How To Get Over The Fear Of Elevators?

  • By: Vlad Ivanov
  • Date: May 24, 2023
  • Time to read: 11 min.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding Elevator Phobia: Recognize that fear of elevators can be caused by a variety of factors, including claustrophobia, fear of heights, and past traumatic experiences.
  • Ways to Overcome the Fear of Elevators: There are several solutions, including exposure therapy, relaxation techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and medication. Each technique aims to reduce anxiety and increase comfort with elevator use.
  • Tips for Riding Elevators with Confidence: Strategies such as focusing on breathing, distracting yourself, and practicing positive self-talk can help alleviate anxiety and make the elevator experience more manageable and comfortable.

Do you feel trapped, overwhelmed, or powerless when in an elevator? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Learning to conquer this fear will help you reclaim control over your life and free yourself from the anxiety that comes with it. Read on to discover the steps you can take to overcome the fear of elevators.

Understanding Elevator Phobia

Understanding Elevator Phobia-How To Get Over The Fear Of Elevators?,

Photo Credits: by Walter Martin

Elevating Fear: Understanding the Phobia

Elevator phobia, or acrophobia, is a common anxiety disorder characterized by intense fear of enclosed spaces, heights, and elevators. This phobia can result from traumatic experiences, claustrophobia, or hereditary factors. Individuals may experience panic attacks, difficulty breathing, and physiological reactions when in an elevator.

To overcome this fear, cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy can be helpful. Cognitive-behavioral therapy involves identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones, while exposure therapy involves gradually exposing the individual to elevators until they become comfortable.

Notably, some individuals with this phobia may feel better riding in elevators with other people or focusing on distractions like music or deep breathing techniques. Regardless of the chosen approach, overcoming elevator phobia is possible with professional help and a willingness to confront one’s fears.

In history, the earliest known elevator was created in 236 BC in ancient Greece, but modern elevators weren’t introduced until the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Today, elevators are integral to daily life in high-rise buildings, and overcoming the fear of them is crucial for individuals to navigate the modern world with ease.

Ways to Overcome the Fear of Elevators

Ways to Overcome the Fear of Elevators-How To Get Over The Fear Of Elevators?,

Photo Credits: by Philip Walker

Conquer your fear of elevators! Try some different techniques. Exposure therapy, relaxation tactics, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and medicine can help you relax and enjoy riding elevators. Look into these methods to get rid of your fear of enclosed places.

Exposure Therapy

The method of gradually exposing individuals to their fear is known as desensitization therapy. For people who have a fear of elevators, this means slowly introducing them to the experience of taking an elevator. As individuals become more comfortable with the experience, they can begin to overcome their fear and eventually use elevators without feeling anxious.

During exposure therapy, it is essential to ensure that individuals feel safe and reassured throughout the process. Additionally, it is beneficial to provide them with techniques such as deep breathing and cognitive restructuring, which can help alleviate any anxiety they may feel.

An important aspect of exposure therapy is personalizing the approach based on individual needs. Some individuals may benefit from beginning with short elevator rides, while others may be able to jump directly into longer rides.

According to a study conducted by BMC Psychiatry, exposure therapy has been found to be an effective treatment for specific phobias such as a fear of elevators.

Why take the stairs when you can overcome elevator fear with relaxation techniques? Just don’t fall asleep in the elevator, or you might wake up on a different floor.

Relaxation Techniques

To ease anxiety related to vertical transportation, alternative techniques may be utilized. Methods promoting a sense of tranquil require three steps: preparation, visualizing positive outcomes and progressive muscle relaxation.

Before entering the lift, imagine how triumphant you will feel when reaching your destination. This mental preparation is paramount to overcome distressing thoughts.

Once in the elevator, relax your muscles using progressive muscle relaxation techniques that necessitate compression and release of muscles. Breathe deeply and visualize yourself successfully reaching your intended floor. These methods might also be practiced between elevator rides to eventually eliminate any tension associated with such transport.

