Fear is something every person experiences from time to time and sometimes a fearful response is totally appropriate. But, sometimes people have irrational fears that can interfere with their ability to lead a normal life. A phobia is defined as an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that possess very little danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance. Phobias cause intense physical and psychological reactions. That’s why they are so disruptive to a person’s life. Most fears and phobias can develop due to traumatic experience or can even be a learned response from a parent or relative. Research has also revealed that genetics and our brain chemistry can contribute to the development of phobias.

Symptoms of phobias can range from mild to severe. The object feared instantly triggers a fight-or-flight reaction, which occurs when the amygdala (a tiny, almond-shaped cluster of cells in the center of your brain) is stimulated.

Understanding how Fears and Phobias develop

Sometimes fears are rooted in a traumatic experience, this is one of the most obvious causes of fear. Any dangerous experience can cause sufficient emotional trauma. Fear is a natural defensive response for the body when faced with situations that have been in the past traumatic. Our natural course of action for the conscious mind when dealing with a traumatic experience is to initiate a defense mechanism. The natural impulse for fight or flight causes our senses to overload.

Another way fears begin is through learned behaviors. It is natural for a young child to learn by copying another child’s behavior. Often parents pass their own fears on to their children. Psychological Inducement is a fear that develops not from firsthand experience but as the result of an experience related by another and is prevalent way fear is cultivated. Fears developed through psychological inducement are often irrational fears and can be easily overcome with treatment.

Knowing when to seek help for fears

When you think about it, you can feel the weight of your fear. Fear holds us down and keeps us from doing the things we want to do most. If you are experiencing stress and anxiety associated with your particular fear, you should begin to look for solutions to overcoming your fear.

Tools for Eliminating Phobias

As a professional hypnotherapist, I help my clients understand that regardless of the type, all phobias are formed in the same way in the mind, and they can be eliminated in the same way. Phobias are actually examples of the mind’s ability to create erroneous associations even linking two unassociated things together, creating an erroneous association between the object and the feeling (the fear reaction). Some people know what event or experience triggered their fear while others have no recollection at all. Whether someone remembers the experience that caused their fear or not, the fear can still be eliminated.

Hypnosis and Neuro Linguistic Programming are very effective at eliminate phobias.  These tools are so widely successful because they effectively reprogram the automatic (or subconscious) reaction to the trigger, installing a more appropriate response and freeing the client from the fear once and for all. In many cases life-long phobias can be permanently eliminated in a single session. You should know that you don’t have to live in fear, hypnosis treatments are designed to be effective from the first session.