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To celebrate the week before Halloween, I will be discussing some common fears that are related to the holiday. Today I discuss the fear of the dark, which is called nyctophobia.

Have you noticed that you sometimes become more than a little hesitant to enter a dark room? Are you a little worried about walking outside in the dark? I know I’m slightly afraid of the dark. I say slightly because it’s not like I won’t enter that dark room or walk outside at night, but I am a bit hesitant, especially when alone. 

Nyctophobia is a natural fear. Our imagination can produce shifting shadows that make things appear to be lurking in the darkness. Typically, you’ll fear this effect after watching a horror movie, but for some, it’s so extreme that it detrimentally affects their life. Some people are actually so afraid that they would not perform certain tasks or visit certain places because it’s dark. 

Just like in my discussion on spiders earlier this week, you need to slowly expose yourself in the situation to gain a level of tolerance. The best way to deal with your fear of the dark is to start by going to places in the evening with someone or a group of friends so that you feel comfortable in the dark first. When you’re ready to try this alone, step out in your backyard in the evening and go stargazing. That way you’re close enough to your home if you ever feel uncomfortable. Another option is to think of something else that can help ease your mind when you’re in the dark, such as humming a tune. It’s important to face your fear so that it doesn’t limit you from opportunities or worsen as your grow up. And if all else fails, with technology these days, never feel embarrassed to carry a flashlight or to use your flashlight app on your phone.

Want to read more about Halloween?

Check out the October edition of ‘Hold On‘ to read Halloween-inspired stories of hope. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, you can get access to read my digital magazine here

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