How to overcome fear of heights?
If you have ever visited a tall structure, such as a skyscraper or a tower, you might have felt the natural fear of heights. In fact, this fear is so common that it has been given its own clinical term: Acrophobia. Moreover, because humans are not designed to be high above the ground, this fear makes sense from an evolutionary perspective.
However, if you want to do skydiving or other bucket list activities like jumping off cliffs - you need to overcome your fear of heights. After all, there's no better way to do that than by challenging yourself and pushing your personal boundaries.
You don't have to give up on your dreams just because you have this common phobia. With a little help and plenty of practice, you can learn to conquer your fears and adventure into that scary world again. Here are some tips on how to overcome fear of heights.
Find the root cause
Before you try to overcome your fear of heights, you should try to find its root cause. Are you afraid of falling? Are you afraid of getting dizzy? Are you afraid of being up high? The specific cause of your fear will help you determine how to tackle it.
For example, if you are afraid of falling, you can try to conquer that specific fear by doing exercises that increase your grip strength, such as regular climbing.
If you are afraid of the dizziness that comes with being up high, you can try to breathe more slowly to stay calm and avoid the dizziness.
When you understand why you are afraid of something, it becomes easier to confront that fear, and it's easier to work through your fears and move past them.
So, first things first: try to understand why you're afraid of heights. There are several common reasons why people are afraid of heights. You might have been scared by a traumatic childhood experience, such as falling from a tree or coming close to falling from a window.
Or have a genetic disposition toward anxiety or other mental health issues. Also, an eye condition or other physical condition that makes you more prone to acrophobia. You might have a fear of the unknown.
Talk to Someone Who Has Overcome Their Fear of Heights
A fear of heights can be paralyzing, but you don't have to go through it alone. Talking to people who have dealt with this fear can be incredibly helpful. When you find someone who has dealt with this fear, you can ask them how they managed to overcome it.
You can also ask them what worked for them and what didn't - that way, you can be sure to try things that have worked for others in the past. Additionally, talking to others who have experienced this fear can help you see that you're not alone. You don't have to keep this fear to yourself.
When you're ready to talk about your fears, plenty of people are waiting to support you.
Help From Family and Friends
You don't have to make this journey on your own. Ask for help from your friends and family. They can be a huge support system for you throughout this process. They can help you stay motivated when you want to quit.
They can also help you brainstorm ways to work through your fears, and they can remind you that you can do this. There is nothing wrong with being afraid of heights. That fear is a natural reaction to something dangerous.
Your brain is simply doing its job by making you feel fear when you are in a dangerous situation. But you don't have to let your fear get in the way of enjoying life.
Try Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy is a type of therapy used to treat anxiety and phobias. When you are exposed to the very thing that you fear, over time, your brain begins to associate that thing with less anxiety. Eventually, the fear begins to disappear.
With this in mind, you can try to use exposure therapy to overcome your fear of heights. You can start by visiting a lower floor, such as the ground floor of a building, and then work your way up. When you visit a lower floor, try to focus on your breathing and posture.
As you're walking, keep your shoulders back, and your head held high, as if you are proud to be walking on the ground floor. You can also focus on your posture and on your breathing, which can help distract you from your fear.
When you visit a higher floor, try to focus on the fact that you are in a safe environment and that the people around you will keep you safe. Bring a friend to help distract you from your fear if you can.
Build your confidence with small wins
Whenever you try to do something new and challenging, you are bound to feel anxious about it. The best way to overcome your fear of heights is by taking on small challenges and victories at a time.
You can start by looking for indoor heights that are designed for people who are afraid of heights, such as indoor skywalks or observation towers.
You should go slow and steady in your approach. Start by climbing a couple of flights of stairs and work your way up from there. If you're feeling particularly anxious, you might want to take the elevator, but try to do so without feeling guilty.
Going slow might feel boring, but it's the best way to help your brain learn to overcome its fear.
By starting off with smaller heights and victories, you will also build your confidence and get used to heights.
This can help you progress to heights that are higher while reducing your anxiety at the same time.
Doing this will build your confidence and ease into the experience at your own pace rather than jumping right into the thing that scares you the most. This can also help you stay under your anxiety threshold, which is what we all need to do when trying to overcome fear.
Exercise regularly to build muscle strength
Another way to conquer your fear of heights is to build up your hand grip strength. This is because when you are high above the ground, you need to have a strong grip to keep yourself from slipping or falling.
