How to not be afraid of the dark

How to not be afraid of the dark

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

How to not be afraid of the dark

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While being afraid of the dark may be a part of normal development in young children, that is not the case for older children and adults. Nyctophobia is an age-inappropriate fear of darkness that can prompt someone to limit their activities, avoid certain situations, and experience anxiety in anticipation of there being no light.

It is when the concern crosses over from being an inborn protective mechanism to disrupting everyday life that it is designated a phobia.

Causes

Nyctophobia, also referred to as scotophobia, achluophobia, and lygophobia, may be evolutionary in nature, as many predators hunt at night. The fear may not be related to darkness itself but unknown dangers hidden in the darkness (which is why horror and suspense movies often use darkness as a way to scare viewers).

Lack of security and confidence can play into this as well, especially if you tend to be afraid of the dark more often while alone.

Some psychoanalytic writers believe that fear of the dark may be related to separation anxiety from a primary attachment figure, a phenomenon that is detailed further in a 2014 analysis on attachment and fear arousal published in the journal Psychoanalytic Dialogues.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of nyctophobia vary from person to person and according to the severity of a particular case. In general, symptoms of nyctophobia include:

  • Becoming nervous in any darkened environment
  • Being reluctant to go out at night
  • Experiencing physiological symptoms, including an increased heart rate, sweating, visible shaking, and even feeling ill when forced to spend time in the dark
  • Need to sleep with a night light

Symptoms of more severe cases of nyctophobia include:

  • Attempting to run away from dark rooms
  • Becoming angry or defensive if anyone tries to encourage you to spend time in the dark
  • Compulsively staying indoors at night

Nyctophobia has some diagnostic criteria that are common to all phobias, which distinguishes them from simple fears.

Treatment for Nyctophobia

The goal of therapy is to challenge fearful beliefs about the dark and reduce the severity of symptoms one experiences due to that fear.

The rate of successful treatment for specific phobias like nyctophobia is about 90%. Many techniques for nyctophobia treatment are drawn from the cognitive-behavioral school of therapy.

The treatment plan your therapist suggests for you or your child may include:

How to not be afraid of the dark

The dark is something that scares most people. Although kids are most afraid of the dark it would be somewhat funny to note that even adults are dreadfully afraid of it too. Perhaps you’ve been reading or watching too many ghost and supernatural stories and almost all scary stories are set in the dark. With darkness comes a loss of control. As humans, we are highly dependent on our sense of vision. When we lose our ability to see, it definitely affects our sense of control and power. Darkness immediately takes away a sense that helps us navigate the world around us. If you are an adult who fears the dark, or if you have a kid that seriously needs to learn to sleep alone here are ways of overcoming the fear of the dark and regaining your sense of freedom despite the pitch-black darkness.

Calm Down Before Bed

How to not be afraid of the dark

It is necessary that you put yourself in a calm and meditative state before going to bed. Ditch the caffeine that makes you nervous and keeps your pulse racing. It is advisable that you stay away from electronic devices. Instead, listen to some soft relaxing music or read for a little while. The point is to get yourself into the most relaxing mindset possible. You may find that drinking some chamomile tea is relaxing or even petting your cat. Do not watch tv shows that will only keep you anxious. Avoid anything that will stress you for the night such as last-minute work.

Gradually Darken Your Room

Sleeping in the darkness gives you deeper and more restful sleep. This knowledge should encourage you to make steps in sleeping in total darkness. However, you do not need to turn off the lights completely. You can gradually dim the lights when you sleep up to a level you are comfortable with. For example, you have the option of opening the lights in an adjoining room. If this isn’t possible, you can keep a table lamp on and then gradually as your anxiety decrease and your level of comfort in the darkness increases you can open a nightlight. You should check your anxiety level in sleeping in dim lights until you can sleep in total darkness. If you are the type who panics in total darkness you can pick an electricity generator in case lights in your area totally go out.

Challenge your Fears

If you hear a thump or a crashing sound in the middle of the night you should encourage yourself to confront your fears immediately. You should see for yourself that the things you are imagining in your head are really just caused by explicable events. For example, the noise in your garage may just be a bunch of stray cats. The scratching noises you hear on your ceiling. may just be a rodent infestation. You must check the facts first before letting yourself be led into a rabbit hole of horror movie scares.

Make Your Room Pleasant

How to not be afraid of the dark

You can erase some of your fears of the dark by making your room a happy and pleasant space to sleep in. Choose cheery colors and warm a happy decor to help you think of positive thoughts as you doze off. Keep everything nice and neat so you won’t be imagining stuff from your neglected pile of clothes in the corner. You should also keep your room spacious and free from clutter. Only keep the furniture you absolutely need. Use aromatherapy, a study has shown that scents have a positive psychological effect on minds. The goal is to make your room a place where you can feel safe and happy.

You Have to Learn to Sleep on Your Own

For younger people, they may have the privilege of sleeping with parents and siblings. However, for adults, one way to successfully sleep on your own is by having a pet such as a cat or a dog beside you. Pets are immensely comforting and they may help you sleep in total darkness. However, you should wean yourself away from sleeping so closely with your pets and eventually just have them sleep at your feet or in the same room.

Last Updated on February 8, 2022 by Michele Tripple

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Helping your child overcome being afraid of the dark can be as simple as these 5 steps, plus don’t forget to make monster spray to help scare away the monsters!

How to Help Your Child Overcome Being Afraid of the Dark

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We have all been there… It’s bedtime, your kids are exhausted, you are exhausted, you tuck in your kids and as soon as you leave the room you start hearing, “MOOOOOOOM!”

You go back to their room and they start asking for more hugs and kisses and then start asking you a million and a half questions, including what’s for dinner the next day!”

After you answer all their questions and you are leaving the room again, they say, “Mom, it’s dark in here followed by are their monsters under the bed?”

Now you have two choices…. Pull up a pillow and fall asleep next to them or help your child overcome their fear of monsters under the bed and being afraid of the dark!

So we are sharing 5 ways to help your kids not be afraid of the dark and how to scare the silly monsters away!

5 Ways to Help your Kid’s Overcome being Afraid of the Dark

Be Understanding

How to not be afraid of the dark

The first thing we need to do to help our kids overcome being afraid of the dark is to be understanding.

As a parent we tend to find ourselves telling our kids to stop crying, or to not do something because it isn’t polite or the right choices.

Sometimes we need to actually listen to our kids when they express a fear and learn to understand why they are feeling uneasy about it and allow them to talk about it.

How to not be afraid of the dark

As we understand their fear we are more capable of helping them overcome it.

Try talking to them about why they are scared of the dark. It actually may surprise you what they have to say and you might be able to fix their problem really quickly.

Age Appropriate Shows

How to not be afraid of the dark

Fears can come from things seen during the day from everything from commercials on TV, a friend at school or their favorite YoutTube star being afraid of something.

Making sure your kids are watching shows that are age appropriate is important because underdeveloped brains can’t separate what is real and what is not.

How to not be afraid of the dark

Also keep in mind even though you think they may not be listening or watching what you are, think again, even the tiniest glimpse of a clip of a movie can really spark concern in their minds.

Establish a BedTime Routine

Another great way to help your child overcome their fear of the dark is to establish a bedtime routine.

When you do things repeatedly it becomes routine for children.

As kids establish routines they become less anxious since they know what is coming. approaching for your child and help them be less anxious about drifting off to sleep.

Also, reading books that are fun and filled with great illustrations can help their minds create their own happy dreams.

Invest In A Night Light

Sometimes in order for your kids to overcome their fear of the dark is to grab a night light or two. Sometimes just a little light is all that they need.

My daughter has one in her room and we leave the light on the stairs on for a bit for her to get all settled before she falls asleep.

Spray Away their Fear

How to not be afraid of the dark

Now that we have talked about the important things about helping your child overcome their fear of the dark, let’s talk about those monsters.

Sometimes are kids imaginations are bigger than we think, so to them monsters are under the bed and hiding in the closets.

When this happens, have no fear Monster Spray is here!

Fear of the dark is common in children, but adults can have it too.

How to not be afraid of the dark

How to not be afraid of the dark

Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is a writer for CNET’s services and software team. She covers tips and tricks for apps and devices, as well as Apple Arcade news.

How to not be afraid of the dark

When I was young, like many children, I was afraid of the dark. I refused to let my parents close the bedroom door, lest I be plunged into complete darkness. The closet couldn’t be opened at all: My mind would imagine something was watching me from its depths. I would beg my parents to leave the hall light on until I fell asleep. (I’ve since gained an understanding of how electricity bills work, which is arguably more frightening.)

Being afraid of the dark is often associated with childhood, mostly occurring in children ages 6 to 12, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But it’s not uncommon for the issue to continue into adulthood. Even though my mind has put many darkness-related fears to rest, there remain moments when I’m in complete darkness that I feel a pang of anxiety.

But if it’s not uncommon, when does a normal fear of the dark become a larger problem? Why are we afraid of the dark at all? Can you get over your fear of the dark? Here’s everything you need to know.

Is it normal for adults to be afraid of the dark?

According to E-conolight, a company that specializes in LED lights, nearly 50% of respondents surveyed in 2020 said they’re afraid of the dark as adults.

Like many anxieties, if your fear starts to interfere with daily life, it should be examined more closely. According to CNET’s sister site Healthline, nyctophobia is an extreme or irrational fear of the dark or night.

Fear of the dark and insomnia often go hand in hand.

Basak Gurbuz Derman/Getty Images

People with nyctophobia can be triggered by being in the dark or imagining being in the dark. These triggers can set off symptoms that manifest physically and emotionally. A person with nyctophobia may exhibit symptoms akin to panic attacks, like trouble breathing, chest tightness, shaking or trembling, as well as an intense need to escape the situation, detachment from self and feeling powerless over your fear.

A person with a normal fear of the dark may feel uneasy in dark space or feel a bit anxious at night. A person with nyctophobia may lose sleep or adjust their daily routine to avoid dark places (like forgoing a trip to the movie theater). According to the Cleveland Clinic, nyctophobia and insomnia are intertwined: People who have trouble sleeping can also subsequently develop nyctophobia. Those with nyctophobia may sleep with the lights on to abate their fears, but this can make sleep difficult.

Why are people afraid of the dark?

A person can be afraid of the dark for many reasons. For me (and likely many others), I notice an increase in anxiety in dark places after consuming spooky media before bedtime. Over the years, researchers have proposed more scientific theories and potential explanations.

