By: Sam Busse

As humans, we are naturally unique, but something we all share is our emotions. One of the more interesting and confusing emotions is fear. Usually we wouldn’t want to think about fears because they can make us uncomfortable, yet it still can be fun to see what makes us tick. A special kind of fear is phobias. They are irrational fears of things that offer little chance to harm you. Phobias tie into fear, which starts in the brain and the physical effects throughout our body help us adjust so we can have the most effective response to a dangerous situation. Fear can seem annoying, but it is an integral part of how we live our lives and what decisions we make. For better or worse.

One of the five most common fears is the fear of heights. Also known as acrophobia, it usually involves someone not wanting to put themselves in situations where if they fall or slip they would get seriously hurt. Some studies have suggested a possible explanation for acrophobia is that it emerges through accumulation of non-traumatic experiences of falling that are not memorable, but can influence behaviors in the future. Also, fear of heights may be acquired when infants learn to crawl. While being afraid of going up high and not being able to keep balance can lower the quality of life, a benefit is that it is very easy to face this fear. Just force yourself to walk high up a ladder and voila you have conquered your fear. Now try your best to get down…

There you have it. That was one of the five most common fears that you and many of the people around may have. Now it’s your turn to investigate the other four (arachnophobia, ophidiophobia, glossophobia, social phobia). Who knows, maybe you possess some of these fears and you don’t even know it.