It’s amazing that kids are not the only ones who suffer from fear of the dark. Many adults, both male and female, are afraid of the dark and what might be lurking in the shadows. Sometimes paranoia overtakes a person, leaving him or her feeling weak and frightened to the core.
For some, this fear is crippling and keeps them from enjoying activities that involve being alone, night walks, camping, and explorations. Psychologists term this fear Nyctophobia.
You don’t have to become a vampire to learn to enjoy the dark. In fact, once you grasp the incredible beauty of the night, you will look forward to everything that makes the dark so mysteriously fascinating.
From the canopy of stars twinkling in the black canvas sky to the scent and stillness of a charcoal dark night, you will begin to enjoy sites, sounds, and smells that are only common at night. By following the tips below, you will slowly overcome your fear of the dark.
Five Steps to helping you overcome your fear of the dark
- Apply Logic to the situation. Most fears are not logical, but they are emotional in nature. Applying logic to an emotional issue may seem counterproductive, but it isn’t. If, for example, you’re indoors and laying in bed, afraid to get up and go to the bathroom because of a certain dark shadow in the corner, turn on the light and see what that shadow is. This is the logical approach. As you begin to sense that fear is overtaking you, rationally approach that fear with facts. The facts can be generated by affirmations as to what something is or isn’t, or by turning on a light to see what is bothering you.
- Practicing your night vision. With all the lights out, begin to look at all the objects in your room and start naming what they are. As you name, describe and “see” in the dark, your night vision will increase, and your fears will decrease.
- Reading inspirational material. Instead of reading a horror book before bed, pick up something inspirational to read. This can be religious, spiritual, motivational, or just a wholesome story that will warm the heart. It will relax you and help you get sleepy.
- Meditation, prayer, and visualization. Many people find that meditating before bed relaxes them and helps to release tension and overcome fear. As you lay in bed, imagine yourself somewhere you’d like to be. See yourself walking and enjoying the sites. Slowly see the sun setting in the sky. Feel the warmth of the fading sun. Then, imagine the beautiful nighttime sky with the stars, a full moon, and having a cool drink as you sit back to take it all in. Visualization is a good way to prepare your mind during day hours to accept the night hours. Prayer also helps people feel protected from their surroundings. Imagining guardian angels and the protective power of God can calm an anxious spirit
- Plan night walks with friends. Some nature centers provide night walks in the forest. This is a bold move toward facing your fears. By walking in the dark, with a group of people, you will be stepping out in faith and courage. You will soon enjoy the sounds of crickets, little creatures stirring in the brush, and certain night flowers and their blossoms. If there’s a full moon in the night sky, you’ll especially enjoy the beauty of the subtle light shining along your path and the mystical quality of being a part of this wonderment called nighttime.
Most fears are based on past experiences. If this is the case with you, make peace with your past and apply the above five tips to help you overcome your fear of the dark.
As a result, your life will become more full, rational, and less crippling. Before you know it, you’ll be initiating more activities that involve being outdoors in the dark, and your fears will be a thing of the past.