Marie Curie once said that to fear less, we must understand more. But what happens when your brain can no longer process your fears? Does this mean you have to give in to them? Does this mean they’re valid? Before answering these questions, it’s best to learn how the human brain reacts to fright and terror.
Fear is the body’s response to external stimuli. This fight-or-flight reaction starts in the limbic system and often involves the hypothalamus activating the pituitary gland. The nervous system then interacts with the endocrine system, sending signals and firing hormones.
Consequently, the body secretes epinephrine, the heart pumps blood faster, the pupils dilate, and the digestive system is inhibited. These internal activities signal that the body is ready to enter fight or flight mode.
The prefrontal cortex and hippocampus assess these fears before toning down the body’s excessive response. However, fear can still overpower the human brain, causing anxiety and phobias.
Effects of Phobias on People
People with phobias often avoid the cause of their distress since they suffer extreme anxiety when they come across it. If that phobia gets severe, to the point that it interferes with everyday life, it’s best to get treated. Professional care often yields favorable results.
These phobias vary in causes and magnitude. While some are common, others are rare. A few rare phobias include fear of yellow, fear of mirrors, and fear of breathing. It’s normal for people who have these phobias to experience extreme anxiety.
Different Kinds of Bizarre Phobias
If you think you’ve heard of all types of phobias, think again. Here are some of the rarest and weirdest fears you’ve probably never encountered.
They are also known as the fear of peanut butter sticking to your hard palate. This scenario may have happened to almost everyone, but people with arachibutyrophobia are terrified. Though the intensity of fear varies per person, most of them avoid peanut butter altogether.
Specifically, a person with this phobia experiences deep anxiety when their phone is out of service, running low on battery, or not in their possession. This fear often stems from cell phone addiction. The person may have been obsessively checking their phone, worrying they might lose contact with their loved ones.
Many people dread attending their math classes, but those with arithmophobia are completely petrified. These people experience profound anxiety and distress when doing anything numbers or math-related. This scenario even includes seeing number symbols.
You may be one of the people who wishes they had more money. However, some need help with their fear of having lots of money. People with this phobia may also fear becoming wealthy or meeting affluent people. Generally, they dread anything related to money or working with money.
If you have this phobia, you’re usually afraid of anything yellow. It could be flowers, school buses, or taxi cabs. Xantophobic individuals often avoid yellow at all costs as they find the color distressing. This phobia may interfere with your everyday life since it’s hard to steer clear of the said color.
This phobia is the fear of cleaning, washing, or bathing oneself. This fear occurs in kids and typically resolves with age. However, adults may still be suffering from it. People with this condition avoid showering and bathing, often leading to unpleasant smells and social isolation.
This fear is associated with the number eight. People suffering from this condition fear the number eight, as it looks written down. This fear stems from the number’s similarity to the infinity sign, a trivial event related to the number eight, or an accident on the eighth of the month.
Optophobia refers to an intense fear of opening one’s eyes, which can significantly impair an individual’s ability to perform daily tasks. Those with optophobia often gravitate towards indoor or dimly lit environments to avoid triggering anxiety.
Globophobia is an irrational dread of balloons. For some, the anxiety is so overwhelming that even a mere glimpse of a balloon on television can trigger distress.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, ironically the longest word in the dictionary, refers to the fear of long words. This phobia is also known by the shorter term “sesquipedalophobia.”
Essential Oils That Can Help Overcome These Phobias
You know the different examples of rare and bizarre phobias and how the brain processes them. Now, it’s time to discuss essential oils to help you overcome them.
The amygdala, where the body’s fight or flight response starts, is closely linked to one’s sense of smell. That explains why, when you smell something, the olfactory neurons in your epithelium send signals to your limbic system. These signals travel through your olfactory nerves to the amygdala.
Smelling essential oils can trigger positive feelings like self-confidence, euphoria, peace, safety, and calmness. These oils promote deep breathing, which can induce the body to fall into a relaxed state. Here are some oils you can use when anxious or distressed.
This essential oil has affinities with the root chakra, effectively providing a sense of belongingness and safety. It can help you focus while getting things back into perspective. If your fears are taking you away from reality, smelling Vetiver can significantly help.
Sandalwood is best known for immediately and effectively calming the central nervous system, which is why it’s good for fighting anxiety and phobias. It can enhance the vetiver’s grounding benefits and smoky and woody aroma. By itself, sandalwood aids in introspection and is used in making meditation blends.
This essential oil has a euphoric effect, making it beneficial in anxiety and fear-inducing situations. It helps restore one’s peace. It has muscle relaxant and antispasmodic properties, which explains why it’s the oil of choice if you want to let go, unwind, and drown yourself in positive thoughts.
Juniper embodies the concepts of motion and purification. This remarkable oil can eliminate energy blockages, dispel fear, and thaw frozen emotions. Its stimulating properties offer a delightful, fresh, and pine-scented touch, effectively counterbalancing other oils’ weightiness.
This oil is excellent for dealing with intense fear, like panic attacks. It’s potent and calming, directly affecting the nervous system to bring comfort and a sense of calmness.
You can mix 15 drops of Sandalwood, 15 drops of Juniper berry, 12 drops of clary sage, and four drops each of Roman chamomile and vetiver. The best way to use them is through a personal inhaler you can carry around.
Let the inhaler’s cotton stick soak in 25 to 30 drops of the mixture before you insert it into the inhaler tube. You can also diffuse the mixed oils, especially when anxious before sleeping.
Know What Triggers Your Phobias and Overcome Them
Some people may judge your fears as irrational, but don’t let that dishearten you. Know that your fears are valid, and you can get help through essential oils and psychotherapy.
The first thing you should do is acknowledge them and accept that your anxiety needs to be addressed. After that, seek professional help. You can overcome them with the right resources, patience, and time.