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Using Relaxation Techniques to Keep a Phobia Under Control

Relaxation Techniques to Keep a Phobia Under Control


Updated August 21, 2009

Phobias should always be treated by a mental health professional. However, treatment can take time to become fully successful. To cope in the short term, many sufferers find that relaxation techniques can ease their anxiety. Here are a few tips to help you out.

  • Meditation: Meditation can soothe your nerves, making you more relaxed overall. Although you may still experience a phobic reaction, meditating before facing the situation can make your symptoms less severe.

  • Yoga: Like meditation, yoga can help to lower your overall level of stress. Your phobia may still appear, but with regular yoga your symptoms may be less severe.

  • Visualization: Visualization is the art of taking your mind through a series of soothing images. Some phobia sufferers find that using visualization techniques can help to lessen a phobic reaction that is already in progress.

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation: In this technique, you will begin at your feet and rhythmically contract and relax each muscle group in turn, working your way up your body to your head. This is another great technique to use when confronting your feared object or situation.

  • Autogenic Relaxation: This is tricky to learn on your own, so find out if your doctor or therapist can teach you. Autogenic relaxation involves blending visualization techniques with purposeful breathing and repetitive physical motion.

Like almost anything else, relaxation techniques are learned skills. Practice your skills as often as possible so that they become almost second nature.

Confronting your phobia is never easy, but using these tips can help you get through a feared situation. Remember, however, that these tips are designed to be used in the short run and are not a long-term alternative to seeking professional help.


Relaxation Techniques: Learn ways to calm your stress. Mayo Clinic. March 7, 2007. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/relaxation-technique/SR00007

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