I have a hard time going in to auditoriums and movie theaters because of the dark lighting and the large group of people I don't know. What are some things I can work on to help me overcome this?
Last Updated: 12/30/2019 at 9:04am
Rory Boutilier, Registered Professional Counsellor
I use a client-centered approach to help you reach your goals. You are the expert on you! Particular areas: depression, anxiety, decision-making, change, self-injury.
Top Rated Answers
Honestly one of the most fantastic ways of overcoming this is just getting out and being in the places that scare you the most. It's a simplified desensification. The most important thing however is to do it with the intention of facing your fear and having the idea of overcoming it in your mind. It's best to have an affirmation or goal statement that you say before hand, during and or after as well. There's no point in doing it with out telling your brain how to react. You very well will feel scared and paniced, however your brain will fire neurons in a different way due to your goal statement. Our brains are very powerful and when we focus them instead of everything being random or unconsious, we lead our brain into forming strong and intentional neural pathways that create healthy habits and emotional states that take a once very paralyzing situation into a gradually bearable and eventually enjoyable one. An example of an intentional or goal statement is "I am overcoming my fears, I am fearless, I can overcome anything, I AM going to break free" Something powerful. and it doesn't matter if you feel as if you failed by having terrible symptoms while trying to go in those places, the important thing is to keep repeating your intentional/goal statement as you do it. You can do this.
my dad is blind and I hate crowds so i know exactly how you feel! what i do is go with a group of people i am comfortable with, go on of peak times if you can and pre book your seats, arriving early and getting in first can also help, just remember to relax and enjoy the show :)
Make sure when visiting these places, you attend with somebody you are close to and trust. This will help you to feel more safe and trust that the person will not let anything happen to you
You can use your flash light on you cell phone to find your seat and and pick a seat up front so your not consantrating on how many people are in the theater. If you feel a panic attack coming on you have choosen a seat close to the door for easy access for self and not to disturb others.
You might try going early to either of these venues...it will allow you to pick a seat where you will feel the most secure and generally the lighting is brighter during this time. Once seated in the "safest" seat you can watch those that enter later. It might make you feel a bit more at ease to see the faces and mannerisms of the people you will be sharing the next hour or two with....so they don't seem like faceless bodies in the dark. I hope this helps. Good luck :)
In order to overcome this, you can take a step aside from the situation go buy something than come back and try again or bring a friend with you to keep you company or try different distracts through the movies and performance.
You can surround yourself with people you feel comfortable with and you can try recreating the movie theater scene at home. Try watching a movie on your computer with headphones with the lights off :)
One step at a time. Pay attention to your body. If your hands are clenched...unclench them. Open up. Realize it's a shared experience and be on the lookout for someone that may need help that can't see as well as you. Service is sometimes the door out.
You have a phobia that might have resulted in things that happened to you in the past. Best to see a counselor/therapist to help you through the phobia.
Taking baby steps in this situation is always the best approach. First try going with multiple people you are comfortable with to an early show. So there are less people. Sit in an area that isn't so populated and just focus on the light from the screen. Work your way up to less people with you and more people in the room. Move at your own pace. Focus on the light from the screen or shinning from the exit signs.
You could try and watch movies at home first, or at a friend’s house in a room with dark, or dim lighting. Eventually, you could shift to trying more theaters every once in awhile.
Do you have a friend you could go with to help you through the difficult feelings? You could also try to do some mindful breathing which may help you to stay in the difficult situation
Something that helps me is first getting used to the dark lighting at home and watching movies with friends or family that I feel comfortable around. Then seeing movies at the theaters with those same people will help you feel like you are at home, and comfortable!
There are many people who experience different fears from spiders, loud noises and many more. You would be surprised to find that you are not alone in how you are feeling. Going into a dark space with so many people can be overwhelming for many people. How do you usually react in these situations when you are about to go onto any of the above locations? What are some techniques you have previously used? Have any of the techniques you tried previously worked? There are many different ways that help people overcome their fears so it is good that you have voiced these fears and want to help yourself overcome them.
Hello! This is tricky because I can understand it can be a very scary place! You could try exposing yourself to the situation gradually. So make individual parts of that situation in less scary circumstances. For example, you could get used to dark lighting in rooms around your house or someone else’s home to help your mind realize it is okay. Or you could make sure you have a small group of your friends/people you know with you so they can sit around you and you are surrounded by them and not strangers. I know quite a few people don’t like it, so you are not alone!
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