Often, it’s not the dark itself that’s frightening. but the fear of what might be hidden in the dark.

Lotus Carroll/EyeEm/Getty Images

Being afraid of the dark may harken back to the earliest days of humankind, according to a CNN report. Our ancestors quickly adopted a big rule for survival: The dark provides cover for dangerous predators on the prowl, so it must be avoided.

Basically, it’s less likely that you’re afraid of the dark itself. Instead, you may fear the unknown and unseen.

“In the dark, our visual sense vanishes, and we are unable to detect who or what is around us. We rely on our visual system to help protect us from harm,” Martin Antony, professor of psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, said in the report.

Stressful or traumatic events, genetics or children being around anxious or overprotective caregivers can increase the risk of being scared of the dark.

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Marina was extremely afraid of the dark. When the lights went out, everything and every shadow appeared to her as the most terrible of monsters. Her parents explained to her, everyday and with great patience, that these things were not monsters. Marina understood her parents, but she could not stop feeling an awful fear whenever it was dark.

One day her Aunt Valerie came to visit. Valerie was an incredible woman. She was famous for her courage, and for having gone on many journeys of adventure, some of which had been made into books and movies. Marina wanted to conquer her fear of the dark, so she asked her Aunt how she became so brave, and whether she had ever been frightened.

“A great many times, Marina,” answered her Aunt, “I remember when I was small and I was terribly afraid of the dark. I couldn’t stay in the dark for even a moment”.

Marina became very excited. How was it possible that someone so courageous could have been afraid of the dark?

“I’ll tell you a secret, Marina. It was some blind children who taught me how to be brave. They can’t see, so if they had never discovered the secret of how not to be afraid of the dark, they would have been forever frightened”.
“It’s true!” said Marina, intrigued, “Can you tell me that secret?”
“Of course! The secret is to change your eyes. Since blind children can’t see, their hands are their eyes. All you have to do to conquer your fear is what they do. Shut the eyes of your face and open the eyes of your hands. Let’s make a deal: tonight, when you go to bed and put out the light, if anything makes you afraid, close your eyes, carefully get out of bed, and try to see what it is that’s making you scared. But do it using your hands as eyes. and tomorrow tell me how you’re getting on with the fear”.

Marina accepted, but she was rather worried. She knew she would need to be brave to close her eyes and go and touch whatever it was that was frightening her; but she was willing to try because she was already too old for this. When her parents took her to bed, she herself put out the light. After a little while, she felt afraid of one of the shadows in the bedroom. Following the advice of Aunt Valerie, she closed the eyes of her face and opened the eyes of her hands. And, summoning up all her courage, she went over to touch that mysterious shadow.

The next morning Marina came running into the kitchen, a big smile on her face, and a song on her lips. “The monster is so soft and smooth. ” she cried,
“It’s my teddy bear!”

I remember, when I was young, being afraid of the dark. I recall running into my parents’ bedroom to hurry and turn the lights on and run back. It is funny when I think about it now, but I never really understood the reason I was so afraid.

How to not be afraid of the dark

I remember, when I was young, being afraid of the dark. I recall running into my parents’ bedroom to hurry and turn the lights on and run back. It is funny when I think about it now, but I never really understood the reason I was so afraid. Maybe it was just the unknown – but it would be a feeling I would never forget.

In August of 2013, I lost my eyesight to diabetic retinopathy. At this time, I was 28 years old and I had just become a father of two beautiful little girls. After many surgical attempts, I was told there would never be a chance I could restore my sight.

At this time I fell into a deep depression. I remember when I received a white cane, I just put it in a closet – not wanting to touch it or even learn how to use it. I went from being an independent man to just sitting on the couch – nothing else.

I was scared, just like the little boy I used to be – except this time there is no light to run to and turn on. I used to sit on that couch and cry my heart out. My depression took a toll on my life, which resulted in the ending of my six-year relationship and losing all my possessions.

Before I knew it, not only was I blind completely – I was also a single father. After learning about orientation and mobility training, I realized how essential the white cane was to me. Orientation and mobility training kind of gave me a little confidence and I decided to enroll into college in August of 2014. I started receiving help from the department of blind services which – no pun intended – really opened my eyes.

I never knew about the technology that was available – such as screen readers, apps, and numerous techniques – to help a person with a visual impairment. At this time it was just me and my oldest daughter living alone. I was back to cooking, cleaning, and caring for my household on my own.

I sit here and remember when I first lost my sight and I thought my entire life was over. Little did I know it was just the beginning of learning a new way of living.

I am very grateful for all the people who I have come across through my journey and who have shown me truly that life is what you make it. I know my journey is far from over – especially since, this August, I am set to graduate with an Associates in business and administration. Also, my oldest daughter, who is five years old now and lives with me permanently, learns alongside me. After trying to learn Braille by reading a children’s book, my daughter ended up learning the book before I did! She is so intelligent and I’m so proud of her every day.

I hope that I can inspire people and also show that people with a visual impairment can do anything anybody else can – and maybe even be better at it.

Jona Barrientez is a quiet man who loves his children and whose ultimate goal is to show them that anything is possible.

How to not be afraid of the dark

Your child cries out during the night. When you rush into the room, your child looks up at you with big, tear-filled eyes, and points to a shadow on the ground. He or she clings to you, and doesn’t want you to leave.

If this is happening when your child is about 2 or 3, it’s a safe bet that your child may have developed a fear of the dark.

It’s pretty common at this age, said Dr. Alex Mabe, a psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, and it’s completely developmentally normal. “Your child’s brain is mature enough to begin to realize other things in the world could be bad. They have thoughts about separation, fears of personal safety, worry about kidnappers or burglars. Their imagination creates monsters, and they may also have dreams that bother them.”

Most kids will actually outgrow fear of the dark by ages 4 to 5, helped along with some specific strategies. But about 20% of kids will have a persistent fear of the dark. “It’s not always so easy to unlearn those startled, anxious, fearful responses,” said Mabe. “Parents should be aware that these persistent fears can be difficult to help a child overcome, which is why it’s best to try to calm things down early.” Here’s how:

  1. Read between the lines. Your child may not say right out that he or she is afraid of the dark. But some possible signs that your child is anxious or afraid about going to bed include being fussy, have trouble going to sleep, calling out for mom or dad during the night, frequently asking to use the potty or get a drink of water, and complaining about not feeling good.
  2. Be a detective. Once you think your child might be afraid of the dark, try to figure out what specifically he or she is afraid of. Is it being separated from mom or dad, or being afraid something will happen to a parent? Are they afraid of kidnappers or burglars? Are they imagining monsters or other scary creatures? It’s only when you know exactly what your child is afraid of that you can help.
  3. Reassure, but don’t overdo it. When you calm your child’s fears, make it short, simple and matter-of-fact. Don’t go overboard with your reassurance, says Mabe, because it could make the child think there’s something dangerous that mom or dad isn’t telling me. For example, assuring your child that there are no monsters, but then taking the time to look in the closet, under the bed or behind the door sends a confusing message. Also, don’t tell your child that fears are silly, or become irritated or angry, since those responses will likely only make fears worse.
  4. Add these to your child’s bedroom. If your child asks for more light, it’s completely OK to add a nightlight or lamp to the bedroom, or to leave the door open. But since we all tend to get better sleep in a darker room, over time, you can try to gently ease your child back to just a nightlight. You can also try using a white-noise machine if sounds are waking up and bothering your child.
  5. Keep a good bedtime routine. A routine could look like this, said Mabe: A parent brings the child to bed, where they snuggle and spend a few minutes reading books, singing songs, telling stories or saying prayers. “This creates a very gentle, calming-down period where you’re present in the child’s room,” said Mabe.

Then, ideally, the parent says good night and leaves before the child is fully asleep. By doing this, you’re teaching your child to fall asleep on his or her own. “Otherwise, if you stay there until your child falls asleep, your child begins to believe he or she can only go to sleep if a parent is present,” said Mabe. “This will mean that they will wake up looking for mom or dad to help them go to sleep.”

Even if your child wakes up in the middle of the night, it’s best to settle them back down, give comfort, and leave when they’re sleepy, but before they fall asleep.

For Older Children

If your child is older than four or five and is still scared of the dark, Mabe says that studies have found that a combination of stories and toys have had good results. For example, read stories about children or animals that have overcome a fear of the dark. Then introduce a new toy animal or doll, explaining to your child that the toy is afraid of the dark and is having trouble sleeping. “Tell your child, ‘Your job is to help this teddy, and the good news is that the teddy can also protect you from danger,” says Mabe.

Kids seven and older can understand about fear and anxiety, so parents can teach them that we all have fears, that they don’t last forever, and that there are things we can do to calm ourselves down. For example, kids can learn to pace their breathing, relax their muscles and have positive thoughts. Parents can also help kids work through unrealistic thoughts, like fears of burglars breaking in, by talking about how secure and safe the house is.

“Fear of the dark is one of the most common fears children have,” said Mabe. “As parents, it’s our job to support them, to be calm and collected, and do what we can to help children with this very normal fear of the dark.”

How to not be afraid of the dark

Between the ages of 24 and 30 months, many children can suddenly start to develop more pronounced fears. Two-year-olds, no matter what their language development, may be unable to express why they’re afraid of something, and the feeling of fear may be new to them. Fear at this age can show up as sadness, clinginess, unpredictable behavior, dramatic mood swings, or something else entirely.

As babies grow into young children and start gaining a stronger sense of themselves, the world around them may seem large and unpredictable, and some aspects of their new world are scary. Some of their fears are more easily understandable, such as insects, thunderstorms, or the dark, while others are more baffling: the toilet flushing, the vacuum running, or escalators 🤷‍♀️

Here’s how to respond to your two-year-old’s fears:

Take their fears seriously

Whatever they may be afraid of, try to give them an opportunity to explain it. They may not have the language necessary to express themselves yet, but showing them that you believe them can go a long way: “I can see that dog scares you, and I wonder if it’s because it’s moving really fast and barking loudly. It’s okay to feel scared, would it help if I picked you up?”

Later, you can try asking them about it again. You might ask, “what was scary to you about that dog?” and listen closely to what they have to say. If they aren’t able to say much, you can describe the scene again for them. Retelling a negative experience can feel counterintuitive, but it actually helps toddlers connect the parts of the brain they use for emotion with the parts they use for reasoning.

