Fear of spiders is normal – some of them are dangerous, so it’s part of our survival instinct. We tend to generalise things (otherwise you’d have to work out what a car was every time you encountered a different make or model or colour) so, even in countries where spiders are just regular creepy crawly things, the fear is common.
But how do you stop being scared of spiders?
If there’s a specific instance that you can remember where you started to be afraid of spiders, there’s a technique you can use called the NLP rewind technique.
- Imagine yourself sitting comfortably in a cinema
- On the screen is an image of you surviving the encounter with the spider
- The projectionist now plays a short film where the clip goes backwards in time from the place where you survived, back to the point before your fear developed. They’ve played around with the special effects and this reverse-action movie is in black and white
- Once the clip has played through, the projectionist plays with a couple of controls and begins the playback again. But this time it’s at double speed (any voices are also double speed and, of course, backwards) and there’s some circus music playing as well
- The projectionist does this a few more times, maybe speeding up the playback a bit more, until you’re feeling a lot more comfortable about your fear. Then they invite you to the projection room and hand you the digital file containing the film.
- They show you an incinerator and suggest that you put the file into it and watch it get destroyed
That’s it in a nutshell and this link guides you through the complete process so you can concentrate on it without having to remember what to do next.
If you can’t remember exactly where your arachnophobia started, you can still go through that process but you have to imagine the start and end events – some people find that easy to do, others don’t.
Another option is to imagine the spider doing daft things.
Let your imagination go wild – when I did this process on a friend, the spider was wearing neon striped wellington boots and trying to tap dance whilst a local hooligan was spray painting graffiti on it.
If you can get that kind of imagary in your mind every time you meet a spider, you’re well on your way to reducing or eliminating the fear.
Another option that I really like is hypnosis.
This works well – I remember a documentary where Paul McKenna took someone who couldn’t even read the word “spider” without getting tremors through the whole process – from being able to read the word, to seeing pictures of them in a book right the way through to having a spider (a tarantula from memory) calmy walk over their hands.
It’s unlikely that you could afford an appointment with him – even if you could get an appointment – but the next best thing is to play yourself a hypnosis audio that will do the same kind of process.
OK, it can’t conjure up a tarantula for you to test whether it’s worked, but I’m guessing you’re probably quite happy that it won’t.
Instead, a master hypnotist will guide you through the whole process of getting over your fear of spiders.
It’s easy and the session lasts just over 20 minutes so, although it’s about double the time of the NLP process I outlined earlier, it’s still pretty quick.
And it works.
So if you’d like to stop being scared of spiders, download the hypnosis audio and listen to it.