Many people suffer from fear of heights, which can be a problem if your profession involves industrial tank painting or working on a skyscraper. Fortunately, acrophobia, the technical term for fear of heights, is manageable. With a few tricks, you can overcome this fear.
Know the triggers
The first thing you should do is to sense when you’re about to get hit by the symptoms, which include the following.
- Rapid breathing
- Cold sweats
- Shaking or trembling uncontrollably
- Irrational fear of falling
Once you’re aware of the symptoms, you can start preparing yourself against the triggers that could activate the fear in your heart. You should know that acrophobia encompasses other kinds of phobias that involve heights.
The following phobias will help you prepare yourself in the event that you get into a “bad” situation.
- Aerophobia – fear of flying
- Bathmophobia – fear of stairs or slopes
- Climacophobia – fear of climbing down
- Illyngophobia – feeling of vertigo when in a high location
Now that you know most of the phobias associated with heights, you’ll be able to prepare yourself for that moment when symptoms show. So, when you’re about to climb some stairs or you’re at the top of the Empire State building, visualize yourself conquering your fears.
Reassure yourself that the structure you’re on is stable enough that it won’t break and let you fall. If you’re on top of a building, repeat to yourself that many people have climbed up and down that structure, some even are working in them, without the whole thing breaking apart. Try to convince yourself by repeating this mantra, “I’m on safe ground, I’m on safe ground.”
Inhaling and exhaling deeply can relieve the stress in your mind. Rapid breathing can make things worse because it could elevate your heart rate. When you feel that your breathing gets too frantic, breathe deeply and exhale. Repeat this process until you feel yourself get calmer.
You shouldn’t rush yourself, too. It’s okay to be afraid of heights, so you shouldn’t rush yourself to be rid of this phobia. Ask your friends and family members to be considerate of your fears and not push you right away.
You should challenge yourself to face your fears. It has been proven that one of the most effective ways to conquer fears is to put yourself in a situation where your fear will be triggered so that you’ll learn how to manage it properly.
Start slow and small: climb a flight of stairs, around steps upward and downward. After that, add more steps and perhaps find a flight of stairs where you can see the bottom to really challenge yourself.
When you feel that your breath is steadier after climbing 20 steps and your pulse rate doesn’t go faster anymore, try something much more daunting. Perhaps climb a building and step out onto its observation deck like the one in the Empire State building.
Conquering your fear of heights won’t be easy. But if you persist, you’ll be able to climb up to very high places with less fear in your heart.