Talk about fear when they’re not afraid

Two-year-olds are old enough to imagine, but too young to distinguish their visions from reality. With darkness, for example, there’s a lot of unknown which can wreak havoc on some kids’ imaginations. A child who is afraid of the dark can be hard to reassure at night. Instead, try giving them a preview in the daytime of what’s to come. You can say, “pretty soon it will be nighttime, and so it will be dark in your room. But everything stays the same! Your crib, your dresser, your clothes all stay the same in the dark. It just means the sun has set and will be back in the morning.”

Practice and role play

Playing pretend in a safe environment is a great way to combat fears. If your child is afraid of a booster shot, play doctor with them—and give your child a turn to be the doctor or nurse. If they’re the one giving you the shot, they may feel some control over the situation. Give them some of the language that doctors and nurses use: “this might sting, but only for a second—and then you’re done and you can have a bandaid and a special prize to pick out.”

Read books about dealing with fear

Books like Bea Goes to the Doctor, My Favorite Nature Buddy, and others are also great tools for helping children anticipate potentially frightening events (like a trip to the doctor or an encounter with a bee). Seeing another child’s reaction and how they navigate a scary situation can reassure your child that they can do the same.

Identify real dangers

How to not be afraid of the dark

Some fears and worries are helpful: we don’t want our kids stepping into the street by themselves or petting a dog without getting permission from its owner. We don’t want to heighten fears to the point of anxiety, but we do want to reinforce the fears that protect them from harm.

Having a fear of fast cars is rational (“those cars can hurt us, so we never run out into the street”), whereas a fear of the vacuum is not. When you’re vacuuming, you can reassure your child they won’t and can’t be sucked up into the cleaner (“do you see the size of the hole? Only little things like dust and dirt can get in there, not kids and people like us”).

Let children face their fears in small doses

If your child is afraid to take a bath, for instance, you can fill a small tub with water and let them put just their hands in, or stand in it. Tell your child it’s the same water they see in the bathtub, they can play with it, and it feels good. With animals, small ones tend to be less scary. You can ask the owner of a small dog on a walk if the dog is friendly and if you can pet it. Your child may join you, but even if they aren’t ready yet, they can still watch you safely do it—and they might be ready next time, or the time after that.

Sometimes, just avoid the cause

Whether it’s rational or not, sometimes avoiding the cause—dogs, water, spiders—will be easiest on everyone. Consider giving your child a small nightlight (not too bright, if possible), crossing the street when a dog is coming, or letting them take a sponge bath now and then. In the meantime, continue talking about it; reassurances that you’re listening and you’re there for them will help them outgrow their fears.

How to not be afraid of the dark

The Realist Play Kit

Your toddler will use what’s in this box to explore patterns, find hidden objects, and begin life lessons.

How to not be afraid of the dark

The Enthusiast Play Kit

Your two-year-old is ready for new cognitive challenges in spatial understanding and pattern recognition.

How to not be afraid of the dark

Yvelette Stines, MS, MEd, is an author, writer, and communications specialist specializing in health and wellness.

How to not be afraid of the dark

Jonathan Jassey, DO, is a board-certified private pediatrician at Bellmore Merrick Medical in Bellmore, New York.

Fear of the dark is also called nyctophobia. It’s a type of specific phobia. Having nyctophobia means you have an irrational and extreme fear of the dark. If left untreated, a fear of the dark can impact your sleep and quality of life.

It’s common to be afraid of the dark at some point in your childhood, but for a number of adults, these feelings can persist and affect their functional ability.

This article will explain the symptoms and causes of nyctophobia and offer insight on ways to cope.

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ianmcdonnell /Getty Images

Definition

When a person has an extreme fear of darkness it’s called nyctophobia. This fear can be debilitating and interfere with their daily life. Being afraid of the dark can be normal, but when it’s irrational or disproportionate, it becomes a phobia.

A person with nyctophobia might stay away from situations in which there will be darkness—like camping overnight or a trip to the movies—to avoid intense feelings of anxiety.

Research has determined that when people fear the dark, it’s because they can’t see their surroundings. Darkness causes a “startle response” in the brain, which increases anxiety.

Symptoms

The symptoms of nyctophobia are similar to the symptoms of other specific phobias. A specific phobia is an intense and persistent fear of a specific object, person, or situation that’s proportionally greater than the actual threat.

If left untreated, a specific phobia can hinder a person’s ability to function.

Symptoms can show up physically and/or emotionally. With nyctophobia, symptoms can occur when you’re in the dark or anticipate being in the dark. Symptoms include:

Symptoms of Nyctophobia

  • Shaking, trembling, or tingling sensations
  • Fear of going out at night
  • Extreme nervousness of the thought of being in the dark
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • The need to have a light on in the dark and/or while you sleep
  • Upset stomach
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Overwhelming feelings of panic
  • Sweating
  • Trouble breathing
  • Racing heart rate

Diagnosis

A diagnosis of a phobia starts with a conversation with your primary healthcare provider. They can refer you to a licensed mental health professional.

During your appointment, you’ll typically fill out intake forms that include your health history. Afterward, you’ll have a conversation with a therapist. From there they will share their diagnosis.

Nyctophobia isn’t a diagnosis in and of itself. It’s categorized as a specific phobia, which does have an official diagnosis.

Based on the criteria outlined in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), people with a specific phobia:

  • Experience intense, excessive, and persistent fear of a specific object or situation
  • Have feelings of anxiety, fear, or panic when they encounter the source of their fear
  • Have a fear that is out of proportion to the actual risk posed by the object or situation
  • Avoid the feared object or situation, or experience intense anxiety or discomfort when they encounter it
  • Experience fear, anxiety, or avoidance that causes significant distress (it bothers them that they have the fear) or significant interference in their day-to-day life, such as difficulty performing important tasks at work, meeting new friends, attending classes, or interacting with others
  • Have persistent fear, anxiety, or avoidance (usually lasting at least six months)
  • Experience fear, panic, or avoidance that is not better explained by another disorder or cause

Causes

A specific phobia can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Direct learning experiences: A traumatic experience with the feared object or situation, such as being left in the dark under dangerous circumstances
  • Observational learning experiences: Seeing others experience the feared object or situation, or living with the phobia, such as seeing another person get hurt in the dark or growing up in a household in which an adult of significance such as a parent had a fear of the dark
  • Informational learning: Learning about the source of fear through avenues like the news, books, or television, where darkness is often portrayed as more dangerous and suspicious than it is

Treatment

There are treatment options for people who have nyctophobia. The goal is to reduce symptoms or fully resolve them.

How Is Nyctophobia Treated?

  • Talk therapy: Also called psychotherapy, speaking with a trained therapist
  • Mindfulness techniques: Being intensely observant of your current surroundings
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): A common type of talk therapy that helps identify and change destructive thought patterns
  • Incremental exposure to the dark: Exposing the patient to the source of their anxiety in a safe environment
  • Relaxation activities: Relieving stress through such techniques as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation

In some cases, antianxiety medication may be prescribed if your healthcare provider thinks it’s right for you.

Coping

Coping with a phobia can be aided by your healthcare professional. Know that you’re not alone. Research has shown that the lifetime prevalence of specific phobias is 3%–15% worldwide.

You might consider joining a support group to connect and share stories with people who understand what you’re feeling.

It’s also important to keep up with your therapy appointments and commit to your healing. This includes staying active, eating well, and practicing self-care. People who exercise regularly may become less sensitive to the physical feelings of a panic attack, which can reduce fear.

Can Nyctophobia Go Away?

With consistency and the help of your healthcare provider, you’ll be able to manage your symptoms and get back to your life.

Summary

Fear of the dark is also called nyctophobia. This is a type of specific phobia. When a person has a specific phobia, it means they have an irrational and persistent fear of a certain object, person, or situation.

If you think you might have nyctophobia, have a conversation with your primary healthcare provider. They can refer you to a mental health professional.

Treatment includes talk therapy, relaxation techniques, and exposure therapy, to name a few. Antianxiety medication may be prescribed if your healthcare provider thinks it’s right for you.

A Word From Verywell

If you have a phobia of any type, know that you’re not alone. The good news is there is hope. Your doctor and licensed mental health professional can help you through the process. In addition, there are support groups you can join.

If you have nyctophobia or any type of specific phobia, contact your healthcare provider, who can refer you to the right mental health professional and provide resources. It’s important to take your time, be gentle with yourself, and trust the journey.

This relaxation script is for children or adults who are afraid of the dark. It begins with visualization and calming phrases to bring comfort and relaxation, and ends with passive progressive muscle relaxation. Listen to this relaxation script before bed to fall asleep comfortably.

Many people of all ages are afraid of the dark. but there is nothing to fear about darkness.

If you need to turn on the light for a few seconds, do that now. Look around the room. see the things that are here. Now turn the lights out, and look around. See how everything looks different in the dark. but really it is all still the same.

Get into bed and get comfortable. settling in beneath the blankets. Close your eyes, and start to relax. You are safe right now.

It’s okay to be scared. but there is nothing to be afraid of. You don’t need to be afraid of the dark anymore. Any time you start to feel afraid of the dark, just remember looking around the room a minute ago with the lights on, and then with the lights off. You know that everything looks different when it’s dark, but you are still in the same, safe place as before.

People feel afraid of the dark because they imagine scary things. When you imagine scary things, you feel scared.

You can feel less afraid of the dark by thinking about something else. Use your imagination to feel good instead of scared.

First, let’s focus on breathing. Think just about your breathing. Take a big breath in. and breathe out.

Take another breath in. and out.

Keep breathing slowly. and deeply. and feel yourself starting to relax. It feels good to breathe slowly and deeply.

Now, let’s focus on an imaginary place. a happy, safe, peaceful place.

Imagine a place where you are safe and happy. You might picture a castle, meadow, beach, mountain. imagine a nice place where you feel happy, calm, and relaxed.

Imagine all the details of this place. you feel so safe and relaxed in this nice place. Create a picture in your mind of being outdoors at your peaceful place. It is a bright, sunny day. warm and pleasant.

Feel the sun shining down on you. so warm. so comforting. See the blue sky above, and the soft, white clouds drifting by.

It is so peaceful here. you feel so relaxed. so calm.

You can visit this place in your imagination any time you want to feel relaxed and safe.

I would like to repeat some phrases about feeling calm and safe in the dark. If you start to feel afraid, just imagine your happy, peaceful place again. Imagine this place whenever you need to while I talk.

There is nothing to fear in the dark. You don’t need to be afraid of the dark.

