There are different types of fear people may have such as social anxiety, fear of heights, fear of flying, fear of driving, fear of darkness, fear of ghost and so on. Among common phobias, this is the fear of space, including big, blank space (agoraphobia or astrophobia) and closed space (claustrophobia). Now, keep reading this writing on how to get rid of fear of space: big, blank or closed space on VKool site in the line of Mind & Body to overcome your phobia fast.
Fear Of Space – How To Stop Fear Of Big, Blank Or Closed Space
Get clear that the fear of space is generally considered a sign of anxiety, more than a type of anxiety disorder. This is because most individuals that develop fear of space already have one or some types of anxiety. This may make sense as several disorders are affected by phobias.
For instance, generalized anxiety disorder plays an important role in developing fear of space. When you are in a close space, you may suffer from a panic attack. You may often have feeling of wanting to escape from a condition thought it is not really limited to closed spaces. It is possible that people with the fear of space end up passing tangentially over the situation they feel in a small space.
I. How To Overcome Agoraphobia
1. What Is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is a type of phobia that involves fear of open spaces and public places. It is believed that agoraphobia forms as panic attacks.
When you have panic attacks, you feel anxious about staying in certain situation where you can’t escape would be embarrassing or difficult. For instance, you avoid open places or crowded places such as movie theaters or shopping malls. You might also avoid subways, airplanes, cars and travelling. In other words, you may just feel safe when staying at home.
Beside the term agoraphobia, there is another type of phobia related to fear of spaces, this is astrophobia.
Astrophobia is associated with fear of space and stars. According to experts, astrophobia is connected with the fear of aliens. Some Hollywood movies played into this fear such as “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” or “Independence Day”. Astrophobia also is connected with fear of darkness, being away from home or being alone. Some movies such as “Space Camp” address cold emptiness of an outer space. Astrophobia may also stem from fear of the space exploration, which is triggered by catastrophes as explosions of Columbia and Space Shuttles Challenger. For instance, the movie “Apollo 13” addresses a very real danger involved in a space program.
2. Symptoms Of Agoraphobia
Symptoms of agoraphobia are not much different to other specific phobias. However, depending on certain nature of your fear, you might be obsessed with some locations.
If your phobia is caused by space itself, you perhaps find it difficult to watch films or TV shows about a space program. You probably might be afraid of shuttle launches and feel uncomfortable as pundits or politicians discuss the space travel.
3. Treatments For Agoraphobia
When it comes to treatments for the fear of space, many people think that their agoraphobia requires no cure at all. However, if you gradually have phobia that leads you to be afraid of going to locations such as Halloween events, science museums, you need to improve this condition for your social life. Fortunately, agoraphobia can be treated in several ways like other phobias. The aim of agoraphobia treatment is to help you relieve your negative beliefs about open spaces; and get rid of the fear of space permanently. The following are effective approaches to treat agoraphobia, including cognitive behavioral therapies, relaxation techniques and mind control training.
a. Self-Help & Therapy For Agoraphobia
To treating fear of space, self-help and cognitive therapies may be effective. The best treatment for you may depend on a many factors, such as the severity of your fear, insurance coverage and the support you want.
In general, self-help is worth for you trying. The more you practice it, the more you will be in control when you face agoraphobia. Nevertheless, if your fear is severe that triggers uncontrollable anxiety and panic attacks, you may need additional support.
Good news for agoraphobia sufferers is that some cognitive therapies can help very quickly and extremely well in 1 to 4 sessions. Have someone to stand by you, hold your hand and help you face your phobia. This can work as a miracle and you will overcome most of your obsession about open spaces.
b. Repeatedly & Gradually Face Your Fears
This is a train for your mind to rid out fear and anxiety about agoraphobia. Imagine that all panic attacks and fears come from your mind naturally. To
avoid the situation or thing you fear, you have to conquer it, face it as the key of success.
While the avoidance of some situations causing your fear may work for you in the short-term, this prevention may not help you stop your phobia permanently. As you will never have any chance to cope with your agoraphobia as well as experience the control over fear. Thus, your phobia will become scarier and increasingly daunting in your thoughts.
To overcome your agoraphobia once and for all, repeatedly and gradually expose yourself to your fear in a controlled way. During this process, you will learn to fight off your fear and anxiety until they inevitably pass.
Through the repeated experiences in facing the phobia, you may realize the worst will not happen. You won’t die. With each of your exposure, you will feel in control and feel more confident. The fear begins to reduce its power.
c. Learn Relaxation Techniques
When it comes to ways to overcome fear of space, try relaxation techniques. You might know these techniques to relieve stress, and they are beneficial for phobia sufferers, too. As when you have a fear, you will get more anxious or afraid of something. Relaxation can help you calm down, regulate your heart speed, panic attacks, reduce excess sweating and stay in control.
