photo credit: Coming for me next? Pierre J, CC
I have personal interest in arachnophobia – the fear of
spiders – because I am a spider expert,
but also because my daughter has it.
She is not alone. According to the American Psychiatric Association, phobias
affect more than one in ten people in the US, and of those individuals,
40% of phobias are related to bugs (including spiders), mice, snake and bats.
There are clearly a lot of arachnophobes. But do they
know why they fear spiders?
Can they do something to control those fears? Chris
Once bitten twice shy?
Psychologists believe that one reason why people fear
is because of some direct experience with the arachnids instilled that
fear in them.
This is known as the “conditioning” view of arachnophobia.
In 1991, Graham Davey at City University London ran a study to understand more about this
He interviewed 118 undergraduate students about their fears of spiders.
About 75% of the people sampled were either mildly or severely afraid of
spiders. Of those most were female. (This gender bias in arachnophobia has been
supported subsequent research.)
There was also an effect from family. Those people
fearful of spiders reported having
a family member with similar fears, but the
study was unable to separate genetic factors
from environmental ones.
What is surprising
is that Davey found that archanophobia wasn’t the result of specific “spider
trauma”, which means there was no support for the conditioning view.
So what makes spiders so terrifying? Surely it must be
the threat of being bitten?
Davey looked at that issue too. It turns out that
it is not so much a fear of being bitten,
but rather the seemingly erratic
movements of spiders, and their “legginess”.
Davey said: Animal fears may represent a functionally distinct set of
which have been selected for during the evolutionary history
of the human species.
Graham Davey/Anxiety Research
A criticism of Davey’s work is that
perhaps “conditioning” cannot be so easily dismissed,
because the spider-trauma
event may have occurred during childhood, and a specific spider event may be
buried deep within memories.
In 1997, Peter Muris and his colleagues at the
University of Maastricht tried to looked into this.
Not surprisingly, if you give kids
a list of things that might be scary for them, the vast majority check off
things like not breathing, getting hit by a car, bombs, fire or burglars as
quite important. Interestingly, if you give them a free option to tell
researchers what sorts of things they fear the most, both boys and girls report
“spiders” as their top fear (the second fear is being kidnapped,
predators and fourth is the dark).
This is surprising. Of all the
things kids might report, they list spiders as the number one fear.
contrast to Davey’s work, Muris finds that the kids that were most fearful of
spiders could relate that fear to specific events. Perhaps conditioning is the
pathway to arachnophobia.
Muris et al/Behaviour Research and Therapy
Genes or environment?
But before we can be sure that
conditioning is the main reason, we need to ensure that genetic factors are not
involved too. In 2003, John Hettema at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric
and Behavioural Genetics and his colleagues conducted twin studies to tease
apart genetic factors.
Identical twins have identical DNA
but tend to live in different environments in adult life, which allows
researchers to find out how genes affect behaviour. When Hettema recorded the
responses of twins to “fear-relevant” images (spiders, snakes) compared to
“fear-irrelevant” images (circles, triangles). Statistical analysis of the
results revealed that genetic influences were “substantial”, which means that
arachnophobia is inheritable. You need not necessarily experience spiders to be
fearful of them.
Peacock spider Jurgen Otto, CC BY-NC-ND
So, to my dissatisfaction, arachnophobia is here to stay.
But there may be a simple technique
to reduce the fear these bugs cause. In
2013, Paul Siegel at the State University of New York
and his colleague published
a study that helped volunteers lessen their arachnophobia.
They first split the volunteers into phobic and
non-phobic groups, based on simple spider-fear tests. After a week of doing
these tests, both the groups were then given exposed to images of flowers
spiders, but the exposure was for such a very short time.
The idea was that people can’t recognise the images
consciously, but it has an effect
on their subconscious. When the spider-fear
tests were carried out on both these groups again, those who feared spiders had
become less afraid.
While other general conclusions are hard to draw from the
literature on arachnophobia, arachnologists like me should rejoice at the
results of Hettema’s study.
If nothing else, at least sharing images of spiders
may help reduce arahnophobia.
