Overcoming Phobias

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright 1999

To work through any phobia you would have to know the specifics of the problem to be able to work out a plan to help yourself to do away with your phobia. You would have to know:

1. How did it start in the beginning?

2. When it starts, what triggers it?

3. When is it at its worst and least?

4. What have you done in the past to counteract the problem?

This is a general outline of the three programs I have included in this article to help you.

1. There is a program to minimize and work through the fear itself.

2. A relaxation technique to help you keep fear from getting out of hand in real life and while working through the fear.

3. Reprogramming subconscious thoughts to help eliminate the fear accumulated in the subconscious mind.

4. Finally and most importantly you need to ask your God to help you overcome this problem.

This four pronged attack has worked for everyone who has tried it. Its an unbeatable combination.


Facing and Overcoming Your Fears & Phobias

Annette Nay, MS

Step Work

1. Write down the environment, event, or situation that is frightening you at this time.

2. Write down the most frightening situation you can think happening with this situation.

3. Write down the least frightening situation dealing with this same situation.

4. Write down a frightening situation you can think of dealing with this same situation that would fall in between the most and the least frightening to you.

Example: Fear of high places

Least: Standing on a foot high step-up in my kitchen

Worst: Looking over the edge of a high building.

5. Write the in between steps into order of frightfulness to you.

Example: Fear of high places

Least: Standing on a foot high step-up in my kitchen

Worst: Looking over the edge of a high building

Steps in between:

6. Write down in baby-step progression what would lead you to accomplish each situation from the least frightening step to the most frightening. Write them as a goal statement.

Example of overcoming: Fear of high places - 1st goal and that of least fear.

Stand on a foot high step-up in my kitchen.

Stand on a high ladder.

7. Outline each goal is small doable steps as it gets time to do them.

8. One should not progress to the next step until there is little fear involved with the present one.

9. Now put the plan into action. Note: It may be impossible to accomplish some steps such as flying for some people without highly developing relaxation techniques and using self indoctrination.


A Relaxation Exercise to Relieve Stress

Annette Nay, MS

* * * Relaxation Exercise - Practice three times /day. * * *

Tense up the following body parts and then release them completely until these parts hang from your body like a rag doll's would.

Tighten, but not strain, the body parts in the order listed below for a slow count of five.

Release completely (rag-doll feeling) for a count of ten. Breath deeply and slowly.

If you are not sure a body part is relaxed then tighten it and then release it Then you know it is not tense.

Order of tightening and releasing:

* feet, ankles, calves, thighs, and buttocks

* lower back, stomach, and chest

* shoulders, biceps, forearms, and hands

* neck, scalp, forehead, and mouth

When you can relax the different parts of your body, separately, try to relax all of them at once, starting with the feet and ending up with the mouth.

Tense and release the body that refuses to relax.

When you can make your body relax with commanding it to do so then you are ready to start self indoctrination if you should choose to.


Reprogramming Your Subconscious Negative Thoughts

Annette Nay, MS

1. Start with the Relaxation Exercise. Tense up all the body parts and then release them completely until these parts hang from your body like a rag doll's would. Inventory the relaxation in each body part as listed below: Breath deeply and slowly.

* feet, ankles, calves, thighs, and buttocks

* lower back, stomach, and chest

* shoulders, biceps, forearms, and hands

* neck, scalp, forehead, and mouth

2. When you are completely relaxed, see yourself in a place that will bring you peace.

* This may be on the beach with a warm sun beating down and waifs of cool air playing over your body.

* Feel it, see it, and smell it with as much detail as possible. Practice going there 3 times/day.

* Do so until you can be totally relaxed just by conjuring up your peaceful place.

* You may find that you may fall asleep doing this exercise.

* If you are having troubles falling asleep this is a good technique to get you there.

3. You should lie down in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. When you are totally relaxed in your peaceful place:

Close your eyes and feel yourself inside your head suspended somewhere between your two eyeballs. While there, see yourself entering an elevator.

Feel yourself slowly floating down five levels. Think each number level in your head as you slowly proceed downward. Each level should find you more relaxed that the first.

The bottom or 5th level will find you suspended somewhere mid-scull, at the level where the head meets the neck.

4. Spend about five minutes of total peace and relaxation there.

5. Then come back slowly to level one. Tell yourself you will be awake, alert, and refreshed when you get there. Upon reaching level one open your eyes and go about your day's events.

6. Practice going to level 5 in at least once a day for a week. When you can lie down and reach your destination with in 3-5 minutes, you are ready to talk to yourself and reorder your negative thoughts to positive ones.

7. Practice on reordering your thoughts should take place at least 3 times a week. The more often you do it the faster the change. At 3 times a week you should see a definite change in the negative attitude in about 3 to 4 weeks of subconscious restructuring.

Making Changes

What do you want changed in your life. Do you need more self esteem? Is there something in your life that you are afraid of and would like to overcome it? Level five is the place to do it.

1. Decide what you want to do before you even start to relax. Perhaps you want to state positive affirmations to yourself to overcome a fear or a negative belief of yourself. Ex: I can get on a jet and fly to my destination without fear.

2. Now see yourself in the most positive picture you can conger up. See yourself smiling as you step up to the flight attendant to give him/her your ticket.

3. Feel the peace in your body. Feel how proud you are of yourself. Feel confidence surging through your body.

4. Note everything that should take place on the flight.

5. Finally see yourself disembarking at your destination, still happy and peaceful.

Positive Affirmations

Never state anything to yourself as I won't/can't ________. Always state things as things in a positive, action form. The statement should say whatever positive thing you will do.

Example 1: "I won't be afraid," should be stated as "When I feel even a little fearful I will breath deeply and relax all the muscles throughout my body. I will stand/sit straight and feel happy with myself. I will erase the fear from my thoughts by going to my peaceful place on the beach or elsewhere. I will breath deeply and slowly. As I breath I will feel picture red and warms to all my muscles and my body relaxing them."

Example 2: A Positive Affirmation: I can set goals and attain them by__________.

Do not say: I am not a failure.

Positive affirmations are most effective just at bedtime. The subconscious replays what was thought just before sleep for about an hour. So your subconscious hear the positive affirmation again and again.

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

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