"On the other side of fear lies freedom" - is a quote that is often thrown around in various contexts, but in many cases, it's true. When you let go of the things you're most afraid of, that's when you can start living your life.
Here are just some of the, some might say ridiculous, things that I'm afraid of!
Wasps - slightly inconvenient when our wedding fell in the height of wasp season!
Dentists - a popular one I know, but I'm absolutely terrified of them.
Thrill rides - I'm a nightmare in theme parks, I have to spend most of my day sitting on a bench watching everyone else have fun.
Slipping on ice - this probably sounds so daft but I have a genuine fear of ice to the point where I work myself up into a state if I know I have to make my way to work on slipper pavements in Winter.
Most of us have fears. Whether they're deep and meaningful, or irrational fears of spiders, they can take over our lives if we let them. Phobias are actually pretty serious, and telling someone to 'get over it' can quite often be useless. There's not been a lot of scientific research that's actually proved conclusive yet, so No one is sure whether phobias are caused by environmental factors or genetics.
Although phobias are common, we don't just have to live with them. There are many ways that we can try to treat our negative responses to the things that most scare us (and I don't mean going to the extreme of appearing on I'm a Celebrity to get covered in spiders)! According to a recent survey by Voucherbox, there are many ways that people across the UK choose to treat their phobias, leading them to spend an average of £100 on different types of treatment in a given year. One common method, opted for by 29% of those questioned, was hypnotherapy or psychotherapy. In fact, my little sister was so fed up of her fear of being in lifts that she decided on hypnotherapy to help her.
So what are they? Hypnotherapy allows you to access your subconscious to safely re-program the way your brain works. It doesn't hurt, and you're in a 'trance' the whole time as your emotional responses are rewired. Psychotherapy is a bit more traditional as it often involves going to a psychologist, who'll be able to recommend a range of talking therapies. A doctor might refer you to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), or even provide you with medication if the fears are causing mental health issues that are stopping you live your day to day life.
Sometimes, to sort out problems within ourselves, we have to look to ourselves for the answers. Many fears are conquered thanks to education and literally talking ourselves out of it. If, for example, you're scared of flying, it's a good idea to teach yourself about how the plane works. That way, you'll understand why turbulence happens, or why planes make funny noises. A fear of flying - like many fears - is actually really illogical, and when you do some research, you'll find that flying is actually one of the safest modes of transport around. A lot of experts say that when you understand planes in depth and the risks surrounding taking flights, you'll have the evidence to be able to overcome your fears.
Whether your fear is of failure, bees, or even knees (yes, this is a serious phobia which actually affects a small minority of people...), you can overcome your fear.
So, let's share! What are you afraid of?