People are afraid of falling when they are in a high place. However, many experience this fear more intensely and the discomfort becomes more evident.
Are you afraid of heights? This fear is known as acrophobia. It is an extreme and often disabling fear. Fear reaches a point where it is irrational, excessive and the discomfort that it produces interferes with the person’s routine.
Acrophobia is found in the classification of anxiety disorders since it certainly produces a feeling of anguish when the person is exposed to height. Fortunately, this can be overcome with professional help.
Pain in the thorax.
Nausea, dizziness and stomach pain.
Difficulty thinking clearly.
Feeling short of breath or choking.
In general, these symptoms are accompanied by negative thoughts in which the person:
He is afraid to die.
He does not want to lose control.
He is afraid of making a fool of himself.
Phobia to fly: how to treat it?
Acrophobia can be overcome
To overcome acrophobia it is recommended to start a process in which the person is exposed to the feared situation. Obviously this is done gradually to avoid the person feeling panic.
The goal will be to regain confidence and emotional control. This requires the combination of two therapies: cognitive and behavioral.
1. Cognitive therapy
It consists in investigating the deepest fears and rationalizing them. This helps control emotions. In the process, events are given meaning from childhood and related to their present in order to find the root of the problem.
Steps to follow
Evaluation of the situation. The patient exposes the problems he faces every day.
Altered thinking What goes through your mind when facing the problem.
Emotional situation What are the emotions you experience? For example: anger, sadness or confusion.
Physical symptoms Dizziness, nausea, pain in the stomach.
Behavior. Nervousness, worry, anguish.
2. Behavioral therapy
Once you have an analysis of the patient’s life, it is important to have behavioral techniques. The patient faces the reality, little by little he exposes himself to the heights until he can be in a high place without experiencing such a degree of insecurity.
Ways of approach:
In situ. The therapist makes the subject face his fear in reality.
Imagination. This is an exercise through thought, the affected person recreates the moment in his mind and little by little he approaches.
Symbolic The patient makes contact with his fear through images, audio or programs
3. Relaxation techniques
Since the person feels that he loses his balance and that causes him uneasiness, the first thing he must do to overcome his fear is to learn to control stress.
Here are some techniques to keep your breath, meditate and avoid excess muscle tension:
Breathe through the diaphragm
One of the techniques to reduce anxiety by focusing attention on breathing through the diaphragm. The goal is for the air to have a greater participation in the stomach than in the chest.
Steps to follow
Keep your posture straight, put the palm of your hand on the chest and the other on the abdomen.
Then inhale and exhale for 20 seconds so that you realize where the air is centered.
Feel how the chest moves more than the stomach. This type of surface breathing does not allow us to reach the maximum oxygen.
Now concentrate for 3 minutes until you feel the hand of the abdomen move more.
Inhale deeply through the nose for 7 seconds, do not release the air hold 3 seconds in the belly.
Finally exhale through the mouth for 7 more seconds.
Our fears do not prevent death, they slow down life
This technique helps oxygenate the lungs and also tones the respiratory system.
Steps to follow
The first thing you have to do is: relax and look for a comfortable place.
Then breathe through the nose, inspires and fills the air diaphragm as in the previous exercise.
Hold your breath for 5 seconds.
Subsequently forms with the lips a small hole to expel the air.
Blow gently, for 2 seconds and continue exhaling.
To conclude, repeat the procedures 2 more times.
This exercise is key to relax in any situation of stress or worry.
Sit with your back straight.
Place your index and middle fingers between the eyebrows.
Press gently and place your thumb on the right nasal window.
Now inhale slowly through the left nostril for 7 seconds.
Hold the air for 4 seconds and eject.
Repeat the procedure changing the thumb in the left nasal window.
You are not the only one going through this, look for other people who are afraid of heights to comfort you.
Try not to focus your attention on the height. For no reason you lean down, focus on the landscape.
Before the problem breathe deeply and focus on the positive so that your mind is distracted.
Start by doing small activities on the heights.