Chris Buddle does not work for, consult to, own shares
in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from
this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
It is really good to have 2-5 minutes a number of times a
day for R&R,
and I don’t mean a cup of tea or a magazine, those these are
to be valued.
Pray, Meditate, Self-hypnosis, Exercise – all the care-for-you
you don’t care enough to do for yourself.
Close the curtains and Dance, Karaoke, Act out a Fantasy.
Have a lot of silly, fun, vibrant 5 minutes joy ideas in a
and pick one out and enjoy.
Other examples are:
If you close your eyes and look up into your head and part
your teeth a little
and let your tongue float freely to the top of your mouth.
Then your body thinks, ‘oh, I’m supposed to be asleep’,
maintain this and in no time at all you probably will be
It’s impossible to be depressed and whistle – or so they
So, it you feel silly walking along whistling, just whistle
in your mind
and if you are like me you’ll end up laughing in your mind.
Depressed people tend to look down at all the yuk on the
try looking up, keep checking the tree tops, the ridge tiles
on the roof
and you’ll find some amazing chimney pots and garret
imagine a story where you
bring light to someone’s life –
maybe a child who looks just like you.
Physically, as you look at the skyline you allow a little
sunlight into your body.
The sunlight on a grey day is really quite valuable.
Imagine that you are singing in the rain; find someone passing
or in your imagination to send that fun to someone and let it
ricochet back to you.
How many fun things are you going to allow yourself to have
Divide the inside of a cupboard door into seven columns or
clouds and name one for each day.
Each time you have an enjoyable experience then add a
And if one day is falling behind, then next week you can plan on having a
Remember you can choose to be miserable for 24 hours,
can let a ray of sunshine break through, just a little tiny one, find a
real happy memory
that does not bring on a wave of misery and draw a smiley
face and then a little distance away
draw sad face that represents now, and with
coloured pens all held together in your fist or with colour in your imagination,
keep linking the two together with a rainbow until the sad face is all covered
People seem to find it easy to love everyone and their
but when it comes to themselves they seem a little short of the milk of
For a time period, and it may become a pleasant habit, give
yourself a gift.
A gift of noticing the sunshine, a cloud formation, a flower
in someone’s garden;
now, either move your hand to your heart and incorporate
the gift into yourself
or imagine this happening and smile inside yourself and say
Now that you can allow nice things for yourself, I wonder of
you can imagine that
during a trip you are going to give yourself such 10 gifts, and
Appreciating how lovely if feels to receive a spontaneous
gift, why not give to others;
some understand this as ‘shooting prayers’ or
love or happiness.
As you walk pass someone think, ‘enjoy your shopping, your
‘experience a little less pain’. One lady sent love to a
harassed bar maid,
who turned to the giver and beamed her a beautiful smile
before turning back to her stress.
At a conference people were asked to send me
love and the love of 300 people felt
like champagne bubbles in my body and I
I read that if you catch someone’s eye and they smile at
that that someone is an angel just touching base. So, smile
But the person who drops litter, who spits or is downright
It actually works if you just say to yourself, ‘peace be
For the lunatic on the road, try, ‘well, if you really have
to hurt someone,
let it just be yourself.’
And speaking of angels, some call this the Cosmic Ordering
ask for the roundabout ahead to be clear, for a parking space to
This always worked in the middle of Marbella, until someone
that some poor guy would have to leave his tapas just to
vacate a parking place
at precisely the right moment for me.
My 99% success rate became zero and stayed that way !!!!!
Finally, if you are feeling downright miserable then just
have an exaggerated belly laugh,
put your fist on you tummy and hahaha in as
you pant out
And if you are like me you’ll feel so silly that you’ll end
up laughing out loud.
can TCRspecialist and
language dictionaries that arespontaneously
canTurbo Charge Reada novel 6-7 times
fasterandrememberwhat I’ve read.
instructional/academic book around20 times fasterandremember what I’ve
The subconscious ‘but’ has
been mentioned. I thought the following might be helpful.
M’reen: You may have noticed that I have used ‘but’
twice (in the article).
Before each ‘but’ there was a positive point and
the ‘but’ killed that point dead.
