Afraid of heights? Want to learn how to overcome your fear of heights? 

According to a recent study*, acrophobia - the fear of heights - often develops in later life. The theory is that as we get older our sense of balance tends to deteriorate which makes us feel more vulnerable.

However, if you are afraid of heights, no matter what age you are, there are ways to overcome that fear so that it is no longer overwhelming and restricting.

And whether your fear of heights happens on high levels in buildings, climbing a ladder, crossing a bridge or any other activity at height, in this article I'll cover how to overcome being afraid of heights. 

Symptoms of Fear of Heights

As with other fears and phobias, if you are afraid of heights then when up at height you may feel a sense of dread and panic. You may feel sick, shakey, sweaty, have difficulty breathing, a racing mind and a thumping heart and have a hugh desire to leave that place of height. 

Sometimes a fear of heights may lead to you freezing, unable to move forward or go back, and others cling tightly to somethimg or someone. 

Your fear of heights may mean that you avoid going places or doing things that may involve heights and sometimes even the thought of being up high (e.g. if someone suggests going somewhere at height or you see something on TV), you may feel uncomfortable and a sense of dread.

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Being afraid of heights may mean you place limitations on your life to avoid having to be high up. And whilst organising your life in this way can mean that you avoid those feelings of panic, there is always the possibility of needing to do something at a height present. Avoiding heights also confirms to your mind that they are something fearful because you avoid them. And usually it is when you can no longer avoid heights that you may choose to do something about it.

How To Overcome Fear of Heights

To start overcoming your fear of heights, put these steps into place:

1) Set Your Goal

When you have a fear or phobia it is easy to start thinking in very black and white terms - either I am safe and calm or I am up high and having a panic attack.

Yet there may be some heights you are ok with already. Maybe watching things involving heights on TV is ok for you, maybe being up one floor in a supermarket feels fine. Recognise what is and isn't an issue around being afraid of heights.

Once you already know what you can do, start to draw up a 'hierarchy of heights', starting with the thing you think would be the next easiest (e.g. if you can go up one floor maybe going up another floor seems doable etc). You don't have to go from both feet flat on the ground to the top of the London Eye (135 metres!) in one go!

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Be specific and then bit by bit you can overcome your fear of heights one step at a time. 

And to make it even easier you should learn to do this:

2) Keep The Fear Grounded

When you start to feel anxious and panicky, a whole series of things happen internally that lead to the physical and thinking changes that can become overwhelming.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to keep that fear at a low level is by using your breathing in a specific way. Because when you start to feel panicky, your breathing rate increases which triggers your whole body to get ready to do something (like getting out of there) - your heart starts beating faster, the blood is directed to your muscles and you feel hotter and restless.

So by controlling your breathing you can reverse or even stop the process in its tracks - practice breathing with your out breath longer then your in breath. This stimulates your relaxation response and is the opposite of what you do when filled with fear (breathing shallower and quicker).

To do this, hold your breath for 5 seconds and then start breathing out for a count of 11 and in for 7 several times. Practice this several times a day and know that when you think of heights or you take that next step on your list, you are well rehearsed in quickly and easily keeping calm and comfortable.

3)  Scale New Heights In your Mind

Fear keeps itself going because you think of being up at height and feel anxious, which means you dread heights even more ,which means you feel more anxious. Fear is like a self-fuelling fire based on what you experience now being similar to previous experiences.

To break this pattern and the associations around it, start using your mind in the same way yet in a opposite direction, so you feel calm before you approach new heights.

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Using the breathing exercise above or my powerful free overcoming fear audio, imagine watching yourself looking calm, confortable and in control whilst in a high place. Do this before you approach each new height on your list. When relaxed, vividly imagine yourself calmly and confidently succeeding with completing the next challenge. Run it all the way through to when you are feeling good having achieved it. Practice it several times beforehand to train your mind to link feeling calm with successfully being at height.

Help To Stop being Afraid Of Heights

If you would like to learn more about the professional help available to overcome fear of heights then get in touch and ask to book your free consultation. We can meet for a chat and begin the process of helping you find freedom from your fear and become comfortable with heights.

To your success,

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

Hypnotherapy to overcome fear of heights



* As reported in the Daily Mail 

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