You are safe here.

Remember that the room you are in is just the same as it was when the light was on.

You can feel calm and happy in the dark.

Night time is the time to sleep. the darkness is nice because it helps you sleep so you can feel awake and rested in the morning.

Being in the dark is peaceful.

You can close your eyes and imagine being anywhere you want to be. See how easy it is to imagine when you’re in the dark. see how you can imagine happy things.

Notice that you are feeling less afraid of the dark than you were before. You are probably feeling quite relaxed because you know that there is nothing to worry about, and nothing to fear.

You were afraid of the dark before because you were imagining scary things. But now, you know how to use your imagination to think about happy things. peaceful places. pleasant thoughts.

It feels good to use your imagination like this, to think of happy things.

Whenever your mind plays tricks on you and you start thinking about scary things, and start feeling afraid of the dark, remember the peaceful place you imagined a few minutes ago. Remember how happy you felt as you imagined what it would be like to look up at the sky, with the sun shining down, and the clouds floating by.

See what a nice, happy picture your imagination can create? You have a wonderful imagination that you can use to picture all sorts of good and happy things.

Let’s just relax now. becoming sleepy.

Imagine a peaceful place. Allow yourself to feel completely comfortable and happy in this place in your imagination.

Your eyelids feel heavy. and it feels good to just close your eyes. resting. relaxing.

You are feeling very calm. sleepy. happy.

When your body becomes relaxed, you can feel the relaxation. You will know that a part of you is relaxed because it feels a little different. maybe a bit warmer. or heavier. or more loose. maybe a bit tingly.

Focus on your hands. letting your hands relax, until they feel a little different. You can feel that relaxation. You can tell when your hands are relaxed by this nice feeling. Just let your hands go limp. good. Now your hands are relaxed.

Concentrate on your arms now, up to your elbows. Feel the relaxation in your arms. When your lower arms feel a little different, and are relaxed, think about your upper arms, all the way to your shoulders. Feel your arms relaxing. Your arms feel very relaxed. They are heavy and loose. your hands and arms feel warm. warm, heavy, and relaxed.

Think about your feet now. Relax your feet. Your feet feel warm and heavy. and your legs feel relaxed. as limp as spaghetti. feel your legs relaxing. When you can feel the relaxation in your legs, move on to relax the rest of your body.

Let your tummy relax. it feels warm and comfortable.

Think about your back. Let your back relax all the way from the bottom of your back, up to your neck. Your back will feel a little different than it did before. a nice, relaxed feeling.

Think about your chest. letting this part of you relax.

Think about your face. and your head. soon your face and head will feel relaxed.

Now think about your whole body. all the way from your feet to your head. If you notice anywhere that is not relaxed, just think about this area. and feel it relaxing. Your whole body is relaxed. You feel so good and so comfortable.

Just rest now. relax. feeling so sleepy.

Imagine a safe and peaceful place in your imagination. imagine a quiet, happy land of dreams. waiting for you when you fall asleep. such happy dreams you will have.

Do not be Afraid of the Dark. :

Don’t be afraid of the dark, little one,

The earth must rest when the day is done.

The sun must be harsh, but moonlight – never!

And those stars will be shining forever and ever,

Be friends with the Night, there is nothing to fear,

Just let your thoughts travel to friends far and near.

By day, it does seem that our troubles won’t cease,

But at night, late at night, the world is at peace.

The word POETRY originates from a Greek word meaning TO MAKE. A poet is thus a maker and the poem something that is made or created. No single definition of poetry is possible but some characteristic features of poetry may be mentioned. Poetry has a musical quality with rhythm, pitch, metre and it may use figures of speech such as simile and metaphor. While quite a few poems in this selection are in traditional forms, the unit also includes modern poems that are free from formal restrictions.

Here is a list of English Poems written by various authors. Whatever the question is, poetry may be the answer. Writers say poetry provides them with comfort, a way to express themselves and the discipline of finding the essence with few words. Writing the poem (and finding just the right word) is the measure of success that the authors use. Really good poetry is instinctive. It’s who you are. It’s from the heart. You need to expose yourself to all kinds of poets and you may find your motivation and muse that way. Poetry gets to the core meaning. Poetry expands ideas.

It’s common for children to be scared of the dark. Experts weigh in on how parents can help their little ones conquer those nighttime fears.

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How to not be afraid of the dark

As parents of four young children who have each struggled with a fear of the dark, my wife and I are no strangers to middle-of-the-night interruptions, pleas to “leave the light on,” and requests to climb in bed with Mom and Dad.

It’s not easy on anyone but we’ve learned my family is not alone: research shows about 73 percent of kids ages 3 to 12 struggle with nighttime fears. “Nearly every parent has or has had a child who struggled with nighttime fears—be it a fear of darkness specifically or being alone in the dark,” says Wendy Silverman, Ph.D., ABPP, a professor of child psychiatry and the director of the Yale Child Study Center Program for Anxiety Disorders at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Nighttime fears can lead to sleep deprivation, of course. That’s been shown to affect one’s ability to concentrate and remember key information and contribute to moodiness and a weakened immune system.

The good news is that most kids who struggle with darkness-related fears will grow out of them eventually. In the meantime, there are proven practices that parents can follow to minimize sleep interruptions and help little ones conquer their fears of the dark.

Talk and Validate

While parents may worry about drawing attention to something they hope will go away naturally, experts say fears and phobias should be addressed and reasoned through. “It’s helpful for parents to acknowledge and validate their kid’s fear,'” says Gifty Ampadu, Ph.D., a psychologist at the child outpatient psychiatry department at Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York. “Use language like, ‘I hear you and I understand that you are afraid of the dark.'”

Rachel Busman, Psy.D., ABPP, a senior director for Cognitive and Behavioral Consultants in New York City, echoes the need for parents to validate emotions but says discussions can be simple. “Sometimes, when a child is upset, we engage in lengthy conversations about fear or worry,'” says Dr. Busman. “While that seems intuitive, keeping reassurances brief and concise can help—’I know you are scared; you’re OK and I’m here.'”

Help Them Confront the Fear

Like ripping off a Band-Aid, the next effective approach to fear management is dealing with phobias head-on. “Fears only grow when we avoid them,” says Dr. Silverman. She explains that each time a child successfully faces their fear of the dark, it begins to diminish. How can parents facilitate this? “Try a gradual approach to help the child face more and more of their fear through decreased lighting (a night light) or increased time/distance apart from Mom or Dad, until eventually the child is OK being alone in darkness throughout the night,” adds Dr. Silverman.

Make Darkness Fun

Children may begin to feel less afraid of the dark when they associate it with happy moments. Cast funny shadows on the wall before bed, read a book by flashlight under a blanket, or cover ceilings and walls with glow-in-the-dark stars and stickers.

“Making the dark fun and spending time in the dark is a form of exposure therapy that can help the child acclimate to being in the dark,” says Krystal Lewis, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist and researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Offer a Comfort Item

Comfort items can help kids overcome their nighttime fears, according to a study which found that using one reduced fear of the dark and children’s sleep problems after one month.

They are “transitional objects” between a parent and child, and kids see such items “as a projection of their parent or themselves,” explains Gene Beresin, M.D., M.A., a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston and executive director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In other words, to a child, a comfort item may represent their parent lying next to them throughout the night, or could even help them feel braver than they may otherwise be when confronting nighttime fears. “It is the meaning of the object to the child that is soothing and comforting,” adds Dr. Beresin.

Krisztina Kopcsó, Ph.D., a psychologist based in Budapest, Hungary, notes that because children can view comfort items as extensions of themselves, they are essentially borrowing courage from the item, much like Dumbo did with his feather in the Disney film. “A stuffed doll is able to reduce children’s nighttime fears if the child is told the doll is his/her protector,” she says.

Avoid Fear Triggers

Experts recommend against scary images before bed as they can trigger a child’s imagination with terrifying thoughts and ideas. “Make sure that if the child is watching a show or movie, the parents monitor the content to avoid exposure to scary images,” says Mari Kurahashi, M.D., M.P.H., a board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist and clinical associate professor at Stanford Medicine in Stanford, California.

Young children can struggle with differentiating between reality and fantasy, so a scary character from a show might present as a real threat when a child is alone in the dark. What’s more, scary images can later manifest in the form of nightmares.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Providing small rewards during each step on the road to overcoming a fear of the dark can help the process go more smoothly. “In this way, the person facing the fear becomes empowered, overcomes the fear at their own pace, and does so with the support of their loved ones,” says Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Such rewards could include a small toy that a child receives for each night or series of nights they stay in their own bed until morning. Verbally recognizing such behavior can be empowering as well, such as saying, “You didn’t wake up Mommy at all last night! I’m proud of you.”

Remain Patient

If one strategy isn’t working, parents can try another and may even consider seeking the help of a professional psychologist who specializes in childhood anxieties and phobias. Experts point out what works for one child may not work for another. “It’s important for parents to try a variety of techniques and practices,” says Dr. Silverman. “Above all, remain positive, patient, and persistent. Remember that you can do this and so can your child.”

And at this point, probably should buy stock in nightlights.

How to not be afraid of the dark

How to not be afraid of the dark

Hey, Nickelodeon! Guess what? I am, in fact, afraid of the dark. (Great show, btw.) Oh, and I am 26 years old.

Go ahead and laugh because that is kind of hilarious, I’m aware. Even funnier? Watching a full-grown adult woman flee her parents’ basement in a state of panic…or screech like I’m the star of a horror movie the minute anyone shuts off the lights without a heads up…or shove past her BF to ensure she’s the first one free out the soon-to-be-dark apartment.

This unraveling of fear happens to me almost every single time I’m in the dark, albeit at different intensities. In addition to bugging out in a dark room at home, work, wherever, I also feel extremely uncomfortable and on edge even walking my dog walking a block to the bodega (for candy, duh) at night in a very lit city.

Heck, I also chose my undergraduate university because it was well lit (okay, among maaaaany other pros of course). But point being: The school seemed impressively illuminated so that I could see my surroundings during late walks from the library, which in turn kept my imagination from escalating. as much.

I know that all of my anxiety-boosting, heart-pounding responses to the dark are irrational.

There aren’t any monsters in my closet, boogie men under my bed, or creepers camped out in dimly lit corners. Yet, I can’t help but let it freak me the eff out.