Continue reading: How to stop overthinking everything – relax and enjoy life
Moreover, by practicing relaxation techniques such as muscle relaxation, meditation, deep breathing, you will easily get rid of uncomfortable sensations quickly while getting more confident easily.
In concrete, when you feel anxious and unsafe, you tend to have shallow breaths (hyperventilating) that can add to the physical feeling of anxiety. If you breathe deeply from your abdomen, you will be able to reverse those physical sensations. Try not to be upset as you are breathing quietly, slowly and deeply. After then, you will feel short of breath and less tense.
To start, stand or sit comfortably with the back straight. Put a hand on the chest and the other one on the stomach.
Next, take a deep breath in through the nose for 4 seconds. Let the hand on the stomach rise and the hand on the chest move little. Then, hold your breath for about 7 seconds and breathe out through the mount for 8 seconds in order to push hair out as much as possible while contracting the abdominal muscles.
Next, put the hand on the stomach move in when you exhale and the other hand move little. Breathe in again. Repeat this cycle until centered and relaxed.
Practice this breathing technique for just 5 minutes twice a day.
d. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts
Next to relaxation techniques to beat off fear of space, try to control your mind to get rid of negative and anxious thoughts.
The anxious thoughts that fuel and trigger your fear are unrealistic and negative. It helps put those thoughts to a test. Start by getting clear about the cause of your fear and fix it. For instance, you are scared at standing at the top of skyscrapers. Find a reason for your agoraphobia. Maybe, you never cope with it before so that you are scared while other people are so excited at this. On the other hand, your fear exists because of some negative thoughts forming in your mind related to death. In short, you have to get rid of negative thought to enjoy things that most people like to do or explore.
II. How To Overcome Claustrophobia
Next to another type of fear of space, this is claustrophobia (also known as fear of closed space). Check out more information about this phobia below!
1. What Is Claustrophobia?
Claustrophobia is also a fear of space but closed spaces. It causes panic attacks and anxiety disorder. This phobia can be treated as irrational, yet to people who suffer from claustrophobia, it’s real and painful. They are usually afraid of taking part in crowded events. Levels of this phobia vary and to treat it you have to know the level of your disorder for effective treatment. Claustrophobia is interlinked to suffocation. Those who suffer from suffocation usually dread staying in small space without windows as they are also scared at getting not enough air.
Sufferers of claustrophobia often feel distressed with the thoughts of staying in a plane, bus and train. Usually any closed space can trigger panic attacks, particularly if they feel trapped.
The panic and the fear can occur in any place where one perceives closeness, trapped feeling or confinement. For instance, having your hair cut, waiting in a queue, having a long conversation with someone, driving or standing up can trigger your panic attacks.
Claustrophobia includes 2 components: fear of physical sensations and fear of place. Patients of this phobia fear the feeling of getting confined and fear the limitation of movement in small rooms or small space.
Recommended reading: How to relax your mind and body from anxiety and stress fast
2. Symptoms Of Claustrophobia
When you are in a confined place, you may have panic attacks with a lot of negative sensations like sweating, palpitations, difficulty concentrating, and muscle tensing. When you remove yourself from an area that you perceive is dangerous, your bodily sensations disappear. It occurs as you relax and get rid of negative fearful thoughts.
Your mind and body now can accept new surroundings and eliminate trigger for putting your fear off. Outside or in a bigger room, you have a full faith in your mind that your feel sweaty or your breath is restricted, so no negative physical sensations can be produced.
When you suffer from claustrophobia, you will usually show silly rituals to protect yourself from panic attacks. For instance, you will sit next to windows for getting more air, or you will want to have a seat next to an aisle, or stay in a room where you can escape fast.
In general, claustrophobia is a common phobia, but it is said that claustrophobia can be treated easier than other phobias. The problem is that people do not try to treat it and make it become a permanent disorder.
Here are main signs and symptoms of claustrophobia:
- Accelerated heartbeat
- Light headache
Some situations that cause panic attacks in claustrophobics include:
- Avoid driving on the main roads or highway with heavy traffic
- Staying inside a small room and looking for an exit
- Avoid taking an elevator
- Staying on an plane
- Taking part in a party and standing near a door or windows
There are various scientific studies reporting claustrophobia and treatments for this fear. Now, keep reading the next parts to get clear about effective ways to get rid of claustrophobia below!
