字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント Even though they’re a fraction of our size, seeing those eight-legged terrors scuttle around our homes can give us the creeps! Arachnophobia is the actual diagnosis of an “unreasonable” fear of spiders; but I don’t think it’s that unreasonable! Wouldn’t you just love to put your fear behind you? I know I would! Even for people who aren’t full-blown arachnophobes, suppressing the shudder of disgust most of us feel when we see a spider would take a long time. Right? Think again! It turns out that a study done by Israeli scientists found a way to reduce the fear of spiders by 20% – in 7 seconds! Sounds unbelievable to me. We’re all familiar with the Marvel comic book hero Spider Man, right? He “can do whatever a spider can” – he can climb walls and shoot webs out of his wrists; he can swing from those webs and trap bad guys in them. Spider Man continues to be the cornerstone of childhood for kids, and a treasured memory to be passed down for adults. So what does Peter Parker have to do with that experiment I mentioned earlier? The scientists split participants into 2 groups: a control group and an “intervention” group. The intervention group was made up of people who had a huge fear of spiders. The control group consisted of people who didn’t really feel one way or the other about spiders. Both groups did the same survey before and after watching Spider Man movie clips, which gave researchers an idea of how familiar participants were with comic book heroes, and their reactions to their phobias. The control group was only shown the first 7 seconds of the opening credits of the movie, which was full of familiar colors and images from Marvel. They also would’ve caught a glimpse of the instantly-recognizable Marvel logo at the end. The intervention group, on the other hand, watched 7 seconds of a scene from the movie. The scene showed a birds-eye view of a busy office, and then focused on a spider in its web, presumably hanging from the ceiling or in a corner. A woman’s voice is heard saying something to the effect of “I guess the research is working.” That’s it. How could this short, 7-second scene reduce the fear of spiders in the intervention group by such a significant percentage? It has to do with something called exposure therapy. Simply put, this is forcing someone to face what it is that freaks them out. For example, if you’re scared of elevators, riding in one would be a hefty dose of exposure therapy. By the way, the control group didn’t report any therapeutic effects from just watching a clip of the intro. The key to exposure therapy is baby steps, and that’s why the clip the intervention group saw was only 7 seconds long; the intervention group also wasn’t in the same room as a real spider, nor did they stand next to a real spider’s cage, or hold one. All they got was a very short visual of the arachnid in its web. Perhaps the next step in the exposure therapy in this scenario would be watching a longer clip of a spider in its natural outdoor habitat; then progressing to seeing a spider in person, and so on, until they eventually overcome their fear. The other key to the success of this experiment was associating the feared object – the spider – with something positive: the superhero. Positive associations are very powerful. This was also the first study to use comic book heroes as the positive object. Plus, watching a movie, or even movie clips, is a fun and positive activity! Not a Spider Man fan? There are other methods you can try to conquer your fear of spiders, or at least control that anxiety you probably feel when you see one. 1. Deep breathing (and the magic way to do it) Taking a few deep, full breaths always helps relieve anxiety, and slow your heartrate. If you see a spider, don’t jump into immediate action – slow down. Take some deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Want to step it up? Plug one nostril, and breathe all the way in through the other nostril. Hold it for a couple seconds, and then plug the opposite nostril. Now let all the air out in a controlled manner through the nostril that is now open and repeat, switching nostrils after each exhale. Trust me, it works every time! 2. Have an action plan. Sit down and think about what you would actually do if you saw a spider; and more importantly, how you would remove it. It may help you to write these steps down. Go over them in your mind for a day or so before you actually put them into action. For example, if you see a spider, you could slowly approach it, scoop it into a jar with a flip-flop, spatula, or other flat object, and dump it outside away from your house. What do you do when you see a spider? Do you run away, or remove it? 3. Tapping This is a method of visualization and anxiety relief where you tap certain points on your body, such as your forehead or temple, while talking about and explaining your fear out loud. You’ll follow your explanations with positive, affirming phrases that will make you feel confident and strong, such as, “I am strong enough to face that spider.” The points on your body that are tapped are changed through the exercise. Many videos using this relaxation method can be found online. It’s pretty new-age, but it works! 4. Torch your house. That’s what I would do if I saw a spider! Well, not really, that’s call arson, but the thought of such an extreme action is funny! My point is, try to find some humor in your fear of spiders. Make up a funny scenario in your head. Ask yourself silly questions: Does the spider go home to his wife and kids and say, “Well, it’s been another successful day of scaring the humans!” That’s a corny example, and I like those, but you get the idea. If you can laugh about it, you might find that your fear is lessened, or at least that you don’t feel so anxious. 5. Spider-proof your home. If you just can’t take the thought of being in a close enough proximity with a spider to remove it yourself, take measures to keep spiders out of your house in the first place. There are plenty of “spider sprays” on the market, and there are also natural, chemical free ways to keep spiders at bay. Eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree oil are all essential oils that repel spiders. Put a few drops in the corners of your house. You can also put clumps of the lavender plant or cinnamon sticks in your corners, countertops, or wherever you’ve spotted a spider. They hate the smell! 6. Vinegar Spray If you know that you have spiders already in your house, make yourself a natural, spider-repelling spray! Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with two cups of lukewarm water in a spray bottle. Shake it up and spray it in areas where you’ve seen spiders, and also at entry points, like around your doors and windows. The spiders certainly won’t return! Plus, your house will smell clean and fresh! 7. Pest Control If you truly have a spider problem in your house, you might feel overwhelmed – and unable to sleep, for that matter! Give your local Pest Control a call. But keep in mind that these guys can be expensive, so try saving this for a last resort. Pest Control might not help you conquer your fear of spiders, but they can always be a secret weapon in your back pocket. Bottom Line: Mark Twain said: Do the thing you fear the most, and the death of fear is certain. Hey, if you learned something new today, give this video a like and share it with a friend! Here are some more videos I think you’ll enjoy; just click to the left or right. Stay on the Bright Side of life!