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How To Overcome Swallowing Anxiety


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Let me assure you that you are not alone; a lot of people in this world suffer from swallowing anxiety, aka phagophobia. You can't flick a switch to make it go away, so it would be best to accept it rather than fighting it.

You must realize that it is not your fault, and there is nothing to be ashamed about. However, if it reaches a point where it prevents you from eating or performing daily chores, then it might be a problem. It might even be embarrassing at times when you need to be courteous, like at birthday parties.

There are many things that swallowing anxiety or phagophobia can lead to, making your life a complete mess, such as weight loss, depression, self-harm, and panic attacks. That’s why you should start taking remedial measures to overcome this disorder.  

Here's my advice on how you can overcome swallowing anxiety. 

#1 Consider exposure therapy: now, swallowing anxiety needs some form of organized treatment. And exposure therapy is an excellent starting point. It includes facing your fears with the help and guidance of a therapist; eventually, you will be able to swallow drinks and food without fear.

#2 Chew your food properly: this is one of my favorites because, being a fitness enthusiast, I chew my food thoroughly as well. Always chew your food properly while eating as it helps in swallowing, which will make you less anxious. Plus, it improves digestion, which for me is a bonus. 

#3 Drink a lot of liquid in between bites: while having your meal, I would strongly recommend taking little sips of water in between. This will make the swallowing process much easier, so always keep a water bottle or glass at hand while eating.

#4 Distract yourself: keep yourself distracted while eating to calm your nerves. This will possibly take your mind off anxious thoughts. I would recommend watching sitcoms, listening to music, or even reading books to make swallowing easier. Trust me; it works like a charm and you might even ask for an extra bite.

#5 Create a habit of eating soft foods: if you find yourself having intense swallowing anxiety, it would help to eat soft foods. This will create less irritation in your throat, making it easier to swallow. Also, feel free to try different cuisines to find which dish you are most comfortable eating. 

Have you had this problem? What steps did you use to overcome it?

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I never knew this was a thing but wow, it must be awful to go through this. I guess this can develop from choking on something at a young age. I am glad to see there are options to work through it!

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On 8/7/2021 at 6:21 PM, Mila said:

I never knew this was a thing but wow, it must be awful to go through this. I guess this can develop from choking on something at a young age. I am glad to see there are options to work through it!

Same here but I think there is a phobia for everything these days. It is all about a mindset you have so I think meditation and positive reinforcements help with just about all of them. 

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On 8/8/2021 at 7:08 PM, Scarlett said:

Same here but I think there is a phobia for everything these days. It is all about a mindset you have so I think meditation and positive reinforcements help with just about all of them. 

Based on what I have read, I have to agree. I mean I see more benefits for things like meditation than doing basic things that have been recommended and have little to no positive results. 

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