Common Nature-Related Phobias

forest bathing, woman hipster contemplating nature in dark green forest

Forest bathing is prescribed by Japanese doctors for good health. How can you get over nature phobias if you’ve been without your “true nature” for so long in the city?

Nature is one of humanity’s most valuable assets. It provides us with everything our minds and bodies need to thrive, from sunlight and fresh air to food and water. Without nature and its many resources, life would ultimately cease to exist. That’s why people go to great lengths to educate, protect, and preserve the environment. Although nature is beautiful and beneficial, many people suffer from nature-related phobias. Continue reading to learn more. 

Fears Vs. Phobias

Before we get into the list of nature phobias, let’s break down the differences between fear and phobia. Fears are the body’s natural response to people, places, things, or experiences that cause you to feel in danger. On the other hand, phobias are classified as anxiety disorders. Phobias are exacerbated fears that are felt even when you’re not in trouble. Ultimately, your anxiety levels don’t match your level of fear but produce a series of debilitating physical and emotional responses.

Aquaphobia

Water is essential to the environment and our well-being as the earth comprises 71% water, and the body is 60% water. H20 is also necessary for cleaning and cooking, and other everyday tasks. Be that as it may, some people have aquaphobia, a fear of water. Their fears and anxieties are so extensive that they don’t want to be exposed to water from any source (i.e., swimming pools, oceans, rivers, lakes, bathtubs, and even a cup of water). There are different types of aquaphobia, including thalassophobia, the fear of the deep ocean, and other large bodies of water. 

Nyctophobia

Darkness is a natural occurrence when the sun sets, or the lights are turned off. Scientists and medical experts have reported that night or darkness benefits our health and wellness. When it’s dark, your body produces melatonin, a hormone that helps fight off diseases and regulate mood and sleep cycles. 

Unfortunately, some people are so afraid of the dark that they will only remain in well-lit spaces. This condition is known as nyctophobia. As you might imagine, it reduces your body’s ability to produce melatonin, which can adversely affect your immune system, mood, and sleep cycle. 

Entomophobia

You can’t discuss nature without bringing up insects. Ants, spiders, flies, mosquitoes, and other bugs reside in nature and are an essential part of the ecosystem. Insects play many roles: cycling nutrients, pollinating plants, maintaining and fertilizing the soil, spreading seeds, controlling insect populations, and feeding animals. 

While no one is a fan of insects, their significance to human life is undeniable. Those that have an intense fear of insects have entomophobia. Their fears and anxieties are so extreme that they avoid being in nature. In severe cases, entomophobia causes some people to avoid leaving their homes. 

They’re afraid of being bit, stung, or getting a disease from insects and believe the only way to remain safe is to steer clear of places where insects are commonly found. More than excessive thoughts, people with entomophobia can also experience physical symptoms like constant itching or feeling crawling sensations (even when there is nothing there).

Overcoming Nature Phobias

When you have a nature phobia, enjoying life becomes impossible. You isolate yourself, avoid outdoor activities, and ultimately deprive your body of essential components like vitamin D and fresh air. Be that as it may, overcoming a phobia isn’t easy. It often requires psychotherapy to identify the cause and triggers of your fears. From there, a mental health expert can use cognitive therapy strategies to help you reduce your anxieties and irrational thoughts. Finally, exposure therapy can assist those with nature phobias in getting past their greatest fears. 

As valuable as nature is to our physical and mental well-being, some people have such great fears that they miss out. It can lead to personal and professional issues, ruined relationships, low confidence, poor self-esteem, and more. Phobias can also result in other mental illnesses, including general anxiety disorder and depression. Whether you fear water, darkness, or insects, the best thing you can do to recover is to get help from a mental health professional to alleviate your fears and reclaim your life. 

 

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