Enjoy the great outdoors this summer

people enjoying being outdoors and picnickingDid you know that July is National Picnic month? Because of coronavirus, many of us are having more picnics and outdoor gatherings than we usually would even when the weather isn’t so fabulous. While these gatherings and social opportunities are a great way for us to stay connected with our friends and family while respecting social distancing, for some, these invitations are anxiety provoking because they potentially mean encounters with inspects and other animals that they are phobic of.

Phobias are very common, roughly 1 in 10 people (over a million in the UK) have a phobia of something at some point in their life, and animal phobias (especially insects) top the list of things that people are terrified of.  Defined as ‘an irrational fear which causes significant psychological distress’, a phobia can be as disabling as any other anxiety disorder, stopping people from seeing their friends or leaving the house because of a fear of a small insect that most people barely even notice.

Phobias can also spread over time and become more generalised.  Perhaps you started out being frightened of wasps after being stung and over time this has generalised to a phobic reaction to all flying insects.  The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) believes that phobias are learned behaviours that arise after certain experiences or that we learn them from each other. You can even pass your phobias on to your children. Even though the anxiety and avoidance is intended to protect us, the strength of the response caused by a phobic reaction can actually cause us more harm.

You don’t need to live with a phobia or disabling fear of anything, including insects. There are many different, effective techniques that can be used for phobia removal and hypnotherapists may combine different techniques or use hypnosis in conjunction with other treatments depending on the needs of their client. Sometimes phobias can vanish in just one session with hypnotherapy, says the NCH.

If you have a phobia or a fear which is stopping you getting outdoors and socialising with your friends and family, why not try a session with an NCH hypnotherapist? You can use the NCH directory by clicking here to find a therapist who specialises in phobias and anxiety.