Part of my thinking is very logical. Nothing good can happen when you can’t see clearly or at all. But I’ve also spent ample time in a therapist’s chair and psychoanalyzing myself, and I’ve come to the conclusion that at least one other valid reason for my fear of the dark has to do with not feeling in control.

How to not be afraid of the dark

When I can’t see while moving from room to room because I am trapped in the dark, I feel like I’ve lost control of my surroundings and the situation feels out of my hands. There’s no ability for me to achieve clarity (not even my progressive eyeglasses can help in this case) and restore my sight. At least, it feels that way.

Sure, I could technically do a dance of feeling around for edges of the environment until I reach the light switch or doorway—but the dark is also paralyzing when you are thiiiis frightened.

I’ve wondered: Shouldn’t you grow out of a fear of the dark by the time you’re an adult? Yes. but also no.

Many children do simply outgrow their fear of the dark. “With active imaginations and deep needs for security, children can experience darkness as a primitive threat to their safety,” says Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and author of Hack Your Anxiety. “Typically these fears abate as children grow and recognize through their experience that they are safe in the dark.” Ugh, lucky them.

How to not be afraid of the dark

But really, a fear of the dark has no age, and this is especially the case if the phobia was never treated as a kiddo, says Terri Bacow, PhD, a clinical psychologist in New York City. An untreated phobia can persist through adulthood thanks to a little something called avoidance. The more you stay away from a feared object or situation, such as refusing to go to the black basement at all costs, the more likely you are to maintain this phobia.

“Essentially, you never have the opportunity to learn that you can be in the dark, and you will be okay,” Bacow explains. Also potentially at fault for an ongoing fear like this? A traumatic experience as an adult that either led to or made you revisit a particular fear, such as getting trapped in a dark elevator for hours.

If you’re still freaked out by the dark, too, join to the club. and buy a nightlight (or three).

At this point in my career at Women’s Health, I’ve shared everything from my germaphobe neuroses (no shoes indoors, plz) to my challenges with depression with the world wide web, so it’s safe to say I have no shame in admitting that I use many nightlights. While the OG Winnie the Pooh number I relied on as a child is unfortunately long gone, I’m in a pretty committed relationship with the basic motion-sensor options from Amazon.

While being able to see that you are safe can make it easier to believe that you are IRL, using a nightlight is just a starting place, Clark notes. The real phobia-shattering results come from taking on bigger challenges, such as gradually reducing the hours you sleep with a nightlight or, even more effective for intense phobias, per Bacow, doing self-exposure-therapy in which you spend more and more time in the dark until you habituate or get used to it entirely.

Also helpful? Ask yourself what you’re afraid of and what you think is going to happen in the dark. Then, try to identify any actual evidence such as stats that support or (even better!) contradict your fears, Bacow explains.

If your fear is more about, say, your safety, then Clark recommends using this anxiety to your advantage. “Strengthen your locks or install a security system to make sure you are safe. Rationally knowing you are safe can counteracts irrational fears and is how you cultivate feelings of safety.”

As children, we all seem to go through a ‘scared of the dark’ phase. Back when we were younger and, in a lot of ways, fearless in the face of things we’re more cautious about as adults, there was something about darkness that put us on edge every night. After all, that’s when the monsters come out to play (or so we imagined).

Even though that sounds like a childish thing to believe, our fear of the dark is an evolutionary trait that we picked up to survive real-life predators stalking the night. Researchers have hypothesised that this innate fear stems from a point of human history when we were nowhere near the top predators we are today. Humans only really became super predators with the advent of technology, which wasn’t that long ago.

Before tech, our ancestors were constantly on the look-out for predators that wanted nothing more than to chow down on human sandwiches. To make that even scarier, most of these predators hunted at night – a time of day when we are especially vulnerable to attack because of our relatively poor eyesight.

This means that it was super important for our ancestors to stay safe in the middle of the night. If they didn’t, they’d die. Over the years, this nightly fear became instinctual, and we still experience it today as a form of mild anxiety.

According to Andrew Tarantola at Gizmodo, a 2012 study by researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada claimed that this anxiety isn’t a full-blown panic reaction. Instead, it’s kind of like a lingering, foreboding fear that keeps us on edge, which is exactly what our ancestors needed. This type of anxiety is your body’s way of keeping you on your toes in case you need to ‘fight or flight’ yourself away from danger.

Being afraid of the dark is, in essence, a fear of the unknown. We can’t see what’s out there and it freaks us out because our imagination fills in the worst possible thing. For ancient humans, it was lions and other predators, and in today’s big, predator-free cities, it’s monsters.

We create monsters because they fill that predator void. A great example of this is how horror movies work: good ones never directly show you the monster because your imagination makes something way scarier.

As early human civilisations slowly morphed into the city-loving societies we have today, our fear of the dark remained. Only it’s a bit strange now because most of us don’t need to fear the dark, especially when we have lightbulbs, phone screens, and TV sets that, for better or worse, make darkness a choice, rather than inevitability.

Though we don’t technically need this fear, it’s still there, and it’s confusing. These traits are normally passed down by distant relatives over the centuries to the point of it getting implanted in our psyches. When you consider how long humans have been around, it wasn’t until very recently that this fear became almost obsolete for those of us living in big cities.

So, if you or a child in your life is afraid of the dark, remember that at one time it was a vital survival trait that kept our collective ancestors alive. It doesn’t make you a chicken, it just makes your body more attuned for threats and, therefore, more fit to survive.

By David Estcourt and Elsie Lange

For parents Carly and Fernando Castañeda, a hard part of the pandemic has been how to explain death to their three-year-old son Charlie.

“We’ve made our kids so afraid of so many things,” said Carly. “Our kids have had to become aware of death at a young age.”

This year, with traditional trick-or-treating off the table in Melbourne due to coronavirus restrictions, Carly and Fernando have reimagined their Halloween celebration to make it COVID-safe.

Carly and Fernando Castaneda tied the knot on Halloween two years ago. Now they’re celebrating the end of lockdown and the Mexican Di­a de Muertos (Day of the Dead) with family. Credit: Jason South

Dressed as a witch and with four-month-old Maggie in tow, her baby born in lockdown, Carly and Fernando joined friends and their families at their local Airport West park to celebrate the spooky anniversary.

“Charlie even had to spend his birthday in lockdown, this is like a big make-up for lost time,” Carly said.

With one attendee dressed as a “COVID mum”, her waistband adorned with sanitizers and wipes but top half prim, tidy and ready for a Zoom meeting, it’s been the spectre of the pandemic, not ghosts, that haunts parents this Halloween.

The couple’s enthusiasm for the holiday is nothing new – their wedding, which took place exactly two years ago to the day, was Halloween-themed.

With cobwebs and pumpkins, an in-house palm reader and a black dress code for guests, the ceremony was testament to Carly’s boundless love for all things spooky.

Fernando’s family came over from Mexico with husband and wife calaveras – decorated skulls used in the Mexican Día de Muertos, or the Day of the Dead – to deck out the wedding.

“I said to my husband, ‘What day should we get married?’ and he said ‘There’s only one choice for you, if we’re going to have a party why not have a big Halloween party,’” Ms Fernando said.

Carly and Fernando Castaneda, with son Charlie, baby Magnolia and Pomeranian Frankie. Credit: Eddie Jim

In a year where Victorians are treated to daily death tallies, Carly hopes her family’s celebration of Halloween and the Día de Muertos can help to demystify death in a way that helps her kids emotionally process a traumatic six months.

“The way we celebrate the Day of the Dead is you don’t fear death – it’s almost a thing where you almost play with it and it takes away the fear … you make it fun,” said Carly.

“I love Halloween because I always feel like it’s a chance to let the kid come out in me still, it’s a chance to show off your love for things.”

After unexpectedly losing her mother during the pandemic, the role Halloween plays in her life has never felt more poignant.

Even their little pomeranian Frankie, orphaned after the death of Carly’s mum and adopted by Carly and Fernando, was wrestled into a skeleton costume for the occasion.

During a time when the scariest face might be coughing behind a facemask, witches, skeletons and ghosts might not seem so threatening.

“A couple of months ago I thought: this pandemic has broken my kid,” Carly said.

“But it’s about teaching kids to not be afraid of the dark,” Carly said, “it makes the scary things fun, and we need to make the scary things fun right now.”

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I’m NOT (very) afraid of the Dark has a narrator who is – scared of the Dark! Although he knows that the Dark is something of which he shouldn’t be afraid, he can’t quite get over his fear…until one day when he sees something that changes his mind.

At first, reasoning with himself that the Dark isn’t so bad doesn’t quite convince our narrator. Then as he tries different ways to conquer his fear (with the help of his parents – bedtime stories, night lights, camping trips) he gradually understands that Dark can be beautiful and isn’t something of which to be scared. The message echoes that of The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark.

This book deals with a genuine fear of many children. I recall myself just the same feeling described early on in the book – ‘In the day, the Dark is small […] But as the sun goes down, the Dark stretches out […] And the feeling inside me gets bigger too’. It’s irrational, and I can empathise with the main character that despite the rationalising that the ‘monsters on the wall’ are just teddy bears, the fear doesn’t always go away. I like this – it’s real. Even by the end of the book, where the boy has finally discovered something that shows him that Dark isn’t bad, he still says ‘But when I think of all those stars, sometimes the feeling melts away’ (my italics). The message is not ‘Go out camping, and everything will be alright; it’s better than that: ‘Keep trying to overcome your fears; you’ll get there one day’.

Children adore books with cutaways. This book has them in spades: the cover proudly proclaims ‘With hundreds of tiny holes’! And indeed the temptation to poke fingers or peep through the windows, eye-holes and stars will be overwhelming for many! I’d recommend this to Year 2 – 4 children especially, for this reason – they will appreciate the fun of the cutaways (itself making the book’s theme less scary) while at the same time will be careful enough to keep the paper engineering intact! The message of being brave in the dark is one that this age of child will relate to most as well, as they settle into the routine of being more independent at bedtime.

A warm, friendly, relatable narrator and detailed illustrations, which invite children to look closely, make I’m NOT (very) afraid of the Dark is a lovely book to share with any child dealing with a common fear.

This review was written by Ben Harris

How to not be afraid of the darkI’m a primary school teacher in Essex and completely love reading and books of all kinds. In my spare time, when not reading, I like to compose music. and occasionally attempt to bring some order to the tottering piles of books lurking around my house.

Young children are often scared of the dark – and the monsters they imagine hiding in their room! Supernanny expert Dr Martha Erickson explains how to handle your little one’s fears.

