Conquering common fears and facing your phobias

Fear: the creepy little beast that lives within all of us and waits until just the right moment to strike with unpredictability and panic. From spiders, heights, public speaking, or the colour yellow, fear can strike at any moment without warning. Yet this doesn’t have to keep you trapped in a cocoon. There is an effective way to manage these spine-chilling terrors without closing yourself off to reality.

The Dreaded Arachnophobia

Spiders often get a bad rap as eight-legged nightmares, but don’t be intimidated when you encounter one. Use Sherlock Holmes techniques and investigate to learn about your foe. Surprisingly, most spiders are harmless and actually help by munching up insects that could otherwise bother us. Take a deep breath, keep a safe distance, and remember: they’re more afraid of you than vice versa!

Handling Hack: Spider Trapping

If facing off with a spider is too much of an encounter for you, use glass and paper to capture and release it outside. That way, both parties benefit from this solution. You will remain unharmed while the spider lives to consume another mosquito.

Fear of Heights: Infinity and Beyond?

Being on the brink of a tall building might send chills down your spine, but fear of heights (acrophobia) is quite prevalent. Gradual exposure can help combat this fear: start small by looking down from low balconies before gradually increasing height until your mind understands that being higher up doesn’t necessarily pose danger.

Handling Hack: Mindfulness

Practice mindfulness techniques. Fear of heights is often compounded by preoccupied thoughts about “what ifs.” Instead, focus on being present and breathing deeply as you ground yourself with positive affirmations.

Public Speaking: The Modern-Day Gladiator Arena

Gladiators faced lions, and public speakers faced something even scarier: their peers. Glossophobia, or fear of public speaking, affects a significant percentage of people. The key to conquering it is preparation and practice. Know your material inside out before practising with an audience that supports you or in front of a mirror.

Handling Hack: Imagine Success

Visualising an audience, applauding, smiling, and hanging onto every word that comes out of your mouth. Also keep in mind that most in the audience have likely been there themselves at some point, and they all want the best for you.

Fear of Dentists: Beyond Toothaches

Dentophobia, or Odontophobia, is a widespread fear among many individuals, stemming from past negative experiences, pain perception or simply the sound of dental instruments. Unfortunately, avoiding dentists will only result in more serious oral health issues down the road. So to overcome your fear, finding someone who understands and respects your anxiety is key. Many dental offices now provide comfort measures such as sedation dentistry, headphones to distract the patient, or therapy dogs to ease patient anxieties.

Handling Hack: Communication

Communicate openly with your dentist about any anxieties. Establishing a hand signal between yourself and the dentist can give you more control during procedures, enabling you to signal when you need a break. Regular visits and positive experiences will gradually decrease fear levels, leading to better overall dental health.


Fear can feel oppressive, but it doesn’t need to dominate your life. Understanding their source, gradually exposing yourself to them, practising mindfulness, and keeping an open mind are all effective approaches for lessening their impact. Don’t feel isolated on this journey: many others share similar anxieties, so taking small, steady steps toward conquering them is possible. 

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