Individuals who live on or around major fault lines are wise to keep in mind the possibility of an earthquake, and take appropriate precautions. But if the fear of a potential quake that is designed to serve as a warning becomes an obsessive phobia, an individual should seek help from a qualified professional.

Experts agree that fear is a natural emotional response designed to keep us safe and out of harm’s way. However, when someone focuses for too long on an issue they can inadvertently make it worse, creating a phobia. A phobia is defined as an irrational, overwhelming fear that impacts an individual’s quality of life.

Janis Ericson, NLP Trainer and founder of Lightwork Seminars Intl. and HybridNLP, helps people overcome their fears and phobias. And when it comes to fears of natural disasters, she finds that most individuals do one or two things in their imaginations that lead to intense fear responses, which actually put them in more danger.

Some people watch disasters on TV, but they continue to watch them over and over again in their mind’s eye. The repetitive nature of these thoughts make the negative feelings more intense.

Fears can turn to phobias when individuals associate into the “disaster” scene, meaning they pretend they are living it. If you aren’t going through it in real life, there is no benefit to pretending to go through it!

What many people don’t know is that a vast majority of people that actually live through natural disasters never create a phobia. And, many individuals that have never been through one do. This is due to the fact that the natural disaster is not to blame. Phobias are created by faulty thinking. This is good news, since changing thoughts is what NLP experts do, usually in an hour or less.

While a private session with Ericson is recommended, she offers the following tips for those individuals wishing to heal themselves.

1. Find a comfortable place to relax. Take a few deep breaths.
2. Imagine a small movie screen 30 feet in front of you. Put your scary movie on the screen, but only in black and white.
3. Shrink the screen until it’s only 1 square foot. Do this quickly.
4. Run the movie in reverse, from end to beginning, also quickly.
5. Put the movie and the screen in a slingshot, and send them to the moon.
6. Breathe, and relax.

Any time you think about what could happen in the future, stop, take a breath, and run the scene in reverse. When you do this a few times, your pattern for getting phobic unravels. You’ll no longer be able to feel the fear. Of course, you should always take precautions to keep yourself safe. But fear is only an alert. Once you interpret and act upon the alert, the fear will dissolve naturally.

We can’t prevent earth changes from occurring, however, we can prevent being afraid of something that hasn’t happened yet. Janis believes that no one should suffer needlessly.

“If a disaster occurs, the best possible response is calmness. When people are calm, they can react safely, because things around them are moving slowly. Anxiety is what puts people in danger. Individuals that panic often freeze, which is far more harmful than getting to safety.”

Janis Ericson can be reached for private consultations and training courses at 415.491.1122 or through her website at

Author's Bio: 

Janis Ericson, founder and director of Lightwork Seminars, Intl. is an internationally recognized NLP trainer, practitioner, and author of "I Know I Need to Change, but How?".