Something interesting about fear is that whatever you’re afraid of, probably isn’t actually happening. If you’re afraid of heights, then you’re not currently falling. Because if you were falling, you’d actually be afraid of landing. But if you’ve already hit the ground, then you’re not afraid of that – you’re afraid of further pain or injury. And so on and so on. This boils down to:
“I’m afraid of heights.”
“No, you’re afraid of falling, then hitting the ground, then dying or having horrible pain and injuries.”
Got ‘em! You sure showed them! Takeaway: you can’t “out-logic” emotion.
A fear of something (like heights) is basically when exposure to that scenario (and yes, just thinking about it can be an exposure) triggers your fight-or-flight reaction + negative expectation (something bad will happen). The brain then stores this reaction because it figures if you’re in fight-or-flight mode, it must be pretty important. To release a fear, you need to experience the scenario without the fight-or-flight reaction or negative expectations so it is stored in the brain without these associations.
The theater process: imagine you’re in a place that is very peaceful to you. This could be on the beach, in your childhood home, floating on a cloud – anywhere. Take a few moments to relax there, then imagine a projector screen in front of you. Now, float out of your body and back a few feet to where the projector is. From here, you can control the movie it will project while watching yourself, watch the movie. The movie that will be playing is you in the scenario you were afraid of. Start the movie at a point before the scenario happens and play it all the way to a point after it’s all over and you’re safe again (or not in immediate danger). Use the controls to now rewind to the beginning and then play the film again in fast forward. Repeat this, watching as many times as needed – rewinding and fast forwarding through it, until you have no emotional reaction to the film. No fight-or-flight response, it just feels like you’re watching a movie. At that point, float back into your body and stay in this relaxing place as long as you want.