Spider, snake, darkness, black cat, Friday 13, height, flying, storms with lightning, narrow, closed spaces, needle, birds… Inconveniences, anxieties, fears piling up to phobias. Which are your biggest fears? Why do we have them? Are they biologically determined or the products of the social life and the environment we are surrounded by? Are they the healthy parts of our life or when are they inhibitors already? What are the solutions to combat the biggest fears? If it is possible, anyway… Where should we look for relief? At the psychologist? Or in an escape room
Fears or phobias?
Our world is not without dangerous things, phenomena. However, most of them are made dangerous by ourselves. Facing a shark in the ocean is life-threatening, without a doubt. Nevertheless, a needle or a little kitten will be dangerous only if we treat them improperly.
Fears are strong emotions affecting our body, soul, and mind. They are responses to something threatening.
There are real, usually moderate fears, like exam-frights, fear of getting ill during a pandemic; fear from the storm when you are in the forest alone while raining; or fear from the mummy-daddy if you haven’t arrived home in time. These are healthy parts of our life. Moreover, they are our useful supporters marking hazardous things around us.
Phobias are already mental illnesses; irrational fears usually from some kind of animals (spiders, snakes, horses, dogs...), natural phenomena, natural environment (lightning, water, woods...), medical treatment (dentist, blood test…), situations (being in a narrow space, being in a crowd, flying...). Some of them could be real fears, it is true. However, the difference between casual, even the biggest fears and phobias is that the last-mentioned generally causes extreme physical and mental conditions, like rapid heartbeats, tremors, nausea, or temporary paralyzation. According to scientists, phobias are brought about by both genetic and environmental indicators.
In extreme cases, medical investments might be needed, however, if the fears are still not phobias, alternative methods could be helpful as well.
Nowadays, we can find a wide range of overcoming techniques against our biggest fears. Some of them are traditional, like relaxation, yoga, talking therapy... Others are innovative, e.g.: special diets, supporting groups, or escape games. Escape games? Yes, you have read it right!
Escape room: the newest location of healing.
Visiting an escape room is already out of your comfort zone. It is not a wellness program with a jacuzzi and soft music, but a place where your cognitive skills are strongly challenged, and you might meet with some thrilling elements.
Escape rooms generally have a mysterious atmosphere. So just approaching the entrance and close the door behind you might be threatening. However, you are aware of the fact that “It’s just a game!”, the scene and the background story are so realistic that after 5 minutes there, you could be totally immersed in the game.
While playing escape games, you will face complications, time limits, and stress, induced by them. In this kind of risky situation, our fears generally get more powerful. Our biggest fears might not be there directly, our mind brings them up to the surface and create the real. For example, you might have agoraphobia (fears from spiders). The escape room is totally free from them and even the scene is about the cold war, you might have imaginations that there, behind the cabinet, some of them are waiting for you. These fears could make you deconcentrated, weak both mentally and physically, and hinder, actually in the escape game, and generally in your life.
How does this fear-fighter work?
Escape rooms are simulators of risky situations. The perfect places to practice how to behave and cope with challenges under stress. Our biggest fears are even stronger during these cases. Therefore, by playing escape games we can meet not only the above-mentioned problems but also our biggest fears. As the simulators generally, in escape rooms, it is easy to believe that you are in danger, at the same time, you cannot be hurt.
Mentally, it is tiring, exhausting to meet with so many stressing elements. Nevertheless, after the exit, you will be reborn; already at least you lose one of your big fears.
Fearful things are very often harmless, but our mind’s self-defensive mechanisms make them dangerous to avoid any irresponsibilities. The biggest fears are our safe-guard, at the same time, they could be our biggest inhibitors. Face them in risk-simulators like escape rooms and make it clear: Are these fears real or just the products of the mind?