Snakes, heights, or small spaces? Beam flight, Bar dismounts, Vault? Whatever starts your knees wobbling, watching someone else safely handle the source of your fear can help you overcome it, finds a new Swedish research.
If you see a person like yourself safely managing the source of your fear, your brain will absorb that information and use it to reduce your phobia, explains study coauthor Armita Golkar, Ph.D. Your brain tells itself, “If it’s safe for her, it’s safe for me, too,” Golkar says.
So whether you’re freaked out by Beam flight, a release move on bars or a tumbling pass on floor, ask a team mate to take on the source of your shivers in front of you, Golkar advises. Here’s an example: Afraid of every layout on Beam? Have your team mate do one in front of you. When she doesn’t die, your brain will recognize that your imagined threat is nothing to worry about, the research suggests. (In fact, this may be even more effective than you tackling your fear yourself, Golkar says.)
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