Arachnophobia, or fear of spiders, is one of the most common specific phobias. Those of us who are afraid of spiders will go to great lengths to ensure that they are not exposed to a spider.
There are different levels of this fear of spiders (tarantulas are a kind of spider). I am okay around household spiders of all kinds. But if I found myself in a room with a spider the size of a football, I would make a dash for the door. That is my limit.
If your limit is where it prevents you from being calm around small, harmless spiders even, tapping can definitely help you. Actually, the very process I have listed here can help you remain calm around spiders as big as those in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. But let’s start small for now.
You may say that you are not afraid of spiders, you just hate spiders or you are grossed out by spiders. These are all signs that there is a repulsion to spiders in some way. If it is not fear, but something else, you can still benefit from tapping on it.
Even if you know nothing about tapping, you can get the hang of it quickly by following my video and picture tutorial on EFT tapping.
The goal of this tapping exercise is to help you release your fear of spiders for good. After this tapping, you do not have to go straight to Fear Factor and be locked up in a cage full of venomous spiders. Even neutralizing the fears around little household spiders will be a win. From there on, you can use this same process to increase your limits of fear. Try it even if a spider only creeps you out a little bit and not morbidly.
There are 3 steps to this exercise:
- Identify your specific triggers
- Tap on those triggers
- Test if each trigger is neutralized
Step #1 Identify your Arachnophobia triggers
I have created a list of triggers that shoot up one’s fear response around a spider. You can print out the document. Not all will apply to you, so check the box near the ones that do. E.g. you may be afraid of letting a spider sit on your palm, but you may not be afraid of seeing someone else handling a spider. You can also add your own triggers to the list.
Some of the triggers I’ve listed seem outlandish (like a spider grabbing your face) but I have added them
for fun because when the mind is under the grip of fear, it can conjure up fantastic scenarios, so it really could be a trigger for some (it is for me).
You can try out this list of triggers with different shapes and sizes of spiders. To start off, think about a slow moving small spider with thin legs. Then see which of these triggers come up for you. Tap on those. Then move up to more and more frightening spiders.
Step #2 How to tap on the fear of spider triggers
Say you chose the trigger, “I freak out when I spot a spider crawling up a wall”. You do the setup tapping on the karate chop using:
“Even though I freak out when I spot a spider crawling up a wall, I acknowledge these fearful thoughts. I deeply and completely love and accept myself for feeling this way.”
Then you tap on the EFT points on the face and body using a reminder phrase such as “a spider crawling up the wall”. Do one or more rounds of this tapping on EFT points or until you start to feel okay about a spider crawling up the wall. You will be able to get to a point where you spot a spider and you don’t mind it. That neutralizes one trigger. Pick the next one from your list, rinse and repeat.
Step #3 Test if tapping on the fear of spiders worked
When you are ready, test your level of fear using these spider resources. If you start to feel panicky looking at any of these, quickly start tapping on your collar bone saying “it’s okay” till you have closed the browser window.
- This is a picture of a household spider.
- This is a video showing a tarantula crawling on a man’s palm.
- This is an interactive sojourn with a spider. You will see a life-like, furry spider crawl on the screen. You will be able to control the size, direction, speed and bounce of the spider. It is pretty real.
You might be thinking all this tapping will take time. Actually it won’t. One round of EFT takes less than a minute and the fear response starts to calm down after just one round. You can add a few more rounds of EFT on the same trigger if you still feel some charge around it. Besides, any amount of time you spend tapping will add up towards relieving a lifelong fear.
You may be wondering why you should visualize these scenarios so graphically when you are already terrified of spiders. The thing is, every time you experience this fear without the aid of tapping, there is nothing to calm the panic. Tapping while imagining these scary scenarios helps to neutralize the fear while you are experiencing it. So you start to feel better right in the moment.
Try this exercise and share your results in the comments below. When you share your progress with the rest of the people who are struggling with the same fear, it will give them hope. Even if you see the slightest relief from fear, it is worth sharing your results. As for me, I’m using this very exercise to calm my fears in case I ever come across giant spiders.