Dr. Oz: Facing Your Fears
Dr. Oz’s show today was dedicated to facing your fears and he began by showing that he had faced his. Dr. Oz was scared of heights and he did a number of ziplining tricks to conquer that. Then, he began his show by rappelling down from the ceiling.
To help other people face their fears, he talked to Dr. Todd Farchione, who said that chronic fear and anxiety can caused increased levels of cortisol that can lead to obesity, difficulty sleeping, cardiac issues, and depression.
Fears can be healthy, but if they get out of hand, then you have a phobia that can really interfere with your life. It’s important to overcome those fears.
Dr. Farchione said that the key is to face our fears. One way to do that is exposure therapy, where we take action to face our fears head on.
Dr. Oz: Fear of Spiders
One common fear is spiders. Dr. Oz and Dr. Farchione talked to Suzanne, who has been afraid of spiders since she was a child. She said she scratches herself and feels anxious when she knows a spider is around.
Suzanne has a 9-year-old son who is a Boy Scout and wants to camp. Recently, Suzanne was camping with the boy scouts and saw a spider the size of her fist. She was so scared she nearly left the troop of children behind.
Suzanne also has a spider tattooed on her chest. She said after getting the spider tattoo, sometimes upon seeing it, it triggered her phobia.
Dr. Oz: Break Fear Down into Small Steps
When you face any fear, you want to make it manageable. Break it down into small pieces. For spiders, first look at pictures of spiders. Then go to the pet store and look at the spiders through the glass. Imagine touching the spider. Later on, you can put your hands near the spider at the pet store and later on from there, you can pick up the spider.
Suzanne had already looked at pictures of spiders backstage. Dr. Oz and Dr. Farchione surprised her by bringing out a big spider. They asked her if she was okay with putting her hand nearby the spider. She obliged them, but she was clearly very scared.
Dr. Farchione said that fear is okay. He reminded her to tell herself that fear is okay. Next, they took the lid off the container with the spider in it and they asked Suzanne to put her hand on top of the spider container.
Slowly, they talked her into touching the spider. She finally did it, which was amazing to watch. You could see how relieved she looked at the end.
Does this mean her phobia is over? Probably not. But more exposure like this will help her overcome the fear and not let it control her.
What do you think? What’s the best way to face your fears?