How can I Overcome a Fear of Heights?

Lauren Romano

Looking out of a car window while driving over a bridge or even peering over the second floor railing at a mall causes you extreme anxiety. You start to feel panicked and your palms start to sweat. These are just some of the signs that you may have a fear of heights. While it can be frustrating to have to deal with this fear on a daily basis, it is something that is possible to overcome.

Jumping out of an airplane may help you overcome a fear of heights.
Jumping out of an airplane may help you overcome a fear of heights.

The first step of overcoming your fear of heights is to be ready to do so. While some people want to conquer the fear, they are not ready to deal with the physical and emotional hurdles that go along with doing it. If you are ready to deal with the rush of emotions and are willing to fight against any trepidation, then you are ready to start to overcome your fear of heights.

Riding a roller coaster may help you overcome a fear of heights.
Riding a roller coaster may help you overcome a fear of heights.

One way to defeat your fear of heights is to do an activity that involves nothing but heights. For example, you can try skydiving, bungee jumping or going on a very high roller coaster. While it may seem ludicrous, it can be just what you need. This option is not for everyone and it may seem much too overwhelming to consider in the beginning stages.

Therapy for a fear of heights may involve climbing the steps of a step ladder repeatedly.
Therapy for a fear of heights may involve climbing the steps of a step ladder repeatedly.

For those that want to take smaller steps, you can start from the bottom and work your way up. For example, start by standing on the top step of a ladder. Follow that up with looking over your second floor banister or looking out of a third floor window in an office building. Each time, escalate to a higher space and keep making progress.

When the panic starts to set in, it is because you are probably focusing only on how high up you are. Negative thoughts flow through your mind and your heart starts to race. Instead of concentrating on the height aspect, examine the scenery and the environment all around you, then take deep breaths and relax your body. If you are squeezing desperately onto something, keep holding on but relax your hands little by little. This can help you to calm down and realize that you are okay.

If you have a fear of heights, you are not alone. Be patient with yourself, and while you may want your fear to disappear overnight, it can take quite a bit longer. Do not give up; it is possible to conquer your phobia and have it be a distant memory.

Overcoming a fear of heights is necessary to work in certain jobs.
Overcoming a fear of heights is necessary to work in certain jobs.

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Discussion Comments


I'm like that. I'm terrified of heights and the thoughts of being high up scare me, whereas my best friend isn't that much scared of heights. Like she went on the rattlesnake in the safari park and I didn't because I'm too scared to go on it because I'm scared of heights.

I don't like the fair because the fair's high up and fast. Fast speed is OK. That doesn't bother me much, but height does, though. They scare me and when I go in a lift I start shaking but I don't cry, though. I won't go on anything high up at the fair and I've been wandering will I like the caterpillar at camelot, which doesn't go that high up so I should like it, but I'm terrified to try anything high up though, whereas my best friend isn't, though. That's why I don't know why she won't go on the big dipper and the pepsi max. She's scared of there being loops, but there's no hoops though, but she still won't go on them though.

When we went to the safari park, my best friend went on the pirate ship and got scared because she told me that when it goes back higher, you feel like you're going to fall off so she got scared because she felt like she was going to fall off as it went back and higher but she's OK with heights though. I'm not and I want to get used to heights now.


I've always had a fear of heights. When I was little I had a fear of balconies, small ladders, riding on my father's soldiers, most of the amusement park's things, like the kids ferris wheel..

Than last summer when I was 15 (near 16) I decided to do things involving heights and adrenaline. I went to the scariest rides in amusement parks (the tall tower, cobra, vampire in walibi - belgium). I rode my friend's motorbike with insane speeds and went snowboarding at insane speeds (falling is really cool if you know how to fall - snow everywhere ).

I hope you guys get some ideas. Just try the scariest stuff for a couple of times and you're cured.

You need to have real motivation though. My friend was chickening out on the tower but I convinced him even though I'm the phobia guy.

But be sure of this: The feeling of doing such a thing is just great! Not only you feel free because you have no fear but the adrenaline rush is so good.

That's why this summer I'm bungee jumping and free falling from a plane. A year ago I was scared of ladders and children's playground metal toys. Keep this in mind.


I am only 14, and even looking out of a double decker bus scares me terribly. I will try a high rollercoaster, as these are one of my biggest fears. Thanks.


I used to think being afraid of heights was weird, but it appears that I'm definitely not alone. I've tried to overcome this by distracting myself, it's kind of worked a little - definitely need to work at it.


Yes, I have the same problem. Mine is so bad I can't even drive over some overpasses on interstates. Some very high escalators also give me problems.


I've had a fear of heights since I was at least seven years old. My father would carry me up the balcony in church. And my ex-husband would stand by me at the fair. Now it's gotten worse since I moved from Mississippi to Tennessee. I can't even drive over high bridges. Anyone else like this?

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