What’s Behind Common Phobias

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? Did sharks pop into your head? If so, you may have galeophobia, which stops thousands of Americans from swimming at the beach every year. Maybe you thought of flying, because you’re terrified of crashing or being confined to a small space.

As a society we’re more accepting of — and even normalize — some fears, but attach shame to others. For instance, no one is going to bat an eye at the person who cites “Jaws” as a reason for staying out of the water, but they might glare at someone who refuses to shake their hand due to a fear of germs.

But at the end of the day, our fears can get the better of us. Why are we afraid of things happening to us that are statistically unlikely to happen?

In “The Flip Side of Fear,” we look at some common phobias, like sharks and flying, but also bats, germs and strangers. We tried to identify the origin of these fears and why they continue to exist when logic tells us they shouldn’t. We also examined how to overcome our fears, because being afraid often does more harm than good — just think of those galeophobes, who are missing out on diving under the waves and the sheer joy of swimming in the open water. Facing our fears can open up a whole new world of possibilities.

source: huffingtonpost.com BY SAMANTHA STOREY

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