By Shivani Naghnoor 
 
It is common to have fears and phobias because our mind is evolved to a great extent to perceive danger. A phobia is an extreme fear of something that actually might not be so dangerous. Common phobias are fear of spiders (arachnophobia), fear of heights (acrophobia), fear of blood (hemophobia), fear of crowded places (claustrophobia), fear of water (hydrophobia), and fear of being alone (autophobia).  
Fear is an emotion that occurs when exposed to danger or any unpleasant situation it can be a known or unknown situation. For example, a person can be afraid to take the elevator because of the fear of heights, or it can be fear of sustaining a job, business, and so on. It is natural to have fears and phobias, and we know that our situation may not be as dreadful as it seems, but we still have fears. It is not a comfortable feeling to experience fears and phobias often, but it can be managed if we decide to fight it head-on. 

Ways to overcome fears and phobias:
Accept your fears:
Acknowledge and accept that you have fears, and remember it is normal to have fears and phobias. Once you accept it, you will feel better and think of ways to handle it. You will now not consider yourself to be a weak person. 
Face your fears:
It is natural to have fears, and an effective way to overcome it is to face it, for example, if you are worried about reaching a particular place on time, because of too much traffic on the road, you can think of leaving earlier than usual. If you have made a work-related mistake, you can find ways to rectify it and not make the same mistake again. If you are afraid to go to the bank or any place because you are scared of being among a crowd, gradually tackle your fear, take one step at a time. You can initially consider going at a time you know is not so crowded, till you feel comfortable with many people around. Once you are among a crowd whether small or big, you will be confident to step out and go anywhere. 
Make a list of your fears:
It does not matter if it is a single fear or many fears, just make a list, and feel determined to overcome it. For example, if you are afraid to cross the road, write it down and first try to cross the road at a time you know there is little traffic, get used to it, and then you are likely to cross the road at any given time. If you are worried about completing a project, write it down too, and with a calm mind analyze what is needed for the project to turn out to be successful. Just making a list will enable you to tackle your fears one step at a time. 
Practice the art of being calm:
When a stressful or worrisome situation occurs, anyone will feel a lot of fear and anxiety. It is natural, and it is okay. The intense fear is due to the body’s fight or flight response it is the body’s response to acute stress, the sympathetic nervous system is activated because of release of hormones noradrenaline and adrenaline. These hormones prepare the body to fight stress. It takes the body about twenty to sixty minutes to return to the initial state. After the period of stress, it is essential to be calm, you can do breathing exercises, it will relax you. You can study the situation clearly and think about a positive solution rather than only focussing on the negative. For example, if you have lost your job because of the COVID-19 crisis, or economic slowdown, you can work on an alternative utilizing your skills, and be positive that there is going to be an effective alternate solution. 
Remember all it takes is to have a positive attitude to face your fears and become successful. 
 
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