Engaging in self-talk prior to entry can help condition the mind positively increasing confidence in individuals. Positive distraction aids immensely before elevator use by shifting focus from negative imagination into more favorable thinking.

Many people have had success with these programs leading to total elimination or significant reduction of anxiety while using lifts for vertical transportation within their daily lives. It may be noteworthy that the process must occur routinely as well as correct in its application for maximum benefit leading to lifelong aversion-free travel in elevators for users actively utilizing improved practices established over time.

If the thought of being trapped in an elevator sends shivers down your spine, cognitive-behavioral therapy might just be the lift you need.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Therapy That Syncs Thoughts and Actions:

A cognitive-behavioral approach is often used to treat anxiety in elevators. It targets negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to the fear, allowing individuals to restructure their thought patterns and respond differently. The goal is to help someone feel more comfortable, so they can use elevators without panic.

During therapy, the therapist helps clients develop coping skills such as relaxation techniques and breathing exercises that impact their physical symptoms. They also may provide exposure therapy in a safe environment or virtual reality simulations of being in an elevator.

Unique Details:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered one of the most successful therapies for elevator-related phobias. CBT has a high success rate due to its structured approach towards treating patients suffering from this debilitating condition.


Lena, 46 years old, had developed a severe fear of using elevators after she was stuck inside one for an hour during a power outage. Despite her family’s encouragement and several attempts at exposure therapy, she could not overcome her fear until she tried CBT. After several sessions with her therapist applying CBT techniques, Lena learned how to recognize negative thoughts associated with her fear of elevators and replace them with positive affirmations. Today she confidently uses the elevator at work every day without any issues.

Fear of elevators? Just pop a pill and let the elevator ride take you on a wild trip to the next floor.


For those suffering from fear of elevators, there are various therapies available besides medication. However, if the fear is severe and debilitating, medication may be an option. Anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can help reduce anxiety and panic attacks associated with riding in an elevator.

It is crucial to note that medication should only be used as a short-term solution and under professional guidance. One must also weigh the potential side effects against the benefits before deciding to take any medication. Additionally, one should not rely on medication alone but seek therapy alongside it for long-term relief from the phobia.

In addition to seeking out professional help for medication and therapy, there are practical steps one can take to alleviate fear of elevators. These include deep breathing exercises, visualization techniques, desensitization training and exposure therapy.

Finally, another suggestion to overcome fear of elevators is practicing mindfulness meditation techniques. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce anxiety levels significantly and build resilience towards stressful situations. Those with elevator phobia can benefit from simple practices such as slow breathing exercises or guided meditations for relaxation during elevator rides.

Don’t worry, the elevator won’t bite unless you press the emergency button too many times.

Tips for Riding Elevators with Confidence

Tips for Riding Elevators with Confidence-How To Get Over The Fear Of Elevators?,

Photo Credits: by Brian Robinson

You can conquer your fear of elevators by focusing on your breathing, distracting your mind, and practicing positive self-talk.

  1. Take control of your breathing.
  2. Distract yourself from the situation.
  3. Talk to yourself in an encouraging way.

With these three solutions, you can become confident when riding elevators.

Focus on Breathing

One effective way to ease elevator anxiety is to focus on your breath. When the doors close, take a deep inhale through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. This can help reduce stress and bring relaxation to your mind and body. Keep taking slow, deep breaths until you reach your destination.

In addition to being an easy technique for calming down, focusing on breathing can also distract from fearful thoughts that may arise during the elevator ride. With each inhale and exhale, shift your attention away from negative scenarios that may be causing anxiety.

Another tip is to practice this breathing exercise regularly before entering elevators. This can teach your body how to relax in stressful situations and better manage fear. Gradually increase the number of floors you travel up or down while focusing on your breathing, gradually training yourself to tolerate longer elevator rides.

According to some experts, claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) is one factor that contributes to fear of elevators. It’s essential to understand why you have an intense reaction when entering an elevator so that you can overcome it effectively with breathing exercises or other techniques.