For many reasons, young children get frightened when they’re alone, especially at night and in the dark. They often imagine all sorts of scary creatures in the cupboard or under the bed. Very young children can’t separate reality from fantasy, and when they can’t see what’s around them, their vivid imaginations go to work.

How can we ease our pre-schooler’s fear of the dark?

We received this question from a concerned parent. “Several times lately our four-year-old has got very worked up at night, claiming that there’s a monster under his bed. He says that he’s afraid to be alone in his room. Is this cause for concern? And how can we help him get over these fears?”

Dr Erickson says…

What you describe is not at all unusual in young children, and the frightening images that surround them on TV and film may feed into these fears. Actual news stories of children being abused or kidnapped can erode the security of children of all ages. It also is common for ordinary stress and anxiety to bubble up at night – when children can’t exactly name what’s making them uneasy, it may come out as imagined creatures.

Such fears become cause for serious concern only when they go on long enough – or are intense enough – that they interfere significantly with a child’s sleep or with their ability to play and learn during the daytime hours. In that case it would be wise to check to be sure he hasn’t experienced something traumatic, and seek professional counselling if needed.

For now, here are a few tips on how to help your son master these fears so that he – and you – can rest easily:

Take your son’s fears seriously, without overreacting. It’s important not to dismiss or ridicule his fears. Hear his feelings and reflect them back to him with words: “I can see you’re really scared.”

Reassure him that you’re there to make sure he is safe. Offer comfort as needed, and demonstrate to him that there’s nothing frightening in his room. This may mean turning on the light in his closet or looking under the bed to show him that everything is fine.

Over time, help him actively master his fears by reading or making up stories about little boys and their monsters. Or you could join him in imaginative play and act out monster stories; for example, he could pretend to be the monster and you could be the child who tells the monster to either start being nice or go somewhere else. Or your son could be the parent reassuring his stuffed animal or doll that he will keep them safe.

Finally, see through your child’s eyes by remembering your own childhood. What used to frighten you? And what did you find comforting at those times? As with so many aspects of parenting, our own childhood memories often yield the best information on how to care for our children.

Your older child’s sleep problems: Once your child is back at school, a good night’s sleep will be more important than ever – so is he getting enough zzzzs?

Bedtime routine: A consistent bedtime routine should be the cornerstone of your family routine. Your child’s development will benefit from a daily 11 to 12 hours of sleep, and it’s vital for your relationship that you and your partner have time to yourselves, too…

Teaching children how to share: As our children get older, what we want is for them to play nicely with other kids. But that usually includes sharing – their toys, food, even their mums! So how can we teach them to do that? Supernanny expert Dr Martha Erickson explains.

Getting Bedtime Back on Track: Staying up late to watch TV or play in the garden, with the chance to sleep in the next morning, can mean children’s sleep cycles naturally shift away from the ideal bedtime.

By Linda Thrasybule published 11 June 12

How to not be afraid of the dark

For some people with insomnia, the real reason they can’t fall asleep may be a fear of the dark, a small new study suggests.

Researchers looked at 93 undergraduate students, who identified themselves as either good sleepers or poor sleepers. Experiments in a sleep lab suggested that 46 percent of the poor sleepers were afraid of the dark, whereas 26 percent of the good sleepers seemed to have this fear.

“People often think it’s a juvenile fear, and adults don’t usually want to admit that they’re even afraid of the dark,” said study researcher Colleen Carney, a sleep psychologist at Ryerson University in Toronto. “But some people with insomnia sleep with the light and TV on.”

The findings suggest a new way to help people with insomnia, Carney said.

“We can treat this fear,” she said. “We can get people accustomed to the dark so they won’t have that added anxiety that contributes to their insomnia.”

The study was presented today (June 11) at a conference of sleep researchers in Boston.

Who’s afraid of the dark?

About 60 million people in the U.S. experience insomnia each year, either frequently or for weeks at a time, according to the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Insomnia can last several weeks and can be a sign of other health issues, including sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, substance abuse or mental disorders.

To examine whether study participants were afraid of the dark, Carney and colleagues placed them in a laboratory “bedroom,” wearing headphones. The researchers played short bursts of white noise into the headphones and watched how often each sleeper blinked. By observing eye blinks, researchers could determine the participants’ level of anxiety.

When the bedroom was lighted, the good and poor sleepers responded the same. But with the lights off, poor sleepers were more startled by the sound, blinking more rapidly.

Moreover, the poor sleepers became increasingly afraid of the dark as the night went on, while the good sleepers became more comfortable.

“Everyone will get startled in the dark,” Carney said. “That’s common, because we’re not night creatures.” But good sleepers don’t startle as much, she said. “They get used to the sound over time and are startled less and less.”

So what do you do if you’re afraid of the dark and can’t sleep? Carney recommended getting treatment for the fear.

Fear and sleeping

Dr. Jack Edinger, a sleep specialist at National Jewish Health hospital in Denver, said he is a little skeptical about the study’s findings.

“We can’t necessarily leap to the conclusion that treatment for fear of darkness is linked with insomnia,” said Edinger, who was not involved in the research. “Poor sleepers could have something more than insomnia.”

He noted that study researchers used only a questionnaire to identify good and poor sleepers, rather than performing a clinical examination to more accurately determine whether participants had insomnia.

But he said the study raised interesting questions.

“This study opens up another avenue of scrutiny in the insomnia world,” Edinger said. “We haven’t been able to cure everyone because we don’t have a full understanding of it.”

Pass it on: Another reason why you can’t fall asleep may be a fear of the dark.

This story was provided by MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow MyHealthNewsDaily on Twitter @MyHealth_MHND. Find us on Facebook.

But part of what made Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood great and unique is that, for all its beautiful days in the neighborhood, it was also the darkest work of popular culture made for preschoolers since perhaps the Brothers Grimm. Mister Rogers was softer than anyone else in children’s TV because so many of the messages he had to impart were harder. That your parents might someday decide not to live together anymore. That dogs and guppies and people all someday will die. That sometimes you will feel ashamed and other times you will be so mad you will want to bite someone. He even calmed fears that may seem silly but to a child are real and consuming — like being afraid to take a bath because you might be sucked down the pipes. Mister Rogers gently sang, “You can never go down/Can never go down/Can never go down the drain.”

In other words, Fred Rogers knew that childhood, which we misremember as carefree and innocent, is a time of roiling passions, anguish and terror. His show, the first version of which debuted in 1963, was his professional way of doing what he had done as a boy in Latrobe, Pa., when he played with puppets to calm himself after hearing scary news reports. And perhaps one reason his death touched adults so deeply is the feeling that Mister Rogers left us when we could especially use someone to teach us to manage our children’s fears, and our own.

The last original episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired on Aug. 31, 2001 — a scant 11 days before we needed him to explain the biggest Big Inexplicable yet. He returned to tape public-service announcements on how to talk to kids about the Sept. 11 anniversary, but the anxiety has only built since then. War jitters, orange alerts and duct-tape mania have rendered literal our most childlike, monsters-under-the-bed fears: that a tall building can collapse like a house of cards, that something bad can seep in ghostlike through your window and hurt you.

To get us through it, we instead have Mr. Ridge. The Homeland Security Secretary, Tom Ridge, likewise is a soft-spoken Pennsylvanian trying to be reassuring yet realistic. He has not had an easy time of it. During last month’s orange alert, the fatalistic talk about contingency plans and three days’ supplies of water hinted at a message no one would tell Americans plainly: we believe a terrible thing is coming, and we will not be able to stop it. Ridge had a basically Rogersian task — getting Americans to accept a terrible eventuality that they could not prevent. So Homeland Security offered a slogan — Don’t Be Afraid . Be Ready — which seemed immediately preposterous to citizens who (having grown up on Mister Rogers) knew that being afraid is normal, reasonable and O.K.

It is not an entirely fair comparison. We relied on Mister Rogers to explain death and hurt and sadness, not to eradicate them. But if Ridge faces something of an inspiration gap, he might take a few lessons from Mister Rogers. For instance, that an explanation of a bad thing is only reassuring if it is straightforward and direct. Mister Rogers spoke softly, but he never soft-pedaled. And he knew how to be both compassionate and authoritative. He was “Mister” Rogers, after all, never “Fred.” He wore a tie even when he dressed down. He also respected children’s intelligence, and while he used the Land of Make-Believe to teach lessons, he never puffed up kids with false promises and fantasy. There is no more un-Disneyfied sentiment in children’s pop culture than the title of his song Wishes Don’t Make Things Come True.

PBS’ website offered tips last week for helping children cope with Fred Rogers’ death. “You may be surprised,” it said, “to find that you’re more upset than your child.” But that should surprise no one. Kids, after all, will have hundreds of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood reruns to help them through their spooky moments. But who is out there today, in any neighborhood, to reassure grownups that we can never go down the drain?

XXXTENTACION

[Ty Dolla $ign]
I’m not scared of the dark
I’m not running, running, running
No, I’m not afraid of the fall
I’m not scared, not at all
Why would a star, a star ever be afraid of the dark?
I’m not scared
I’m not scared, need to grab the stars
I’m not scared of the dark
Of the dark, mm

[Lil Wayne]
Tunechi
I ain’t never scared and I ain’t never horrified
I just look down at my Rolex, it said it’s the darkest times
I ain’t never terrified, I ain’t never petrified
You know I see dead people, I just tell ’em: Get a life
I ain’t never scurred, I’m not sure if that’s a word, but
I mean every word, feelin’ like do not disturb, wait
Let me testify, I have never testified
And I’m married to my pride, I ain’t never, never cried
I got eyes like marbles, if I cry they sparkle
You know I can read your mind like I’m the author
There’s a line for tomorrow and that line’s gettin’ shorter
I’m behind the trigger, what if I am the target?
Deep sigh, a sayōnara, I ain’t afraid to die
It’s either goodbye or good mornin’, and the skies start to fallin’
And I’ma shine in the darkness
I look back down at my Rollie, it says: Time for the chorus
You know I’m not scared

[Ty Dolla $ign & Lil Wayne]
I’m not scared of the dark
(I ain’t never scared, I ain’t never scared)
I’m not running, running, running
No, I’m not afraid of the fall
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m not scared, not at all
(I ain’t never scared, I ain’t never scared)
Why would a star, a star ever be afraid of the dark?
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m not scared
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m not scared, need to grab the stars
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m not scared of the dark
(I ain’t never scared, I ain’t never scared)
Of the dark, mm
(I ain’t never scared, I ain’t never scared)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

