How to Conquer Your Fear of Heights

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Fear is a very tangible instinct. Every day, we wrap our lives in certainties, assuring ourselves the things that we take for granted will be there when we awake, go to work, come home and relax. Every segment of our lives is padded out with a comfort zone or two, spaces where we feel safe and validated; similarly, we all entertain fears.

Most of you shove preoccupations to the back of your minds, pretending they don’t exist and the feeling at the pit of your stomach is normal, a morning coffee curdling perhaps. When confronted and spiked, your nervous system probably freaks out, causing a psychological and physiological response; you may experience sweating, heightened anxiety, rapid respiration, emotional responses, posture and voice changes, nausea and a persistent drumming in your head.

So, what is the most common fear? Acrophobia, or as we know it, the fear of heights. How does one overcome this soaring issue? You don’t always want to be the one on the ground, staring into the sky, do you?

Squeeze the Trigger

Determining the origins of your fear will allow you to identify, process and discuss why you feel threatened, afraid or overwhelmingly petrified. One person’s version of acrophobia is not identical to the next, as extreme versions exist and require psychological assistance; not because anything is wrong with you, but because a tall building shouldn’t get in the way of an amazing professional opportunity and a rollercoaster shouldn’t prompt you to imagine scenarios of instant doom. If you aren’t deathly afraid, maybe take a chance and climb a stable structure, such as a bridge; many cities offer such challenges, including the Story Bridge in Brisbane and the Harbour Bridge in Sydney. You’ll feel the wind whistle though your hair, your hands will probably hang on for dear life step by step, but you’ll soon become comfortable with the comforting weight of solid beams and stairs. You’re up high, make no mistake, but your security is ensured by a fall arrest system and safety harness via an industry tested (and proven) lanyard.

Focus Inward

Gone for an interview that requires you to be comfortable at modest heights? Unsure about how you feel or what you should do? You evidently want the experience, you’ve chased this opportunity, so why let it go for the want of a phobia? Before you’re faced with balancing on a ladder, working on a roof, maintaining a rollercoaster or even washing windows, don’t forget to breathe. Set aside ten minutes before work in which to compose yourself and gently concentrate on your inhalation, hold your breath for five seconds and then exhale. Think about positive solutions to your fears, visualise a normal, uneventful yet satisfying day. If you’re not the sit-down-and-think type, click here and be assured by industry professionals, specialising personal protection equipment and height safety.

Talk to Someone

By nutting out your nerves and negative thoughts with a professional, you are actively taking control of your phobia and letting it know that you run your own life. Phobias can be stubborn, unexpected and difficult to process; a fear of heights in the age of bungee jumping and skyscraping offices can dramatically affect your work and personal lives. Consulting with a psychologist or trained counsellor and seeking the assistance you need may just help you kick the height habit for good!

Have you ever suffered from a fear of heights? How did you overcome it? Let us know in the comments below.

Sarah Pinkerton

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