How can I help myself

There are various techniques you can use to address your phobia and reduce the impact it has on your life.

Learn to manage panic and anxiety

Learning to manage the panic and anxiety you feel as a result of your phobia can help you feel more in control and less anxious about facing the situation or object you fear.

Relaxation techniques can help you to reverse the effects of the anxiety you feel as a result of your phobia. There are many different relaxation techniques available, ranging from meditation to breathing control and stretching. (See Mind’s booklet How to manage stress for more information.) You might also find it helpful to learn mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing exercises and yoga, and can help you learn to manage stress and focus on the present moment. “Take one day at a time. Don’t dwell on yesterday or live in tomorrow. Take each moment as it comes.”

If you experience panic attacks, learning to manage these can help to reduce the anxiety you feel about facing the situation or object you have a phobia of. (See Mind’s booklets Mind tips for better mental health: panic attacks and Understanding anxiety and panic attacks for more information.)

Join a support group

A support group gives you the opportunity to share common experiences and methods of coping with others who are facing similar challenges. It is sometimes very comforting to know that you are not alone, and other people may be able to suggest different ways of coping.

Use self-help resources

Self-help books or online programmes can be very helpful for people coping with phobias. They are often based on the principles of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and will help you to develop your own programme to reduce anxiety and make it easier to face your fear.

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