Late Summer and early Autumn can be a lovely time of year as the heat and humidity give way to crispy mornings and cooler days.
For many people though it is a time of absolute dread because it heralds the spider breeding season.
Millions of people throughout the world live in fear of these tiny, useful little creatures, who play a vital role in agriculture and horticulture, even though amongst the 40,000 identified species of spider, very very few of these could be considered in any way dangerous.
Given that spiders, in the main, don’t present an actual threat or danger, how come they have so many of us sweating;; shaking and rendered helpless, sometimes even just at the thought of them? There’s no definitive answer to that. Evolutionary psychology suggests that this is an atavistic reaction from the days when we lived in caves and needed to be aware of any venomous creatures crawling amongst us. There’s another theory that puts forward a case for the fear being cultural rather that genetic and unconsciously passed down from one generation to the next. Whatever the reason, fear of spiders, arachnophobia, is up there amongst the top ten most common phobias.
There are so many myths concerning the behaviour of spiders but for those who live in dread here are some reassuring facts:
– When we see them in our homes they are not coming in from the cold. Modern homes with central heating are not the ideal habitat for spiders, they would much prefer to be outside.
– During the mating season, when looking urgently for a mate, the spiders are bigger and more prevalent and may wander in by mistake.
– Once inside they may appear to be running towards us when in fact they are probably running away from something which appears threatening, like the noise of a T.V. or stereo.
-When you see a spider they do not have a family of 10 waiting in the wings, they will be alone.
-Spiders, like us, have the flight or fight response and if you stamp your foot in front of them they will probably freeze. When you consider the size of them and the size of us that’s hardly surprising.
– Many spiders die after just the first frost and others hibernate until the following Spring.
By far the kindest way to deal with these misunderstood little beings is to cover them with a clear plastic container; slip a sheet of paper or card underneath and take them outside. It is a myth that they will simply try and get back in.
It’s all very well to suggest that the kindest thing is for the spiders to be calmly taken outside but for an arachnophobe the suggestion probably seems ludicrous, which is where hypnotherapy comes in.
Arachnophobia is what is known as a simple or specific phobia. Anyone who has been subject to any kind of phobia will know how completely overwhelming the emotional reactions can be, the unconscious mind is amazingly powerful in convincing us that the threat is real. The great news is that with a little direction (hypnotherapy) the unconscious mind can be equally powerful in allowing us to let go of old thought patterns and learn new ways of thinking that bring about positive changes in emotion and behaviour.
So if spiders bug you at this time of the year, do get in touch with Kim or I via the contacts section on our website.
Wishing you a very happy Autumn.