In my previous post, some beautiful people had commented about their struggles due to fear of ghosts. So, I jotted down this quick post, hoping that my experience may help someone.
What Is Phasmophobia?
It’s common for most people to experience an adrenaline rush while listening to stories about ghosts or paranormal activities. Controlling their fears and enjoying the anxiety generated by such thoughts seems easy for most. However, those struggling with phasmophobia or intense fear of ghosts find their lives crippled by such thoughts and ideas.
Psychologists suggest that a range of the below symptoms can indicate phasmophobia. Those include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fear of being alone
- Intense fear of ghosts
- Panic attacks
- Feeling a presence of ghosts
Some people also experience:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
Sadly, many people with phasmophobia feel embarrassed to talk about it. So, they also evade the necessary treatment required to conquer it. If you’re struggling hopelessly, then mental health practitioners suggest these treatments options:
- Exposure therapy: This is the preferred treatment for phasmophobia and many other phobias. In this therapy, mental health providers use a technique called habituation. They gradually introduce objects or situations that trigger anxiety in you. Then, they help you deal with it.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): In CBT, psychologists strive to change your thought patterns. They will speak to you and address your concerns about ghosts and other supernatural elements.
- Medication: This is rare for phasmophobia. However, a few people are also prescribed anti-anxiety meditations as per need.
My Thoughts and Solutions
Disclaimer: Before reading the below, please know that I’m not a certified medical or mental health practitioner. So, anything I write here is not a professional treatment for any phobia. The ideas I share here are those that helped me overcome the fear of ghosts.
If we can understand how our minds work, most things become manageable with life. In many ways, our minds behave like tiny elementary school children. So, at times, all we have to do is, teach it to think a certain way. Or sometimes, we have to redirect our focus towards something else.
Whenever I experienced fear of ghosts, I tried all of the below methods, and one of these always worked:
- Facing your fear: We often try to run away from our fear. Instead, acknowledge the fact that you’re feeling scared. Tell yourself – I am feeling afraid of ghosts now. I’m aware of it, and it will be okay. There are no ghosts, and it’s just my mind playing games. I have the power to deal with it.
- Body Scan Meditation: Bringing awareness to your body can help you control your symptoms. Therefore, you can do a quick body scan meditation. If you’re scared to close your eyes, do it with your eyes open and look at each part of your body. I’m not sure, but I think the Black Lotus App has one of these too.
- Turning on some music: The easiest method to distract or soothe our minds is to listen to music. Music has the power to change our mood rapidly. I turn on some upbeat or happy music when any fear or worry bothers me. Sometimes, I have soft devotional music running when I sleep. These days, I use a sleep headset for this purpose.
- Resorting to humor: Read a funny book, check out a jokes website, or watch something funny. Humor can reduce tension almost instantaneously. That’s one of the reasons I added a touch of humor in my earlier post about ghosts and convicts.
- Reasoning: When my fear became uncontrollable, reasoning with my mind helped me a lot. I would speak aloud a few questions and self-affirmations. A few of those were:
- Swami said there’s no ghost. Therefore, there are no ghosts.
- In the past, I’ve feared ghosts many times. Why didn’t it attack or hurt me to date? Given that, what’s the probability that a spirit even exists here?
- How can a ghost operate without a body? If anything can work without a body, why do Divine souls like Swami even need to take a human form?
- If a ghost can possess someone’s body, why didn’t it re-enter its own body (as soon as it died)?
- If ghosts are so powerful, wouldn’t being a ghost be better than being a human? In that case, the spirit is a kind being trying to help me by killing me, which makes no sense! (This notion somehow made me smile and relieved some tension.)
- Visualizing the Divine: Looking at my idol of Devi or a picture of Swami, I used to talk aloud to the Divine. After a few minutes, I would close my eyes and visualize Devi or Swami sitting next to me and holding my hands in support. I reiterated this process many times until my mind felt relaxed.
- Chanting: The age-old technique of chanting works magic. Repeat some mantra continually in your head. If your mind wanders thinking about ghosts, bring it back slowly and continue chanting again. I chant Om Namah Shivaya whenever I feel the need for Divine support. Hanuman is the sought-after deity for fears, so many prefer Hanuman Chalisa. Please feel free to pick whatever works for you.
Even after trying all of the above, if you still find it difficult to tame your fear, I strongly urge you to visit a therapist. In my view, it’s absolutely fine to seek professional help than to suffer silently. My sincere prayers for Divine Grace to lead you out of your fears.
Om Sri Matre Namaha.