• Patri Psychologist "The best advice to live with serenity is to stop running everywhere"
  • Psychology Face your fears from bravery

There are more ghosts within us than real threats. What happens is that, many times, these fears paralyze us. According to Patricia Ramírez (Zaragoza, 1971), known as Patri Psychologist, if we find the origin of our fears it will be easier to solve them. "We cannot remain in the present with the fears of the past, which are often based on very protective parents. Unless we have had a very traumatic experience, we are not limited by the environment or circumstances, but most of the time it is due to our catastrophic interpretation of danger," he explains.

Phobias do not have a genetic basis, says the specialist, but are learned. "If you've seen your mother get on a chair and get paralyzed when she sees a cockroach, you think it's dangerous and terrible. You get scared of him. "We have many fears that we have taken in childhood by observation or what we are told. If they're alerting us to how bad people are, we don't want to relate to other people anymore." But not all fears are irrational. "Many warn us of a danger, we will have to see if that danger is real."


Aerophobia or fear of flying is together with agoraphobia, the feeling of anxiety about the possibility of not being able to escape a crowd, and claustrophobia, terror of closed spaces, the three most repeated responses by the population regarding their fears in a study of the Rescue brand.

To overcome fears, the psychologist relies on systematic desensitization (SD), a technique aimed at reducing anxiety responses and avoidance motor behaviors to certain stimuli. "You have to approach fear little by little with tools." Overcoming fear will depend on how emotional the person is. "One will get on the plane after a meditation that calms him down and another reading more information about aeronautics and statistics, because he is more rational, and thus feels more confident," he exemplifies.

Shock therapy, such as parachuting if we fear heights, may be too much, according to the psychologist. "If you face from the trauma, like a child with fear of swimming who is thrown into the sea to learn, it can generate a fear for life, because it paralyzes him and then it will be worse. That's why I'm not in favor of these therapies, I prefer to face fear from a safer and more approximate way, little by little, getting used to less stressful stimuli until the fear goes away."


Patri Psychologist explains the world of phobias, why and how to deal with them. EM

  • Write on paper a range of possible interpretations. "I'm afraid of flying, what's the worst thing that can happen to me? And type the options. Yours may be valid, but it will have its percentage uncertain. Speak with your fear and depersonalize it, do not give it value, because the rest of the possibilities are there."
  • Stop thinking about all the bad things that can happen. "The danger of anticipating, of getting ahead of our fears and putting ourselves in the worst. A negative approach leads to emotional exhaustion." For example, suffering in advance for all the dangers that my son who leaves Erasmus will face, without having passed yet. Then, if all goes well, you have already been suffering unnecessarily. Or say where do you go to the marathon because you are 52 years old, preventively and without imagining a successful experience. "Furthermore, the process of anticipation leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy in which the mind finds what it seeks." To fight against this, the psychologist encourages to train attention, lending it to what it adds, and to hesitate to fears. "Look at that bad thought and laugh at it, don't give it importance."
  • It makes a difference whether it is a real danger or not. "Does it put my profession, my economy, my health or my life at risk? Will this thing that worries me now, be the same for me in a month? If the answer is no, the fear is probably unfounded and we are imagining it." Now, warns the psychologist, it is not the same to be brave than reckless and, when we are children or adolescents, moments when our brain is not yet developed and we do not perceive danger, we do things like riding at full speed on a skate without a helmet.
  • Train your fears. "Instead of stopping driving, practice more. If you are afraid of public speaking, expose. Get ready, inform yourself and repeat because those strengths will make you overcome your fears and, when that hard moment is over, you will realize that it was not so much."
  • Beware of hypervigilance. "Let it be in your sensations, do not give them more value than they have, because the fear of fear itself intensifies them with sweats, tachycardia ... Instead of thinking in a loop about why that happens to you, leave room for your emotions without judging them, surfing them." Sit down, breathe and let it be. It will be uncomfortable to fly but do not avoid it, losing the opportunity to know a new place. "Take the opportunity to test yourself and you will realize how weak your fears really are."
  • Do some physical activity or meditation that distracts you. "The peak of fear usually lasts 10 minutes, but if instead of focusing on the anxiety attack we start doing something else, we will relax our muscles."

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    • What do we do with parents' fears in the face of countless dangers? "Talk, talk and talk. Give them confidence. Try to tell you things and understand them with a lot of patience, without making value judgments. If we call them unconscious and immature, which is true because their brain is not formed, we are labeling them, the person feels bad and will not trust you."
    • Low self-esteem also makes us feel more insecure in life. "You have to see why, if it is a physical issue or that you do not feel capable due to lack of resources. After analyzing it in depth, teach the person to find their talent and passions, to speak better to themselves."
    • Imposter syndrome comes when you do not think you deserve the success you have or you believe that what you do does not have the value to be recognized so much. "You start thinking you'll be discovered and they'll realize you're a fraud. The problem is that who succeeds is usually because they dedicate themselves to their talent, it comes easy and does not give it value, but others do not see it as simple and they are going to give it to them. "
    • Before a punctual attack of anxiety if you can not manage the situation, you have to sit down to breathe. "I tell my mind I'm going to let him be. It can be prevented with meditation exercises and managing the thoughts that you can't solve, observing them and leaving them there because they don't depend on me."

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