Fear of Animals: How to Stop Being a “Fraidy Cat”

mehealth & fitness

If you know me at least a little, it's no surprise to you that I'm totally afraid of dogs and don't even get me started talking about cats. They are all little lions in my mind. I don't know why, but I've always had a fear of animals.

Some people would say that having a fear of animals is healthy. I haven't ever been attacked by a dog, which may be a result of my absolute avoidance of them. And, no cat has ever clawed me, or whatever it is mean cats do, and again this could be because I don't really talk about them, let alone keep company with them. But, I have started to wonder if I have moved past the healthy and into the unhealthy fear zone. Here's why...

See this picture? It's a rock, right? Well, as I was climbing 300 stairs on a climb to watch the sun rise over the Himalayas recently, I was all alone in one particular section of the climb. It was totally dark. I was focusing on the steps ahead. I looked up for a second, saw this rock (which was much darker, because of the darkness that surrounded it), and I screamed, thinking it was a monkey. I am ROTFLMAOing about it now, but honestly, what if it would have been a monkey? What was it going to do to me? Monkeys are social. It probably would have wanted to ask me questions about my life in America and how monkeys there differ from monkeys in the Himalayas!

The good news? My encounter with said monkey rock didn't totally paralyze me. I was still able to climb to the lookout point in time to see the sun rise over the mountains. But, had that been a dog or cat, or even a real monkey, I doubt I would have made it.

The moral of this post? A plea to share your tips so the next time I see a rock I think is an animal—or worse, a real animal—I don't freak out!

How do you have a healthy fear of animals while still enjoying them?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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