What is the Definition of Fear of the Dark?
Did you ever have a sense of terror and alertness whenever someone switches the lights off? Can you feel your heartbeat increasing when you are in dark and can’t see anything clear?
Then you may be suffering from the fear of darkness, also known as Nyctophobia. It is a common development of fear among young kids and also to some degree in adults. It is an extreme terror of night or darkness that is capable of causing intense symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Being afraid of the dark often starts in childhood and is viewed as a normal part of development. Fear of the dark also has other names like achluophobia, scotophobia, and lygophobia which may be evolutionary in nature. It is possible that the fear may not be entirely related to darkness itself but to an unknown danger hidden in the darkness. (This is the reason behind horror and suspense movies using darkness as a way to scare viewers).
Why do we Fear the Dark?
Studies have shown that the extreme fear of darkness occurs in humans, as they feel a lack of visual stimuli. The Human brain tends to constantly try to predict what would happen next, allowing it to prepare the body and mind in the most effective way possible. Not knowing what’s around them due to lack of vision makes them fear the darkness.
How to Overcome the Fear of the Dark?
Top 10 recommendations to overcome your fear of the dark:
- Come up with a bedtime routine: You are highly advised to spread positivity near yourself in order to cast away all the dark emotions like fear. Listening to some soothing music, trying to stay away from electronics, or reading a calming or humorous book before bed is the various ways you can relax your mind from the torment of the dark.
- Talk about the fear: Talk to someone about your anxiety or nightmare due to fear. It makes your problems clear as crystal, which intern helps in resolving the core reason of your dreaded experiences in the dark. These reasons could be reasonable and unreasonable too, even as vague as possible, but that shouldn’t stop you from talking to someone and letting it out of you.
- Switch the lights on: If you experience an extreme level of fear of the dark and cannot overcome this phobia, it is suggested that you take these matters slow and don’t push yourself. Sometimes cutting yourself some slack can also show improvement. First, try to have a night light on when sleeping, and slowly start dimming the light day by day or week by week- depending on your convenience.
- Learn breathing techniques: Due to nyctophobia if you start to get a faster heartbeat or sweating palms, the best thing is not to fight it. You should also understand the symptoms of a panic attack.
Stay where you are and simply feel the panic without trying to distract yourself. Place the palm of your hand on your stomach and breathe slowly and deeply. The goal is to help the mind get used to coping with panic, which takes the fear of fear away.
- There should be no explosion to frightening thoughts or images: To control your fear first you need to master your thoughts. You should have control over what beliefs and images you portray in your head. To do so you are urged to decrease your exposure to suspense movies or books.
Attempt to watch less violent news and tv shows. These views increase the chances of you having those images stuck in your head throughout the night and ending up laughing at you in the night/dark. Which intern grows the fear
- Nobody is perfect: Everybody’s life is full of stress and anxiety, yet many of us feel that we have to be perfect to match standards with the world. Bad days, setbacks, and fears will always occur, and it’s important to remember that life is imperfect
- Visualize a happy place: Stop for a moment, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and forget your surroundings. Try to imagine a safe, calm, and optimistic place. It could be anywhere, sitting at home with your family, being at your desired destination, or simply just walking your dog in the park on a sunny day. Also, try to find happiness in the little things
- Offer a comforting environment or object: Usually, the main audience of this anxiety is the children. They don’t know why they fear the unknown and hence, have no clarity of their feeling leaving them lonely and uncertain.
It is advised for you to give your kid a stuffed comfortable animal or toy when going to sleep. Which provides them with comfort as well as security, the kid with a soft teddy in his arms has a more probability of dazing off at night instead of tormenting them in the dark
- Face your fears: If the height of your phobia is not totally extreme to a dangerous level then try to face your fears avoiding fears only makes them scarier. When you experience the fear of the dark, facing it could fade out the trauma and terror.
If you panic when the lights go out it is good too, for some while staying a collect yourself together in the dark. If this evolution of fear in humans does not fade away and you
still have a sense of fear and anxiety it is recommended to visit Online Counseling
- Clap for yourself: If you can, now finally sleep with the lights off most of the time and are not totally paranoid when it comes to dark places, give yourself a treat.
You have finally overcome the fear of the dark and now on wouldn’t have to ask yourself “how fear works” “ why fear”, or “why me”! You may also want to find out about the evolutionary advantages of fear
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