, talking and sharing sessions with a therapist about your fear. All you need to do is talk. Leave the rest to your therapist. In no time, you’d see your fear under your control.
Expose yourself slowly to Heights
Facing the problem is the only solution. The more you run away, the more it will magnify. Face your fear of heights, but slowly and gradually. You can start with climbing stairs or trying mild, safe rock climbing or any related activity. If you could climb only 5 meters today, you can try for 6 meters tomorrow. It’s all about making your body comfortable with it. Don’t overdo it and pressurize your body. Just expose little by little, as per your capability. It’s all about practice.
Learn different ways to Relax
Probably, your therapist will be teaching you various relaxing activities to use during therapy sessions. However, I highly recommend you to do some self-learning. Browse through some amazing video tutorials of how you can relax your breathing and muscles. Try to accommodate meditation in your daily life. Learn about these relaxing ways, and use them when the fear is triggered. It would be your self- induced medicine for fear.
Eat stimulants free diet
Stimulant dietary products like coffee, fatty foods and energy drinks are enriched with sugar and fats. Studies show these can cause the body to stimulate and add to the fearful and distressful mood. Cut such diet from your daily food. Increase more of whole grain meals, green leafy vegetables and low calorie foods. This will make the body feel light, healthy and balanced.
Ah! This is the most important part of your fight with acrophobia. You need to do self-reflection regularly. It can be daily, weekly or sometimes in a month. But you really need to reflect back on what things you tried to overcome this fear, how much you succeeded and what challenges you’re facing. You can write it down in a diary, share with a loved one or simply contemplate with yourself.
Don’t’ get disheartened if some steps didn’t work out as you expected. Remember that it is a slow process, and you’re doing your best. Think how happy you’ll be when you’d be reaching to the end of this fear. All you need is motivation and determination.