Fun fact – The first passenger elevator was installed in 1857 at E.V Haughwout & Company department store in New York City by Otis Elevator Company founder Elisha Graves Otis! Count how many people are in the elevator with you, then imagine one of them is secretly a superhero ready to save you in case of elevator doom.

Distract Yourself

One way to overcome elevator anxiety is to engage in a mental activity that keeps your mind occupied and distracts you from the fear. You can try reciting a poem or doing a simple math problem in your head. By diverting your attention, you are less likely to focus on the negative feelings.

To create an even stronger distraction, bring a stress ball or fidget toy with you. Having something to hold or play with can help alleviate anxiety and provide a sense of comfort.

In addition, try taking deep breaths and relaxing your muscles before entering the elevator. This will help reduce tension and calms nervousness without drawing attention to yourself.

Remember, distraction techniques are beneficial ways of dealing with elevator anxiety but for long-term results, it’s better to work through the root cause of your fear by speaking with a professional counselor or therapist so that you can overcome it more effectively.

Practice Positive Self-Talk

One way to improve your confidence while riding an elevator is to use positive self-talk. This means using encouraging and affirming phrases to reassure yourself that everything will be okay. For instance, you could say, “I am safe in this elevator” or “I’ve done this before and I can do it again.”

Another effective technique is to stay focused on the present moment. Don’t let your thoughts wander off into worst-case scenarios. Instead, take deep breaths and concentrate on the physical sensations of being on the elevator – the hum of its machinery, the feeling of the floor beneath your feet.

It’s important to note that positive self-talk alone won’t necessarily erase all feelings of anxiety or fear. It may be helpful to pair this technique with exposure therapy – gradually increasing your exposure to elevators over time – or seeking professional help such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Additionally, remember that it’s okay to ask for help if you feel uneasy. Many buildings have security personnel or concierges who are happy to accompany visitors onto elevators. You could also ride with a friend or coworker who can provide support and offer distraction from any negative thoughts.

Overall, by using positive self-talk and staying present in the moment, anyone can learn to feel more confident while riding elevators. With persistence and patience, it’s possible to overcome even deeply ingrained fears and anxieties.

Some Facts About How To Get Over The Fear Of Elevators:

  • ✅ Elevator claustrophobia affects about 5-10% of the population. (Source: Psychology Today)
  • ✅ Exposure therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and hypnotherapy are effective treatments for elevator phobia. (Source: Verywell Mind)
  • ✅ Deep breathing exercises and mindfulness practices can help alleviate anxiety symptoms while in the elevator. (Source: Healthline)
  • ✅ Taking medication like anti-anxiety drugs or beta-blockers can be helpful in managing elevator anxiety. (Source: Medical News Today)
  • ✅ Gradual exposure to elevators and practicing relaxation techniques can aid in overcoming the fear of elevators. (Source: Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

FAQs about How To Get Over The Fear Of Elevators?

How To Get Over The Fear Of Elevators?

Many people suffer from a fear of elevators and may avoid using them altogether. If this fear is interfering with your daily life, there are steps you can take to overcome it.

What causes a fear of elevators?

A fear of elevators, also known as claustrophobia, can be caused by a variety of factors including a traumatic experience in an elevator, feeling trapped or enclosed, or a fear of heights.

What techniques can be used to overcome a fear of elevators?

Techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, and exposure therapy can be used to overcome a fear of elevators. Speaking with a therapist or counselor may also be helpful.

Are there any medications that can help with a fear of elevators?

While medications such as anti-anxiety drugs may help relieve symptoms of anxiety associated with a fear of elevators, they are not a long-term solution and should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Is it possible to overcome a fear of elevators?

Yes, it is possible to overcome a fear of elevators. With the right techniques and support, many people are able to conquer their fear and confidently ride elevators.

What should I do if I feel anxious while riding in an elevator?

If you feel anxious while riding in an elevator, try to focus on your breathing and use relaxation techniques such as muscle relaxation. Speak with your doctor or a mental health professional if you continue to experience anxiety while using elevators.

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