Boom, whizz, fizz and bang! It’s that time of year again, when rockets light up the sky above Britain, and every dog lover in Britain curses, whilst children of all ages go ‘ooh’ in with enjoyment.
Yes, I am talking BONFIRE NIGHT… remember remember, the 5th of November.
But for some of us, Guy Fawkes has a LOT to answer for because when it comes to things that go BOOM and BANG it can send a lot of us into panic mode.
It’s not just animals who are scared of the noise of fireworks. It can affect people (adults and children alike) too.
Hi, I’m Christopher Paul Jones, the Phobia expert, and I know that today, Bonfire Night, will fill you with a sense of terror.
Therefore, I wanted to give you my top tips on how to handle your fear of Fireworks (and loud noises in general).
First, let’s address how and why loud noises can lead to fear for some of us.
I’d actually go as far as to say that most of us have a fear of loud noises actually. Think about it… a loyd noise often signals DANGER. However, for most of us, we can soon figure out what loud noise equals danger, and which loud noise doesn’t, and often equals pleasure. There is a huge difference between the noise of gun fire, and the noise of drums at a rock concert for example.
So why is it then, that some of us are fine with loud noises, and some of us sense danger?
Well, it depends on the life experiences that you have had. Last week I talked about Little Albert, and how they used a loud bang to create a sense of fear in him when he saw a rat. If you have had something happen, when you were little (or an adult) that has led your subconscious mind to go ‘oh okay, that noise is linked to this awful experience’ then it’s no wonder that you go into panuc mode next time you hear something similar.
So, this leads me onto my first tip when it comes to handling your fear of loud noises, which is ‘ask yourself, where does this fear come from?’.
Step 1: Where does this fear come from?
Okay so dig deep in your memory, and ask yourself, where does this fear come from? It could be the popping of a balloon or a champagne cortk, or it could be linked directly to fireworks, but think back over your life, and see if you can come up with an experience where a loud noise scared you.
If you can pinpoint the experience then un-doing your fear will be much easier for you. However, if you cannot come up with your lightbulb moment, all is not lost, so don’t panic. Just think of an experience that you have had, where a loud noise scared you and let’s work with that.
Now, because this article is about Bonfire night I will talk about remembering an experience to do with the sound of fireworks, but you can take my tips and personalise it to include your sound trigger.
Step 2: Put yourself bang in the centre.
Okay so I couldn’t resist using the word bang there, sorry.
I want you to close your eyes and put yourself bang in the centre of your chosen memory now. Imagine the sights around you. Okay, so if you are watching the fireworks what do you see to the left of you? Maybe it’s a crowd of people, or a candy floss truck. And now take a look to your right……
Then, remember the smells, the sounds, take in everything that is going on around you, and imagine that they have just let the first firework off. How are you feeling?
Rate your fear on a scale of 1-10 for me. Now take that number and move into step 3 with me.
Step 3: let’s turn the volume down.
Okay so now we are going to use a really effective take away therapy tool, where you can tuen the volume down on your fear. Put yourself back into the memory where you just were, and imagine that something lands in front of you.
This something, is a really large dial. And on this dial you can turn down the volume. You can turn down the volume of the fireworks, but you can also turn down the volume of your fear.
Sounds good doesnt it? Right, do let’s do it.
Take the number where you fear was at originally and then ask yourself where you would prefer it to be. So, for example, if your fear was a level 10, maybe now you’d like it to be a 0. You don’t have to take it all the way down to zero, a 2 or a 3 is healthy, as some response to loud noises is necessary.
Then place your hands on that dial, and as the fireworks are shooting off into the sky above you, turn the sound down on that dial, as quickly or as slowly as you want to.
Feels good now doesn’t it? What can you hear around you? Can you hear a faint sound of fireworks, or can you hear silence?
Notice the difference in your state, both emotionally and physically. Hopefully you will be feeling much, much calmer.
And know, that you can carry out this technique tonight, regardless of where you are, it doesn’t take long to do, but it puts you back in the driving seat of your panic levels and means that although you cannot control what is going on around you, you can control what is going on within yourself.
I know that this might be something that has really been an issue for you. Although being able to calm yourself down quickly can help with your panic this evening, if you would like to work on your fear or phobia on a deeper, more permanant level then book a free clarity call with me today and let’s talk about how I can help you.
Whatever you’re up to this Bonfire Night, have a good one and keep safe,
Until the next time,