Ornithophobia, which is the fear of birds, is an irrational reaction that can seriously affect the lives of those who are bothered by it. These people intensely reject these animals. As with most phobias, however, they can overcome this fear through a series of exercises.
You have to make an effort and be persistent to confront this fear. This is because it is a complex and sensitive process. However, phobias require a lot more work. These are anxiety disorders that can have a serious impact on people’s daily lives. Therefore, the best way to overcome them is to seek professional help.
How to overcome the fear of birds?
Traumatic experiences are the origin of most fears and phobias, and so is ignorance and learned behavior. Therefore, the goal of phobia treatments is to generate a positive or neutral experience with the object being feared.
The psychological techniques use several strategies. One of them involves learning more about the animal and demystifying it in order to acquire emotions. That is, you need to make contact with the object you fear in a relaxed way.
You can perform these exercises autonomously and in your spare time. However, it is best to have guidance and professional knowledge from a psychologist when your fears are really intense.
Such exercises can be very useful in overcoming your fear of birds, as long as you before then analyze whether you can do it on your own or need psychological help.
1. Learn about birds
Find out all about birds. This is especially true of those who scare you the most. Learn about their behaviors, survival strategies and role in nature. It can lessen the intensity of your fears.
You can start by reading information about harmless birds. If you are aware of the conditions under which these animals are most likely to attack, it will definitely make you feel in control. It is also useful to know their environment and the circumstances in which they will be willing to approach a human being.
This knowledge will help you think of birds from a different perspective and focus on their positive side. Learning more about them will dispel some of the myths you may have about them.
It’s like the fact that house spiders cannot pierce human skin and they would much rather run away from humans than confront us.
2. Make contact little by little
Make a list of ways you can interact with birds. Write down 10 things you are afraid of when it comes to birds. The first should indicate what you are least afraid of. For example, it could be drawing a bird. Number 10 should be the one that really scares you, such as a bird within sight.
You gradually need to make contact with these elements. Therefore, you need to plan and follow a schedule. You need to write down how much time you want to spend on it each day, as well as how long it will be.
You should also try to make contact with the same stimulus several times until your anxiety becomes less. To do this, rate your anxiety level on a scale of 1 to 10 and repeat it at each item.
Next, you can move on to more unpleasant stimuli or move on to the next item if you score lower than 5 after several attempts. Conversely , you will need to stick to the same element if your anxiety level increases.
Do this until it drops, then move on to the next item in your list. In this regard, it is essential to practice relaxation exercises. Make them while trying to deal with the object you fear, if you can.
You may need to seek help from a psychologist if your anxiety does not diminish or if you are unable to move forward after trying for some time. Otherwise, you can follow the above recommendations for your anxiety level until you score 10 if you feel strong enough to continue.
3. Enjoy the approximation
You have certainly already approached some kind of bird during your contact with simple stimuli when you reach the tenth element. Once you are here, you will have reached the most important step in overcoming the fear of birds.
Now is the time to replace the negative emotions with positive emotions and try to get closer to one of these animals. Stay calm and do not try to run away.
Stay close to the bird, but maintain a certain distance. Get a little closer if your level of anxiety allows it. After learning about birds you will probably be able to identify the species and realize that you are safe. Furthermore, you may want to visit a bird sanctuary where the animals are in a way free.
When you are near a bird, you can take the opportunity to observe it and analyze its body, colors and most importantly its behavior. You will probably realize that nothing bad happens when you are near birds. In fact, they are probably scared of you and will not even approach.
You do not need to make any sudden movements and you need to maintain a relaxed posture. It may seem far-fetched, but talking to the animals can make you more comfortable and you may perceive them as more friendly.
Analyze the fear of birds
You can overcome your fear of birds by doing the above exercises. Even then, the most important thing is that you are aware of your limits and you are not trying to exceed them. Step aside as long as you need it if you feel uncomfortable at any time. Consider professional help as the next step.
However, you can always overcome fear on your own, and that is good because it will boost your confidence and make you more confident. Therefore, you will become stronger and able to control any fear and not just this one.