By building up your hand grip strength, you can increase your confidence in yourself and your ability to hold on to things or people. This can help you overcome your fear of heights by giving you a stronger sense of security and control over your body.
You can also try wearing gloves or rubber bands to build your hand grip strength. Maybe bring a support belt to help keep your torso upright and your lower back straight.
These might sound silly, but these extra tools can make a big difference to your mindset and confidence. So you feel more secure as you go up on floors.
Look for visual anchors
When you are up high, you might feel like you are about to fall or like you are being sucked into a hole. This feeling can be especially strong if you have an intense fear of heights.
To prevent yourself from feeling like you are falling, try to look for visual anchors like buildings or anything else that is large and close to you. By looking at these visual anchors, you can trick yourself into feeling like you are standing still, which can help reduce your anxiety when being up high.
Visual anchors can also calm you down if you are feeling anxious while up high. For example, you can focus on the buildings below you or something else close to you to help you slow your breathing down.
Use breathing techniques to control anxiety
As mentioned above, it's easy to forget to breathe when you're scared and feeling anxious. When you're scared and have forgotten to breathe, you probably feel short of breath, dizzy, and panicky.
To calm down and control your anxiety, use deep breathing techniques. Deep breathing can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure, both of which are controlled by your autonomic nervous system. This can help you calm down and reduce your anxiety.
One simple technique is to take a slow, deep breath through your nose and then exhale slowly through your mouth. You can do this while standing on an indoor observation deck or looking out at the city from the top of a building.
It can slow you down and help you control your emotions. Another technique is to imagine your breath moving through your body and up to your head. So more oxygen is delivered to your brain, reducing anxiety and stress.
You can also imagine your breath washing away feelings of anxiety and stress from your body and mind.
Hold your breath and countdown
Another way to calm yourself down when you are feeling anxious at a high height is to hold your breath and count down from 10. This might seem silly, but it actually works. Holding your breath and focusing on the numbers can help you calm down and stay in control.
You can also do this when you are feeling anxious about something else, such as giving a speech or going on a date. This technique can help get you focused and in the moment, which can help you stay calm and keep your emotions in check.
By getting yourself into the moment, you can help reduce your anxiety and take control of the situation, whatever it may be.
Take baby steps
Another way to overcome your fear of heights is to take baby steps. By taking baby steps, you can get used to the feeling of being up high and eventually overcome your fear of heights.
For example, if you want to climb a tall tower, you can try to talk to someone in the tower and ask them if you can take the elevator to the top. If you want to skydive, you can try skydiving in a simulator before jumping out of an airplane.
Don't rush the process when you're trying to overcome your fear of heights. Don't try to climb to the top of the tallest tower in a single day. Don't try to visit the highest floor in one day. Don't try to do everything at once.
Instead, break the process down. Start by visiting the first floor. Then the second floor. Then the third floor. Take your time. Breathe. And practice self-love and self-compassion as you go. The only way to conquer your fear is to face them. So, face your fear of heights head-on, and you will soon overcome it.
These baby steps can help get you used to being up high and help you overcome your fear of heights. And even if you fail or don't overcome your fear, you can still say that you at least tried. You can try again to see if another method can overcome your fear!
Try A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Program
CBT is a type of therapy that helps you manage your thoughts and emotions. It's ideal for those who want a more hands-on approach to overcoming their fear of heights. CBT works by changing the way you process your emotions.
It's not about changing the emotions themselves but rather changing your perception of the emotions you're experiencing. You can find online CBT programs for about any issue you can think of - including fear of heights.
Once you have a program, follow the instructions and exercises. Remember to be patient and don't expect to see results right away. It could take weeks or months, but you'll get there.
If you've tried everything else on this list and you're still struggling with your fear of heights, you may want to consider seeing a doctor about medication. Certain medications can help to reduce your anxiety and make you feel less fearful.
It's important to remember that medication is not a cure-all, and it doesn't work for everyone. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the different types of medication that are out there.
Being high up can be both thrilling and frightening. But don't let your fear keep you from exploring the world and all its wonderful sights.
While it is important to be respectful of this feeling, it is also essential to understand that it is completely natural. Anyone can overcome their fear of heights with the right approach.
Finding the cause of your fear, building confidence with small wins, exercising regularly to build muscle strength, and looking for visual anchors. You can also overcome your fear of heights by using breathing techniques to control anxiety, taking baby steps, and not rushing the process.