3. Treatments For Claustrophobia
Most anxiety disorders claustrophobia can be treated with cognitive therapy and some other approaches. Take a closer look to treatments for this fear of space now!
a. Cognitive Therapy
Cognitive therapy for the fear of closed space includes subsequent lessons taught by ‘neutral’ teachers. They may claim, for instance, elevators are useful, instead of scaring. They will show the claustrophobia patients positive aspects to make them believe that elevators are harmless.
The form of cognitive therapy is to confront fear under medical supervision.
While behavioral cognitive therapy seems to be safe, it may have flaws that the sufferers do not confront their phobia under real circumstances. It is believed that claustrophobia patients think a lot about performing that approach for claustrophobia, as they will not have any problem with handling troubles on rather rational levels.
But it is also believed that a lot other methods engage the patients with every nerve. My final recommendation for the claustrophobia is to apply this therapy to get rid of this phobia fast.
b. Understand Your Claustrophobia Theoretically
It is a good idea to have positive thoughts of things that make you scared. Knowledge can allow you to keep things in control. In case, you are trying to get rid of your fear – the first step will be a ‘brainstorming’ or ‘mind game’ in which you can summarize your feelings about anxiety and panic attacks inducing people, places and situations.
Next still on a theoretical approach, this is closing your eyes, then practice visualization techniques. Focus on your thinking with safe quite place while controlling your breath to get relaxed. Maintain your visualization within a couple of minutes, then open your eyes.
As it’s very exhausting for you to think about your fear and the topic of fear, but get more information about your fear. Search for more information about your claustrophobia to understand it. Besides, you can get to Google, search for a lot of pictures of close spaces and elevators. Watch them, and think that you now are still safe or there is no fear and problem with staying at these places.
After practicing these steps, you will feel relief about the theoretical approach. There is actually no problem to shut your eyes up and visualize about fear-inducing situations.
I think you now can apply this method to treat your own claustrophobia. If you can empower your mind, you absolutely can get rid of claustrophobia quickly and naturally without medication. The cognitive therapy is proven to work for many sufferers of fear of space. So, try applying this method once to overcome your claustrophobia permanently.
c. Deal With Claustrophobia Virtually
In the theoretical method, it is mainly based on one’s will to overcome fear.
If you can handle your claustrophobia theoretically, try treating it virtually. This method allows you to react your bad feelings caused by claustrophobia; and you will confront these situations voluntarily and take control over fears.
Staying clocked up in a small room is actually not really bad at all. It’s just the way you think about it through your mind. If you can get rid of feelings of fear and panic attacks, there is no problem to discuss. You are not a claustrophobic. If you lose control over your mind and action, face your fear of space. Calm down your mind. Find dangerous things. If you don’t see it, empower your mind to get rid of negative thoughts since your worry and anxiety are unnecessary.
The claustrophobia on the other hand is not simple to handle theoretically. Panic attacks can happen suddenly, so physically you can put your hand on your left chest with the heart to regulate your heart speed. This simple way will work. In another way, if you are religious and have a strong belief of your God, call his name and ask for his help. Your God will bless you to overcome your troubles.
When it comes to treatments for fear of space in general and fear of claustrophobia in particular, you can practice visualization. Imagine that you are talking to your mother or a good friend or someone you trust. Imagine that that person is on your side and encourage you to get rid of the feeling of fear. Hold your both hands to get rid of the feeling of loneliness.
Moreover, make sure that you are aware of the cause of your claustrophobia. Anyway, this fear is just a feeling related to the fear of loneliness, the fear of your obsessing past, the fear of death or the fear of darkness.
Beside cognitive approach to treat claustrophobia, it is recommended using flooding. This is an exposure treatment. Patients of this phobia will be exposed to a certain situation of fear until their anxiety passes. Another from of exposure method is counter conditioning. It is a part of the behavior approach, as the sufferer will learn relaxation techniques and visualization before being reintroduced to a trigger situation.
In addition, individuals can take meditations or combine different approaches on treating the fear of space, in general. For instance, Neuro-Linguistic Programming can deconstruct one’s preconceived view of the fact, reducing the panic attacks provoked by a specific setting or situation. At the same time, you can use medications that are prescribed to treat your claustrophobia such as beta-blockers and anti-depressants. These medications work to relieve heart pounding that are usually linked to anxiety and panic attacks in claustrophobics.
Alternative treatments for the fear of space in general and of close space in particular include the regression hypnotherapy. Scientifically, hypnotherapy is applied to remember traumatic event, which led to one’s claustrophobia. The patients of claustrophobia are taught to watch events with real eyes that help them decrease sense of anxiety and panic attacks instilled into their mind.
Hope that this article on fear of space: big, blank or closed space could give you an overview of the 2 main types of fear spaces, including agoraphobia and claustrophobia and the treatments for them. For any comment about the writing, please show it at the end of the post. See you in the next posts!