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People who are fearful can be quite limited in their everyday lives. A fear of confined spaces, open spaces or big crowds may mean that people isolate themselves and their quality of life can be quite poor.

The best treatment for fear is to be exposed to what you fear. You then find out that what you were afraid was going to happen does not happen. But you need to start slowly with exposing yourself to frightening things. If you are afraid of spiders, you should gradually get closer to them," explains the researhcer, smiling.

"First, think through how you should approach the spider, and then start your approach. The goal is to let the spider crawl under your shirt. I've seen people who have actually done this.

According to his colleagues at the Department of Psychology, we learn to be afraid very quickly. For example, if you have fallen off a horse, your fear of horses may last for a very long time.

Our ability to be afraid is very effective - it only takes one incident for us to be fearful of something. However, it may take a long time for us to unlearn the fear, says Asli.

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