So, as one client observed, “yes that dress looks
nice but your bum looks big” is
guaranteed to get him
into trouble. BUT, if he said, “that dress looks nice
even though your bum is big” he can live to see another day. So, avoid ‘but’
like the plague and try changing the sequence of the comment:
‘Even though your bum is big you look nice in
“I’ll respect that you don’t want to but
I won’t respect that you can’t.”
“I won’t respect that you can’t but I’ll respect that you don’t want to.”
Which feels best to you if it was a comment on your statement?
Having seen a post mentioning
the subconscious 'but' I thought I'd post this - it's nothing very clever but
if you've not seen it before it can make a huge difference to your life.
It's good for clients, too. Look at this:
"I need to earn more BUT I'm not sure how I could ever do that..."
and compare it with this:
"I'm not sure how I'm going to do it BUT I'm going to earn more..."
BUT is the mind's eraser. It
erases everything that went before it...
so you might as well put the negative part before the BUT
and make sure that the last
thing your mind accesses in the statement is what you WILL do,
rather than why
Think of it as 'but reversal'
and it helps it stay in your mind.
On a similar subject, if you
link "should" or "shouldn't" with 'and' instead of 'but',
you can easily make positive
changes in your life.
"I know I should get
more exercise BUT I really don't have time..." lets you completely off the hook
(been there, done
Whereas: "I know I
should get more exercise AND..." doesn't easily allow you to negate
the intent of what you've
'BUT' is a very powerful word
it can help or hinder your progress in life
and do either just as
Apologies if you're now
thinking "Well, why on Earth did he post that? I already knew that!"
it's just that I know a lot of people forget it and it REALLY helped me to
achieve the success
that I have managed over the last few years. Terence
I've used the 'yes...but' and
the 'yes ...and' as part of training that I run with teachers.
use it to show how the BUT simply closes the door to communication and the
AND can open it.
Its quite fun to see a room
of people going through the YES ..AND after a YES >>BUT
and hearing the
laughter and excitement that can be generated.
I have been getting clients
to reframe in this way for some time now as a piece of homework,
surprising how much habit resistance there is at the outset but at the end of a
they really can make changes without tears.
I tend to avoid shoulds and musts like the plague
as they tend to be guilt trips imposed by others.
Ask yourself, ‘what will happen if I don’t?’
Unfortunately I don’t have the author of the above
so if you recognise this piece
please give me their name so that this piece can be
the article 21 Traits of an Awakening Soul, many
commentators of the original article mentioned that they had difficulty with
money. One of the main reasons they mentioned
that Awakening Souls tend to see money as dirty, corrupt and useless.
this poor relationship with money brings a lot of suffering.
explore 7 reasons why money is important for awakening souls.
If you don’t
value money in itself, you must at least value the outcome it brings into
1. Money is power, and you
cannot do good without power
face it. Money gives you access to resources and access to people. It allows
you to get,
have or achieve anything you want or anything you need, especially
since you can always hire others to do what you can’t do on your own. If you
want to help orphan children,
example, perhaps you can help 2, 5 or even 10 children on your own,
you will need money to give support on any significant scale.
is power, and is neither good nor bad. It’s what you do with it that makes
it either good
or bad, and you need it to have a significant positive
impact in your community
in the world. Also, here’s the reason charitable organizations fail to improve
state of the world. They provide value out of donations, and can only do so
they run out of money. It is not scalable. If, however, they could solve
while generating a profit at the same time, then it can be
scaled and duplicated,
potentially in every city around the world.
only way a charitable organization can scale up to truly change the world is
generating profit on the service it provides.
would then become a consciousness-driven business.
2. Lack of money brings
poor relationship with money leads to accumulating debts and playing small,
perhaps even living with your parents. How does that feel to not be able to pay
does it feel to not have autonomy and to depend on others?
does it feel to play much smaller than what your soul is capable of?
does it feel to not be able to invest in what you want to invest?
lack of money brings stress, drains your energy and even isolate you because
you can’t participate in many social activities. You want God to be in control
of your life, but really,
money is in control of your life, as every decision
you make is based on the lack of money.
And when money goes before God when it
comes to making decisions
(whether lack or
greed), bad things happen.
didn’t wait for water to be on sale before building the Grand Canyon.
source consciousness doesn’t make decisions based on money.
