Fear of heights is a psychological phenomenon that in most cases is helpful. Thanks to it, we avoid putting ourselves in dangerous situations that involve being on the edge of a precipice. This way, without needing to stop and think about whether to stop on a balcony without a railing or next to a very deep ravine, we simply obey the feeling of fear and greatly reduce our chances of die.
However, in some cases the fear of heights becomes so intense that it manifests itself strongly. settings in which there is no real risk of death or injury from a fall. In these cases, it becomes a problem, especially if it is so severe that it becomes a phobia. When this happens, intervention is needed.
In this article we will look at several tips to get rid of fear in height, Or at least mitigate its effects so that it ceases to be a problem.
First question: should I go to the psychologist?
To begin with, it is important to consider that, like many other phenomena and psychological traits, fear of heights can present itself in different intensities. When your level is relatively low or moderate, it is possible to progress on your own, without the help of others. However, if this fear becomes very extreme and the anxiety level is so high that you lose control completely, you need to go to a mental health professional for psychotherapy.
Fortunately, phobias are disorders which in most cases can recover until their effects are so weak that they no longer interfere with a person’s quality of life.
Of course, the line that separates fears from phobias (pathological fears) is blurred, which is why it is necessary that it is a professional who makes the diagnosis, and not himself.
Having said that, let’s take a look at what are the tips for overcoming fear at height in case the level of anxiety and fear manifested is not very extreme.
How to overcome fear at height
Follow these steps to adapt them to the characteristics of your life and your daily life.
1. Speak up about your problem
It is a first step in being able to face the fear of heights. To do this is this allows you to get rid of the added worry of giving a bad image if someone around you is nearby when you get into a crisis like this. In addition, it has the obvious utility that other people will be able to help you, for example, so that you can have support when you feel bad about it.
2. Set a reasonable distance
In this step, you have to imagine places where there is a precipice and establish, also in your imagination, what is the threshold which separates the really dangerous zone from the one which is not.
Doing this over and over will help you resolve the uncertainty of not being clear when the fear is justified and when it is not, and you will generalize this spatial criterion to many other real or imagined situations in which there is. a precipice.
3. Suppose emotions don’t obey logic
If you read and report how relatively independent mental processes are from rational processes, you won’t feel guilty about feeling anxious when you are near a rich person, a large window, etc. Overcoming fear at height is therefore a task in which you have to tame part of your nervous system, So that it conforms to rationality; it is, in a sense, a challenge.
4. Display images that convey safety
It’s good to start getting used to the idea that most of the time when people are approaching precipices and the like, nothing bad happens. For that, he turns to the visualization and imagines many people quietly approaching a precipice, Keep a safe distance and rely on handrails (if applicable).
So imagine that you are imitating these people. The best thing about these scenes is that they are realistic, because they correspond to what we usually see in real life, although generally in these contexts we are overwhelmed with anxiety.
5. Expose yourself to heights
This is the decisive step in reaching the heights for good, but it must be done with help. On your first try, try to go over the limit a little bit so that you don’t suffer too much from fear, and stay there for a few minutes.
In the second, he looks a little further. This way you will progress slowly, assuming an ascending difficulty curve and ending with a degree of proximity to foresight which can be considered as a reasonable margin in relation to the safety criterion. On the other hand, if you have access to virtual reality technologies, like the VR system in video games, you can also use it to expose yourself to precipices that are not real, even though they are very realistic.