What is a phobia? A phobia is a fear of something that has reached a fever pitch. We are all scared of one thing or the other but people suffering from phobias often take that to the extreme. Their fears can be irrational.

How do you know that you have a phobia? Well there are different ways. You might notice that in certain situations you fall victim to a panic attack. It could be as you wait to give a speech or entering a room full of people that you don’t know. Your pulse races, your pupils dilate and more blood is pumped into the extremities of the body to fight or flee.

This is the typical reaction to any intense fear that you are experiencing. Phobias can manifest themselves in someone’s life due to traumatic experience in your childhood. Beyond your own experience, phobias can develop in response to someone else experience. Just listening to their harrowing experiences can cause you to fear that thing as well.

Either way, the result is the same. You are left with an irrational fear of an object, person or place to the point that it will interfere with your daily routine. For example, agoraphobics do not like to be outdoors. They can spend years inside their homes, afraid to go outside with others.

Phobias are common in families with a history of psychological disorders and emotional issues like depression. You may have one of these conditions as well or simply suffer from a phobia.

So, how do you cope with phobias? Start by taking a big step forward. This step is the one that you take to see a professional about your issues. He or she will listen and help you follow a plan for overcoming that irrational fear.

* Start slowly. That can simply be talking about your fear with a professional. If you have a setback, start again the next day. The important thing is that you don’t give up on yourself.

* Think positively. Why is it so easy to talk ourselves out of something but not into something? Your doctor can help you come up with positive reinforcement statements that you can recite whenever you feel overwhelmed by your phobia.

* Learn how to relax. Relaxation techniques including meditation can help your mind to cope when you are in a situation where you have to face your fear. Instead of having a panic attack, breathe slow and easy until the feeling passes.

Phobias are fears that have an irrational basis. It is alright to experience fears, but when they interfere in your daily life, it is time to seek professional help to rid yourself of them.