3. You need money live the way
you truly want
have goals, dreams and desires, whether it’s to travel the world, have a
luxurious home or help those in need. You cannot make those dreams a living
breathing physical reality without money. Money allows you to free up your
time. Money allows you to free up
mind (if you are detached from it). Money allows you to free up your
you had all the money in the world, and money wasn’t an issue, how would
live your life? What would your days look like? How would you spend your
would you eat? Where would you eat? Which car would you drive?
you are connected to your higher spirit, you would get bored not
with your skills and talents, so what would you want to
achieve with your life?
4. You need money to play a
little money, there is only so much you can achieve or contribute into
didn’t create the Universe based on lack. Any lack or limitation is man-made.
an opulent life means opening up the flow of money flowing in and out of you,
earn more, live more and spend more. As you spend more, you allow others to
higher quality of life, and you empower them to achieve more with their lives.
are meant to enjoy a lifestyle that is not constrained by money.
are also meant to achieve a greater purpose that is not constrained by
for both the lifestyle and purpose, you need access to resources and
access to people
a flexible and scalable way, and this is what money allows.
5. Society cannot thrive
is an idea that has been flourishing in the minds of many Awakening Souls
to create a moneyless society.
Although the idea seems great, it really is coming from a dysfunctional place,
cannot be implemented and leads to various problems. Here’s why.
only alternatives are bartering, or giving freely. If you give freely, then you
don’t have what you had anymore, and there is no way to scale that in any way.
It would be like giving each other eggs without having any chicken; we would
all starve sooner or later.
you barter, what happens if the person owning the food doesn’t need what you
a more modern perspective, the main problem with bartering is that you are
mostly limited to what you can produce with your own hands. What if you want a
has highly-advanced components coming from 12 different countries, and each of
these components required teams of thousands of people and years of research to
Nobody is going to produce that with their own hands, and it would be
have an iPhone through bartering. Someone has to produce it, and it requires
very organized flow of resources between a wide range of individuals to
That’s what money allows.
a more philosophical perspective, the desire for a moneyless society really is
coming from a desire to not deal with money, and from a place of lack and
in the future it would be possible to live like in Star
and for this to happen all the people involved first have to live from
an abundance consciousness. Such a society cannot be created from
the scarcity consciousness we currently live in.
6. Awakening Souls must create
a new paradigm of life
current paradigm of life and business has destroyed our planet, and perhaps you
bad relationship with power and money because of this. As Awakening Souls, it
is our responsibility to create a new paradigm of life that is aligned with the
spiritual laws of life.
system that is rooted in harmony with nature, harmony with each other, and
where each individual can live at their full potential. Change
happens in the consciousness first,
and must then be applied into the physical
world through action.
7. The Power of Money Has to
Come Into Clean Hands
are people who are hungry for power. There are others in power who are
the impact they have in the world. There are others who have a
the environment because they are restrained by the laws of the system in which
function. They are operating from human laws, not from spiritual laws.
power of money has to flow into the hands of those who hold the power of
source consciousness and who can bring the spiritual laws of life into the
altering the way business is done and reshaping our system.
at a transition point between an old paradigm and a new paradigm, and one of
the major problems is that 95% of the money flows into the old paradigm, and
the new consciousness paradigm has very little money flowing in it.
order to truly change the world, money has to flow into the new paradigm,
into your hands, so that you can do something different with it.
I would like to add this on a more structural side of things. You have to make
distinction between the source consciousness money energy, and the paper bill
represents it. The reason the world is so much in debt (to who?) is
printed out of thin air by the central bank, who then charges interest.
means the money owed is increasingly greater than the amount of money in
means it is impossible to ever pay it back, and this means the debts become
increasing burden up to the point where it cannot be sustained anymore, and
we’re getting to that point. This was done by design. The only solution is a regime
change, followed by a change
to the structure of the central banking system.
There are also more millionaires than ever before, who learnt how to live from
an abundance consciousness,
this cannot solve the economic problems of the country.
transfer of power happens in the mind and in the consciousness.
owning the power of money in your own consciousness, instead of being a slave
will contribute to transfer the power into a new paradigm of reality.