[XXXTENTACION]
Yeah
Okay, put my heart to the side
In my feelings, hoe, let’s ride
Big MAC to the side
If she call, I’m gon’ slide
That my baby Boy, you crazy
She might get a new Mercedes
She say she want me, oowee
Okay, lil’ shawty, let’s do this, uh-huh
And I can’t count the tears I’ve cried
Anytime, I swear, I die
I’m tryin’, but it’s still not right
The only time I want her’s tonight

[Ty Dolla $ign & Lil Wayne]
I’m not scared of the dark
(I ain’t never scared, I ain’t never scared)
I’m not running, running, running
No, I’m not afraid of the fall
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m not scared, not at all
(I ain’t never scared, I ain’t never scared)
Why would a star, a star ever be afraid of the dark?
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m not scared (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
(I ain’t never scared, I ain’t never scared)
I’m not scared (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Need to grab the stars (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m not scared of the dark (I ain’t never scared, I ain’t never scared)
(I ain’t never scared, I ain’t never scared)
Of the dark (I ain’t never scared)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

[Ty Dolla $ign]
Eu não estou com medo do escuro
Eu não estou correndo, correndo, correndo
Não, eu não tenho medo da queda
Eu não estou com medo, de jeito nenhum
Por que uma estrela, uma estrela, jamais teria medo do escuro?
Eu não estou assustado
Eu não estou com medo, desde o começo
Eu não estou com medo do escuro
Do escuro, mmm

[Lil Wayne]
Tunechi
Eu nunca me assustei e nunca fiquei horrorizado
Eu apenas olho para o meu Rolex, ele diz que é o momento mais sombrio
Eu nunca estou apavorado, eu nunca estou petrificado
Você sabe que eu vejo pessoas mortas, eu apenas digo a elas
Eu nunca fui burlado, não tenho certeza se é uma palavra, mas
Quero dizer cada palavra, sentindo como não perturbe, espere
Deixe-me testificar, eu nunca testemunhei
E eu sou casada com o meu orgulho, eu nunca, nunca chorei
Eu tenho olhos como bolas de gude, se eu chorar eles brilham
Você sabe que eu posso ler sua mente como se eu fosse o autor
Há uma linha para amanhã e essa linha está ficando mais curta
Estou atrás do gatilho, e se eu for o alvo?
Suspiro profundo, um sayōnara, eu não tenho medo de morrer
É adeus ou boa manhã, e os céus começam a cair
E eu vou brilhar na escuridão
Eu olho para o meu Rollie, diz: Hora do refrão
Você sabe que não estou com medo

[Ty Dolla $ign e Lil Wayne]
Eu não estou com medo do escuro
(Eu nunca estou com medo, eu nunca estou com medo)
Eu não estou correndo, correndo, correndo
Não, eu não tenho medo da queda
(Sim, sim, sim, sim)
Eu não estou com medo, de jeito nenhum
(Eu nunca estou com medo, eu nunca estou com medo)
Por que uma estrela, uma estrela, jamais teria medo do escuro?
(Sim, sim, sim, sim)
Eu não estou assustado
(Sim, sim, sim, sim)
Eu não estou com medo, desde o começo
(Sim, sim, sim, sim)
Eu não estou com medo do escuro
(Eu nunca estou com medo, eu nunca estou com medo)
Do escuro, mmm
(Eu nunca estou com medo, eu nunca estou com medo)
Sim, sim, sim, sim

[XXXTENTACION]
Sim
Ok, coloque meu coração para o lado
Em meus sentimentos, enxada, vamos andar
Big MAC para o lado
Se ela ligar, vou deslizar
Que meu querido Garoto, você é louco
Ela pode ter um novo Mercedes
Ela diz que me quer, oowee
Ok, gatinha, vamos fazer isso, uh-huh

Se você contar as lágrimas que chorei
Um milhão de vezes, eu juro que morri
Estou tentando, mas ainda não está certo
A única vez que eu a quero é noite

[Ty Dolla $ign e Lil Wayne]
Eu não estou com medo do escuro
(Eu nunca estou com medo, eu nunca estou com medo)
Eu não estou correndo, correndo, correndo
Não, eu não tenho medo da queda
(Sim, sim, sim, sim)
Eu não estou com medo, de jeito nenhum
(Eu nunca estou com medo, eu nunca estou com medo)
Por que uma estrela, uma estrela, jamais teria medo do escuro?
(Sim, sim, sim, sim)
Eu não estou com medo (sim, sim, sim, sim)
(Eu nunca estou com medo, eu nunca estou com medo)
Eu não estou com medo (sim, sim, sim)
Mesmo desde o começo (sim, sim, sim, sim)
Eu não estou com medo do escuro (eu nunca estou com medo, eu nunca estou com medo)
(Eu nunca estou com medo, eu nunca estou com medo)
Do escuro (eu nunca estou com medo)
Sim, sim, sim, sim

How to not be afraid of the dark

How to not be afraid of the dark

How to not be afraid of the dark

Marshall Segal

A Wife No Man Would Want

Find a Storm to Stir You

Your Home Is a Hallway Out of Hell

The Psalms Know What You Feel

The Pillar in the Pews

You Have Put More Joy in My Heart

How to not be afraid of the dark

Marshall Segal

A Wife No Man Would Want

Find a Storm to Stir You

Your Home Is a Hallway Out of Hell

The Psalms Know What You Feel

The Pillar in the Pews

You Have Put More Joy in My Heart

Staff writer, desiringGod.org

Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. (1 John 5:4)

There is plenty of darkness in the world to make any of us tremble.

Cancer ravages our families, killing half a million more every year in the United States alone. Divorce continues to rip apart families, and leave young children frantically treading water emotionally. Pressures are mounting in our society to demonize and suppress Christianity. Racial tensions and conflict seem to be surging after years of perceived progress. One hundred thousand babies are aborted every day around the world.

And underneath all the darkness we can see lies an even darker, more terrifying darkness. The apostle Paul says, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). An entire system of spiritual darkness — spearheaded by Satan himself, carried out by hordes of demons, and influencing every corner of the earth — rages right below the surface of our everyday lives.

How do we live with any hope while we drown in all of this darkness?

Darkness Is Really Dark

If we have found Jesus, we don’t have to hide from the dark anymore — no matter how dark our days become. God sent his Son Jesus “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Luke 1:79). His light doesn’t make the darkness any less dark; it just conquers every shadow with something stronger.

“His light doesn’t make the darkness any less dark; it just conquers every shadow with something stronger.”

That means we don’t need to pretend the darkness isn’t dark after all — that cancer isn’t really devastating to a family, that divorce doesn’t really shatter everyone involved, that abortion isn’t really a decades-long genocide — that whatever darkness you’re facing personally isn’t really that hard or painful or scary. But we also don’t need to face the darkness alone.

“God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). And in Christ, he has shined his light into every hidden corner of our darkness. He was not afraid of the dark, but came into our darkness. He left the safety of heaven to walk in the shadows with us — to die in these shadows, so that we might leave them behind.

And then he rose from the darkness to prove that the darkness had been stripped of its power — in the name of Jesus.

God Overcomes the Darkness

And because this Jesus, your Jesus, conquered the darkness, you too can overcome the darkness in this world. The apostle John writes, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome [the worst in the world], for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

Jesus says, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Do you believe him? Even as you watch the stream of discouraging and depressing news in our nation and from around the world? Even when you stare at the trials and suffering in your life?

Your God has overcome this world. And in his name, you have overcome this world. “Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Darkness in You

God is not afraid of the darkness in this world, and he is not afraid of the darkness in you. When he found us, we were not only trapped in darkness; we “loved the darkness rather than the light” (John 3:19). One reason the darkness around us is so terrifying is that we see so much of ourselves in it — our weaknesses, our fears, our brokenness, our sin. For many of us, no darkness is more intimidating than our own.

“Your God has overcome this world. And in his name, you have overcome this world.”

But if we have put our faith in Christ, “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts” — not just out there in the world, but in each of our hearts — “to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). In the same way, he turned on the blinding sun in a galaxy of darkness, he opened the eyes of your heart to see his glory in his Son. He banished your darkness, and made you a lover of the light.

The remaining darkness in you trembles at the sound of his name. Sing “Jesus” over all of your fears and insecurities, over all of your guilt and shame. Enjoy the freedom and forgiveness of walking with him in his victory. And then run back into the darkness to call others into the light.

Desiring God partnered with Shane & Shane’s The Worship Initiative to write short meditations for more than one hundred popular worship songs and hymns.

Fear is nothing but love upside down.

Think about it: what are you scared of? Something that you don’t like or something unknown to you, isn’t it?

For instance, if you are scared of not being able to finish your work on time, it’s because you probably do not like being scolded by your boss, or if you are scared of playing a badminton match, it’s probably because you are unsure of who is going to win.

So is there something that can convert this fear back to love? Meditation can dissolve the seeds of fear. Let’s see how.

Understanding Fear and its causes

I was going through the presentation that I was supposed to present to my colleagues that morning. I was not ready. Something inside me was shaking. My palms were sweating; my heart beat was going high as every minute passed. I could not concentrate on what I was reading. It was not a very comfortable feeling. I knew it was fear – the fear of facing so many people and making a fool of myself.

I realized that I needed to practice something which I had recently learnt. So, I sat with my eyes closed, observed my breath, and meditated for a few minutes. Meditation made me calm and I felt stronger within.

There is only one fear and the fear is of extinction and this is kept by nature. And how this can be extinguished is through the understanding, ‘I’m not the body, I’m the spirit’, number one; second, ‘only the best will happen to me’. That’s it. No third.

Because thinking of people as ‘the other’ causes fear.

Lack of trust causes fear – Distance causes uncertainty and fear, and you cannot afford to have such an atmosphere within your own home. When members of a nation or society do not trust one another there is fear.

You cannot manage anything through fear. Only a little bit of fear is essential. You should fear the law but you cannot function in society with fear all the time. Be it fear of authority, fear of the people above you, fear of losing a loved one, fear of losing a job, or fear of being persecuted.

