The Six Basic Fears and How to Eliminate Them

There is no denying the fact that life is not a bed of roses. There are difficulties to be dealt with; physical, emotional, and financial. There is rejection; there’s failure. There’s loneliness; there’s death. Perhaps, the greatest of these difficulties is the fear of their coming our way. In most cases, it is not the unpleasant event itself, but rather its fear, that robs us of pleasure. The fear of what the future might hold, does not let us live in the present. Underlying our dreams is the fear of their shattering; underlying all the love we are showered, is the fear of losing it someday, and treading along with the pride of who we are today, is the fear of being no one, someday. Here we tell you about the basic fears in a human mind and explain to you the ways of eliminating them.
Fear of Loss of Love: When one starts feeling jealous about one’s loved one, starts finding faults in them, or tends to suspect them of having done something ill, it may result in the person being affected by the fear of loss of love. Lack of trust between you and your loved one is the main reason for your fear of losing him. An intense feeling of insecurity about your love leads you to fear its loss. The habits of cheating, perpetual lying, and disbelief are some important factors causing the fear of loss of love. Being overly possessive about someone can make you fear losing him.
The simple ways of eliminating this fear is to build trust in the relationship. Those in the relationship should not cheat each other and should also avoid suspecting one another. They should respect each other’s identities. The best way of eliminating the fear of loss of love is to prevent the thoughts of the loss from entering your mind. Avoid thinking about losing your love. If the thoughts of losing a loved one enter your mind, do not entertain them for long. Always harbor positive feelings about your loved ones.
Claustrophobia: Claustrophobia is the fear of enclosed spaces. It is a situational fear that is triggered in certain circumstances when one is caught up in a confined space. A childhood experience of being confined in a small space or trapped in an enclosed space may result in the development of claustrophobia. An experience like that of being stuck in an elevator can make one feel claustrophobic. Studies say that an unpleasant experience makes the brain link anxiety to being caught in an enclosed space. The idea of being in a confined space is associated with fear. Hence, anxiety grips a person’s mind in any of his future experiences of being in an enclosed space. Sweating, palpitation, shaking, fainting, and a fear of physical harm characterize this fear. Being in an enclosed vehicle or being in a closed room for long can trigger claustrophobia.
Behavioral therapy can help a person dissociate the feelings of fear and enclosed spaces. Hypnotherapy, non-linguistic therapy, and medication are other promising treatments for the fear of enclosed spaces. Flooding is a way of exposing a person to a fear situation until the fear attack passes, and can be used as an effective way of eliminating one’s fears.
Fear of Darkness: Known as Achluophobia or Nyctophobia, the fear of darkness is one of the most common fears that grip a human mind. Symptoms like rapid breathing, irregular heart rate, sweating, and nausea characterize the fear of darkness. This fear greatly influences one’s lifestyle, and also affects those around him. Like most other fears, the fear of darkness is a protection mechanism of the unconscious mind. To some extent, the media is responsible for establishing the association between darkness and negativity. The absence of bright light is also responsible for triggering a certain kind of gloom, which may lead to anxiety in some people.
Complete elimination of this fear may require a fairly long time and involve exposure to darkness. Thanks to the new discoveries in medicine, there are drugs available today, which can help in the elimination of the fear of darkness, serving as a temporary freedom from this fear. The real way to get rid of this fear is to make oneself aware of its causes and overcome the reasons why darkness scares one’s mind.
Demophobia: Demophobia is the fear of crowds. It is characterized by symptoms such as breathlessness, dizziness, sweating, anxiety and inability to think and speak. This fear grips a person even when he is a part of the safest of the crowds. Most of the people with this fear panic on the thought of being part of a group. Being in a group or facing the crowd makes these people uncomfortable.
How to eliminate demophobia? It can be done using energy therapy. It is an emerging branch in psychology that deals with the body’s energy system. Research has brought about the fact that certain negative emotions relate to the energy systems of the body. Talk therapy which involves sessions with energy therapists who make you talk about your fear, is an excellent way of eliminating demophobia. Self-help is also effective.
Fear of Criticism: Criticism is one of the basic tendencies of human nature. To beat down an opponent, to stand in the competition, or to justify one’s behavior, one feels the need to criticize those around. Those of the do-as-everyone-does type, fear being criticized and prefer to follow the masses. They sense a fear of criticism or rejection if they do something different from what everyone else is. The fear of criticism is one of the basic fears and one of the most commonly observed ones. It is displayed in the form of timidness, fear of conversation, shifting of eyes, lack of poise, and an inferiority complex.
The best way of eliminating this fear is by trying to accept criticism in the right spirit. One should learn to take criticism positively and use it in improving oneself. Consider criticism as the means of betterment and work on your weaknesses. This attitude is sure to help you in getting rid of the fear of criticism.
Fear of Death: It is known as Thanatophobia and is quite a natural phenomenon. There are theories talking about life after death; there are religious beliefs about what happens after a person dies, but there is no conclusive evidence of what will happen to us when we die. Death remains to be the ultimate reality and continues to scare most of us.
However, we should understand that fearing death is harmful for our own health. With the constant fear of death, one may never be able to enjoy life. Dreading the future always deprives us of the present joys. Studies show that due to violent movies, and because of the rising rates of suicides and murders, the fear of death in people has increased. Changing our thought pattern and behavior helps us eliminate the fear of death. Thanatophobia can also be cured by hypnotherapy. Neuro-Linguistic programming is a treatment method that has revolutionized psychology. It attempts to change our constructs by reprogramming them. It is a relatively recent technique that can be of great help in eliminating fears.
Apart from this, the human mind fears poverty, old age, and illness. It fears loneliness. Other fears that people have include, the fear of heights, depths, certain insects (animals), fire, and water. Fears deprive us from the enjoyment in life. Only when fears are conquered can life be lived in the real sense. Though consultation and therapy might be useful in many ways, the best way of eliminating fears is self-help.