3 Tips to overcome the fear of darkness

by Sebastian D. Kraemer22. September 2017

Overcome fear of darkness

The fear of darkness is a primal fear of humanity. When the Stone Age man emerged from his cave at night, dangers lurked in the dark, and this is still the case in some areas.

At night, many predators go hunting, which are superior to us, especially in the dark. After all, big cats, for example, can also see wonderfully in pitch dark in contrast to us humans.

And in some areas, twilight figures appear at night, causing mischief there.

While our eyes are the dominant sense organ during the day, we increasingly use our hearing, our sense of touch and our sense of smell in the dark. And it is not always possible to clearly assign the noises and smells to the causes. And that unsettles and scares.

Thus, the fear of darkness is not only explainable, but also understandable and even sensible.

Horror films play with this fear. Hardly any of these scary films do not make use of this primal fear. Horror films that play in bright sunshine are the absolute exception.

Tip 1: I think a certain discomfort is normal. You should therefore allow yourself fear of "normal extent".

Even if the fear of darkness is justified, the fear of darkness is exaggerated in some people. If you don’t do that after sunset House can leave without being overwhelmed by fear and panic attacks, one should look for a way to overcome the fear of darkness.

Additional causes in childhood

With an exaggerated fear of darkness, the cause of this – as in so many cases – can be found in childhood. Many children have been suggested from an early age that it is dangerous to be outside in the dark.

"When it gets dark you come home." Every child probably knows this sentence. The parents may actually associate the dark with danger.

However, many parents just want to make it easier for themselves and the children. After all, children often forget the time when they play outside. When darkness falls, the child notices it and knows it has to go home.

For some children, however, this rule can also leave the lasting impression that it is dangerous in the dark.

Some people associate darkness with a traumatic experience. Maybe you got lost in the dark and felt great fear and loneliness. One or the other may have been ambushed.

It always makes sense to find the cause to overcome an anxiety disorder.

You are no longer a child

Even in adulthood one takes the child in us in one way or another. This fearful child often also plays a major role in the fear of darkness.

It is important that you realize that you are an adult today. Put yourself mentally back in childhood. Imagine yourself as a child in your mind’s eye – this child who is afraid.

Be nice to this child, comfort her and hug her in your arms. Tell him it’s safe. "Everything is all right!" You are now the adult or adults who can comfort the child in you and give him security.

Tip 2: Try to find out where this exaggerated fear could come from. If the cause of this is in childhood, proceed as described above.

Practice creates masters

Unlike panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder, fear of darkness is a specific fear.

With specific phobias, confronting fear is a proven way to overcome the fear of darkness.

This brings us to the third tip: confront yourself with the fear of the dark.

I don’t mean the “mallet method”. Fearing yourself in a dark box for an hour will only increase your fear.

You should also not put yourself in danger and visit the most dangerous place in your city at night or walk through the Caribbean jungle on your own.

Rather, it’s about doing normal things, such as a nightly walk through your town or city or a small visit to the forest near you.

You can take your partner with you for now. I also think that taking a cell phone as a crutch is not only okay, it makes sense.

Make a list of the situations that scare you and arrange this list after Size of your fear. Then start with the situation that scares you the least and slowly increase yourself.

Instead of fleeing the situation as soon as you get scared, you should stay in this situation for a while until the fear subsides.

I know that confronting fear is anything but pleasant. However, I think it is inevitable if you want to overcome the fear of darkness.

Over time, you will experience that nothing happens to you that gradually increases your self-confidence and reduces fear to a normal level.

In some severe cases it is necessary to seek professional support in order to be able to start the confrontation at all. Behavioral therapy, for example, is suitable for this.

Sebastian D. Kraemer

As a former anxiety patient, I have been helping people with excessive anxiety and panic attacks on their way out of the anxiety disorder for seven years. More than 20,000 people take part in my free email coaching and I am happy about everyone I help to lead a life free of anxiety.

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