How To Overcome Hemophobia Or The Fear Of Blood?

ways to overcome the fear of blood

Since the time we are born, our mind kickstarts the process of creating associations with anyone and anything that it comes in contact with. These associations set the tone for our likes and dislikes, fascinations and phobias. For example, since childhood ice-cream has a very special place in our minds and it’s almost everyone’s favorite comfort food. This association is pretty strong and often exists in a majority of adult minds without wearing off.

Associations can also be negative, for example, as a child if you had a lot of hospital visits that involved needles or drawing blood then you are more likely to have a fear of blood, doctors, and hospitals in general. The symptoms of blood phobia include a sudden feeling of anxiety, speeding up of the heart rate and a quick fall in blood pressure which leads to nausea, dizziness, and fainting. Although the initial symptoms are pretty similar in almost every phobia, it’s only in hemophobia that loss of consciousness occurs.1

Advertisements

Symptoms Of A Phobia

emotional and physical symptoms of a phobia

The symptoms of a phobia can be mild or severe based on the degree of fear associated with it. Overcoming fear becomes even harder when the fear associated is greater.

Advertisements

Physical Symptoms Of A Phobia

  • Breathlessness
  • Rapid heart rate with/without palpitations
  • Chest pain or uneasiness
  • Tremors
  • Light-headedness
  • Uneasiness in the stomach
  • Hot or cold flashes with sweating

Emotional Symptoms Of A Phobia

  • Feeling overwhelmed, restless and delirious often tending to overreact and pass out.
  • Disoriented thinking and fear of danger to life

When Should You Seek Help For Hemophobia?

If you can yes to more than 2 or more of the following questions, you need to seek help for your fear of blood.

  • Is it causing disabling fear and panic attacks?
  • Do you feel that you are unable to handle your fear?
  • Have you been avoiding hospitals and places where you could see blood?
  • Is your phobia preventing you from living life fully?

3 Tips To Overcome Your Fear Of Blood Naturally

1. Face Your Fear Upfront

face your fear to overcome it

Advertisements

The first step of overcoming a fear is to admit that you have a phobia and approach it head-on. If until now, your strategy to overcome hemophobia was to avoid situations that involved blood, change your tactics. Start with keeping a journal or roping in a loved one to be your wingman during this process.

Expose yourself to a drop of blood. Be totally present in the moment you see blood and observe the emotional and physical changes you are experiencing. The first day your reaction will be more intense when compared to the 3rd consecutive day of exposure.

Advertisements

This process will help you drive away the uncanny anxiety associated with blood. Practice daily so that your brain breaks the habit of fear and forms a new habit of tolerance and don’t be in a rush to speed things up.

2. Shift Your Focus To Diffuse Anxiety

get distracted to calm your mind

Advertisements

The moment you see blood, your mind gets fixated on the sight unleashing thoughts that could further overwhelm you. However, taking attention away from blood can help the brain cope faster and prevent it from sending distress signals to your body.

Divert your brain by closing your eyes and taking a deep breath, humming a tune, looking away at a different object, smelling a whiff of fragrance or just going for a quick walk.

Advertisements

These diversions will help diffuse anxiety and you will feel much calmer in some time.

3. Practice Relaxation As A Daily Ritual

control your mind with deep breathing and meditation

Advertisements

Meditation and deep breathing exercises like pranayama have calming benefits on brain functioning.2 If you had a past memory associated with blood which has left a traumatic effect on you, meditation can help you break away from it by strengthening your mind.

Practicing mindful meditation helps you to keep your mind at your beck and call. This means, whenever you are in the presence of an agent that can trigger your phobia, your mind cannot go berserk unless you unleash it.3

The mantra is to re-create positive associations in your mind with blood while destroying the negative and limiting ones. Every time you get a negative thought about blood, instead of getting worked up, challenge it with a positive thought without brooding about it. Bid farewell to fear and live life fully.