Different types of Fear

  • Fear of failure,
  • Fear of death,
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Fear due to anxiety,
  • Exam fear,
  • Fear of driving,
  • Fear of flying,
  • Fear of heights,
  • Fear of drowning
  • Fear of rejection

How to overcome Fear – Right now”

#1:Get rid of your past baggage to get rid of Fear

Have you noticed how something that happened in the past sometimes bothers you in the present? If you are scared of dogs, it’s probably because you, or someone you know, has not had a pleasant experience in the past. To avoid going through a similar experience, you don’t go near a dog.

Isn’t it amazing to see children not afraid of anything? This is because they have no impressions. But as we grow up, we gather a stock of good and bad experiences that become impressions. Some of these impressions turn into fear or phobia, such as fear of darkness or fear of heights. Meditation removes these impressions and makes you free from within.

“I had the phobia of walking in the dark; I would feel someone would attack me from behind. Taking a friend’s advice, I started practicing meditation regularly. It’s been almost two years now that I have kept up with my practice and darkness does not scare me anymore,” shares Roopal Rana.

#2: Face the anxiety with strength to overcome Fear

Suppose you have an interview in a few days. Have you seen how you fear it even before going for it? You feel anxious and your mind gets stuck in a whirlpool of uncontrolled thoughts. “What is going to happen? What will they ask me? Am I going to clear it?” This constant bombardment of thoughts makes you fearful.

Meditation makes you calm and gives you the inner strength to face any situation. It instills in you the faith that whatever happens will happen for the best, even if that ‘whatever’ is unknown to you. So what if you don’t clear this interview? You know that a better opportunity awaits you in the near future.

Meditation helps you drop the anxiety about the unknown future and brings your mind to the present moment – the only time where action is possible (can you act in the future?) With a relaxed mind, you are able to carry out the required action by overcoming fear.

Meditation was a savior during my MBA exams. Earlier, I would always fear forgetting all that I studied. But after I learnt to meditate, my MBA exams went very smooth and the fear of failure magically vanished,” shares Sahib Singh.

One of the causes of anxiety is lack of prana (life force energy). Meditation increases the prana level in the body and the anxiety automatically drops.

#3: Drop the ‘ME’ to conquer Fear

When we go to parties or social functions, we sometimes tend to make an effort to impress others. We are often scared of how others may judge us. This is because our ‘ego’ intervenes.

On the contrary, when you are hanging out with a bunch of friends, you are very comfortable and natural. Being natural is an antidote to ego and regular practice of meditation brings you back to your nature. It makes you natural.

“I was the only vegetarian in my social circle and would worry about being socially accepted. To impress my friends, I would lie to them about eating non-vegetarian food. With regular meditation, I gained the courage to tell them the truth and today I’m proud to be a vegetarian,” shares Kaamna Arora.

6 Quick meditation tips to stay Fear-free

  1. When you are feeling scared or anxious, a few minutes of meditation comes in handy the most.
  2. Hmmm process – the instant antidote to fear.
  3. Keep reminding yourself that everything happens for the best.
  4. Keep up with your practice. Meditating daily for 20 minutes will help you get over your phobias eventually.
  5. Morning is the ideal time to meditate, though you may do it any other time of the day, on a light or empty stomach.
  6. To have a deeper meditation experience, choose a quiet corner.

The other side of fear

If you have a little fear – relax! Like salt in the food, a little bit of fear is essential for you to be righteous.

Imagine what would happen if people had no fear at all? Students had absolutely no fear of failure – would they study? If you had no fear of falling sick, would you take care of your health? So be wise and acknowledge the usefulness of having a little fear in you.

Watch video of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar speaking on facing and coming out of fear or embed the video (short version)

Inspired by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s wisdom talks

By Divya Sachdev, based on inputs by Chinky Sen, a Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Expert

2010, Fantasy/Horror, 1h 39m

What to know

critics consensus

While it’s pleasantly atmospheric and initially quite scary, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark ultimately fails to deliver the skin-crawling chills of the original. Read critic reviews

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How to not be afraid of the dark

How to not be afraid of the dark

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Carrollton Lyrics

“Not Afraid Of The Dark”

I’m not afraid of the dark, but I used to be
That little kid hiding under covers every time the lights turned out
That was then, this is now, and the monsters ain’t in the closet
The stuff that scares me most is hiding right outside my front door

‘Cause I’ve grown up and gotten stronger but my problems got bigger too
As days go by, I’m brought to realize that I’ll never stop needing You
So I bow my head and say my prayers, I’m asking You for strength
I can’t make it on my own, there ain’t no way

I used to run away from home, when life got too hard
Retreat to that tree line down the road under a night sky full of stars
Man, I’ve come so far, I don’t even live in that house anymore
But if I’m being honest, I’m still running in my heart

‘Cause I’ve grown up and gotten stronger but my problems got bigger too
As days go by, I’m brought to realize that I’ll never stop needing You
So I bow my head and say my prayers, I’m asking You for strength
I can’t make it on my own, there ain’t no way
Ooh, Father
Father

And all those nights, You held me tight
I still need to feel You near me
And all those days I ran away
You were right there waiting on me
You were right there waiting on me

‘Cause I’ve grown up and gotten stronger but my problems got bigger too
As days go by, I’m brought to realize that I’ll never stop needing You
So I bow my head and say my prayers, I’m asking You for strength
I can’t make it on my own, there ain’t no way

I’m not afraid of the dark, but I used to be

Ty Dolla $ign, Tydolla$ign, XXXTENTACION, Lil Wayne

How to not be afraid of the dark

Lil Wayne

Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. (born September 27, 1982), better known by his stage name Lil Wayne ( /ˌlɪl ˈweɪn/), is an American rapper. In 1991, at the age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo, The B.G.’z, with B.G.. In 1996, Lil Wayne joined the group Hot Boys, which also included rappers Juvenile, B.G., and Young Turk. Hot Boys debuted with Get It How U Live! that year. Lil Wayne gained most of his success with the group’s major selling album Guerrilla Warfare, released in 1999. Also in 1999, Lil Wayne released his Platinum debut album Tha Block Is Hot, selling over one million copies in the U.S. more »

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Written by: Alexander Izquierdo, Benjamin Diehl, Dwayne Carter, Jahseh Onfroy, Marco Rodriguez Diaz, Samuel Martin, Tyrone Griffin

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health. Read full profile

How to not be afraid of the dark

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Do you have a fear of being alone? Do you worry about your physical safety or do you fear loneliness? These are strong negative feelings that can impact your health. One study found that when older people are socially isolated, there is an increased risk of an earlier death, [1] by as much as 26%.

In this article, we will look into the causes of this fear and what you can do to overcome it.

Table of Contents

  1. What Causes the Fear of Being Alone?
  2. How to Overcome Your Fear of Being Alone
  3. Final Thoughts
  4. More About Embracing Loneliness

What Causes the Fear of Being Alone?

The fear of being alone can be caused by by different things.

Maybe you were or felt abandoned in life before, for example you were an abandoned child or your partner broke up with you. And so, you came to associate being alone with being unloved.

A fear of being alone can also be related to a lack of self-confidence. A person who doesn’t believe in themselves may think that they are not worthy of love and that they’re not capable to make their lives better in any way.

And for some people, they are afraid of being alone because they don’t know how to be comfortable to be alone. They always want company as they’ve never learned how to enjoy doing anything on their own.

How to Overcome Your Fear of Being Alone

If you experience loneliness and are worried about your fear of being alone, these 6 ways can help you feel better:

1. Embrace Loneliness

When you are alone, it is important to embrace it and enjoy it to the full.

Wallow in the feeling that you do not have to be accountable for anything you do. Pursue your interests and hobbies. Take up new ones. Learn new skills. Lie on the couch. Leave the kitchen in a mess. The list can go on and on, but finding the right balance is crucial.

There will be times when being on your own is perfect, but then there will be a creeping feeling that you should not be so isolated.

When you start to enjoy being alone, these 10 amazing things will happen.

Once you start feeling loneliness, then it is time to take action.

2. Facebook Is Not the Answer

Have you noticed how people seek virtual contacts instead of a live, face-to-face interaction? It is true that social networking can provide an initial contact, but the chances of that becoming a real life personal contact is pretty slim.

Being wrapped up in a cloud of sharing, liking and commenting (and insulting!) can only increase loneliness.

When you really want company, no one on Facebook will phone you to invite you out.

3. Stop Tolerating Unhappy Relationships

It is a cruel fact of life that people are so scared of loneliness that they often opt into a relationship with the wrong person.

There is enormous pressure from peers, family and society in general to get married or to be in a stable, long-term relationship. When this happens, people start making wrong decisions, such as:

  • hanging out with toxic company such as dishonest or untrustworthy people;
  • getting involved with unsuitable partners because of the fear of being alone or lonesome;
  • accepting inappropriate behavior just because of loneliness;
  • seeking a temporary remedy instead of making a long-term decision.

The main problem is that you need to pause, reflect and get advice. Recognize that your fear of being alone is taking over. A rash decision now could lead to endless unhappiness.

4. Go out and Meet People

It was the poet John Donne (1572 – 1631) who wrote:

‘No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent’.

Human contact is essential to surviving in this world. Instead of wallowing in boredom and sadness, you need to get out as much as possible and seek contacts.

Being a member of a group, however tenuous, is a great way. So when you are in the gym, at church or simply at a club meeting, exploit these contacts to enlarge your social circle.

There is no point in staying at home all the time. You will not meet any new people there!

Social contacts are rather like delicate plants. You have to look after them. That means telephoning, using Skype and being there when needed.

5. Reach out to Help Someone in Need

A burden shared is a burden halved.

Dag Hammarskjold was keenly aware of this fact when he said:

‘What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden but this: I have only my own burden to bear’.

Simply put, it is a two-way street. Helping others actually helps yourself, here’s why.

Reach out to help and people will be there when you need them.

6. Be Grateful and Count Your Blessings

Study after study shows that if people show gratitude, they will reap a bountiful harvest. These include a stronger immune system, better health, more positive energy and most important of all, feeling less lonely and isolated.

If you do not believe me, watch the video below, ‘What good is gratitude?’ Now here is the path to hope and happiness:

Final Thoughts

As scary as the fear of being alone may seem, you’re capable to overcome it.

As you try the above suggestions to fight against your fear, you’re actually working to boost your self confidence. When you have more confidence in yourself, you value yourself more and believe that you’re always worthy of love even though you’re alone.

Truth is, everyone needs time to be themselves, gather their thoughts, relish the silence and just totally chill out. These are precious moments and are very important for your own peace of mind and mental refreshment.

So, learn to embrace loneliness and just remember you’re worthy of love!