Whether you are more comfortable with the word phobia or the word fear, if you have something that you are so scared of, or anxious about that it is causing you to take great measures to avoid—then it may be robbing you of the fulfilling life you deserve.

What Is A Phobia?

A phobia is an intense fear of something that is either minimally threatening, or significantly less threatening than it is being given credit for. For example, if your fear of flying is so strong that you travel only by car—then your fear is being given more power than it should be allowed. While flying does come with risks, statistics show that it is actually more dangerous to drive or ride in a car.

How Do Phobias Differ From Instinctual Fears?

Phobias go beyond instinctual fears, because instinctual fears are designed to heighten your awareness during times of sincere risk. For example, you may not have a general fear of heights—but you are likely to experience a surge in adrenaline and increased nervousness when you are on a high ladder. While this nervousness does not keep you from climbing a ladder, rock climbing, or hiking—it does alert you to take extra precautions.

Do You Have A Phobia?

If you are taking great measures to avoid your source of anxiety, then it may have progressed to that of a phobia. This goes beyond taking general proactive measures in life, and to the point that your anxiety or concern is altering the quality of your life—and allowing a potential risk to be the cause of extreme stress and/or anxiety.

What Are Some Of The Most Common Fears And Phobias?

The truth is, you can have a fear or phobia about just about anything. That being said, there are some fears and phobias that are fairly common. This includes fears and phobias related to:

  • Heights
  • Flying
  • Spiders
  • Small Spaces
  • Public Speaking
  • Social Anxiety
  • Dogs or Cats
  • Germs

What Causes Phobias?

The answer to this question is not cut and dry. In some cases it is nearly impossible to identifying the source of a fear or phobia, while in other cases a past experience may be the cause. There may also be triggers that intensify a fear or phobia.