Phobias are real and could be tormenting but the underlying source of the fears is only imaginary and the fears themselves are irrational. A phobia is a state of fear when there is no danger and there should be no fear.
Through phobias, people get distressed by everyday stuff and activities that otherwise lack the status, power or size to frighten human beings.
There are phobias for insects, spiders, speaking in front of an audience, crowds, flying, heights, driving, enclosed spaces and so many others.
These phobias are recognized and have been named: Aviophobia for the fear of flying, entomophobia for the fear of insects, arachnophobia for the fear of spiders, glossophobia for the fear of speaking in front of an audience, acrophobia for the fear of heights, ailurophobia for the fear of cats, autophobia for the fear of being alone, cynophobia for the fear of dogs, erythnophobia for the fear of color red, gynephobia for the fear of women, hemophobia for the fear of blood, mysophobia for the fear of dirts or germs, pedophobia for the fear of children and so many more.
In reality, insects and spiders cannot withstand the human might, just as speaking, flying, heights, driving and enclosed spaces are experienced by millions of human beings daily without harm.
Phobias can be mild or severe, but in either case they cause the phobic to dread and avoid situations or things that cause a phobia.
Such avoidance could have negative effects for the phobic. Career and social opportunities could be lost where, for instance, someone is unable to make trips for fear of flying.
The first step to overcoming a phobia is to understand how they happen. With this knowledge comes the wisdom to outsmart the fear.
Phobias happen because the brain mistakes as dangerous a thing or situation that is actually harmless.
The result is that the phobic tries to protect himself or herself from the fear by making anxious moves like going back to check over and over again that the door is locked, by taking baby steps while climbing the stairs or by avoiding altogether the cause of the phobia.
Although the anxious moves or avoidance did nothing to remove any danger, the phobic feels they actually did.
The real way out of phobia is to confront the source by spending time in exposing oneself to that source of the anxiety until the phobic sensation subsides in the realization that there were no dangers or risks after all.
During such exposures, one needs to remain calm and confirm to oneself that there is no danger. To help attain calmness, deep breathing exercises should be embarked upon.
Each encounter with a phobic scene should be turned into a practice session so that one becomes less and less sensitive to the phobia. The fear becomes lost with consistent practice.
Confronting a phobia requires strong will and determination. In many cases, self determination is enough to see one through.
However, if progress is not forthcoming through self help, assistance should be sought from therapists who can employ professional and more detailed techniques to solve the problem.
The reassuring fact is that phobias can be effectively overcome either through self help or with the aid of a therapist so that one can enjoy life without unnecessary fear.