Let’s talk phobias today, shall we, friends? I was reading an old issue of Real Simple over the weekend and was surprised to come across this statistic: Some 19 million people have some sort of phobia. Ever the journalist that I am, I did a bit more digging and found these five common phobias: Clowns, buttons, mirrors, seaweed and vomiting.
Who knew? I was expecting clowns to top the list (they freak me out…), but buttons and seaweed? How interesting! And if you think about it, people can usually rattle off their top phobia without even thinking about it. I went out to lunch with my friend Lexi today and asked her to name her #1 fear. She answered immediately.
“Needles,” she said. You could even see a bit of terror on her face as she described how even IVs and the sight of a needle make her weak.
My #1 phobia? For as long as I can remember, I’ve been afraid of death, which, I just learned, is called Thanatophobia. Growing up, I had this irrational fear of dying on my birthday — I know, it’s odd, but like I said, it was completely irrational.
But, good news! It looks like all hope is not lost on overcoming those phobias. According to one study, UCLA researchers asked 88 people with a fear of spiders to approach a large, live tarantula. The following week, when asked to get close to the spider again, those who had expressed their emotions out loud the first time were able to get closer than were those who had kept their fear to themselves. The lesson? Speak up and talk about what you fear the most. Giving a voice to your fears makes them less powerful and just might give you the extra shot of self-confidence you need to look those phobias in the eye and show ’em who’s boss!
Do you have any phobias, friends? What are they? What tips do you have for conquering them? What’s worked for you? Have your phobias changed over the years?
[Photos via We Heart It]