The Fear of Balloons Is Real
Having a fear of balloons might seem unbelievable, but such a condition exists. In medical terms, the fear of balloons is called globophobia. The fear encompasses everything from the thought of balloons, to the sight, smell, and even the idea of balloons floating away.
Typically, society understands a fear of spiders or heights as these are more common occurrences. But when it comes to the fear of balloons popping, many might laugh about it and dismiss it as irrational. To those suffering from this phobia, life can be difficult.
Most people know that balloons aren’t dangerous. But sufferers of globophobia experience a sense of powerlessness over their fear.
If you have this problem, you aren’t alone. The phobia is real; a number of other cases do exist. What’s more, help is available.
What Is Globophobia All About?
This phobia could arise from an experience of getting startled by balloons at social events during childhood. That overwhelming feeling might persist into adulthood. The fear is also associated with the unpredictable bang that comes from balloons.
Like any phobia, globophobia symptoms and severity vary. Some with this condition can tolerate balloons if they’re deflated. However, the minute balloons are inflated, it causes anxiety. In other cases, the phobia sufferer fears hot air balloons, but can withstand smaller balloons.
What Causes Globophobia?
Like in most phobias, this one could emerge from a negative experience during one’s childhood. A fear of balloons popping is typical in young children and tends to diminish with age. But for phobia sufferers, the fear could have continued into adulthood and become overblown because of a significant event when they were a child. For example, they might have experienced a balloon exploding or popping in the face, and got hurt. Or a traumatic event occurred at a birthday party, and because balloons are associated with the occasion, the phobia sufferer developed terrifying thoughts regarding balloons.
Additionally, when balloons pop, they create a sound that resembles a gunshot. The sound of a balloon suddenly exploding could cause a fright to anyone, with or without phobia. But for some people, for instance those who have a heightened mental state, have an anxiety disorder, or children who are easily frightened, the impact is more severe.
Globophobia could also merge with another type of phobia: coulrouphobia, or the extreme fear of clowns. That’s because you often see these two—balloons and clowns—together.
Symptoms of Globophobia
When triggered, phobia sufferers could experience one or more symptoms. A few of the common symptoms include:
- Shallow or rapid breathing
- Trembling, shaking, and sweating
- Gastrointestinal distress, such as nausea
- Panic attacks
- Severe anxiety
- A sense of no control
Self-help to Overcome Globophobia
Self-help strategies to overcome globophobia can be effective in coping with the condition and even prevent it from triggering. If you’re undergoing globophobia treatment, these self-help strategies could serve as a complement.
Face Your Source of Fear Gradually
Exposure is one of the most effective ways of overcoming this phobia. You’ll want to face your fear in a safe and controlled way. Some opt to do this in a therapeutic setting or with the assistance of a family member or trusted friend. Develop particular steps to become more comfortable with balloons. You’ll need to practice and follow each step until you feel more relaxed. This approach takes time, and you might need to repeat the process several times before you achieve your goal. Be sure to exercise patience with yourself.
These comprise a series of exercises that help you calm down and regulate your breathing. Consider doing deep breathing exercises daily. This will help decrease overall anxiety while allowing you to calm down in especially anxious circumstances. When you perform these exercises daily, this kind of breathing becomes automatic, so you can do them whenever you feel anxious.
Alter Thought Processes
While this can be hard, it’s necessary to overcome anxiety. In the beginning, you might feel apprehensive about your coping ability when exposed to the object you fear. If you start making an effort to alter your thoughts, you might notice a considerable decrease in anxiety. It’s equally useful to develop some positive statements that you could tell yourself when confronting your fear.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Therapy
This form of counseling can help you manage your phobia by teaching you alternative ways of thinking and behaving toward the object of your fear. The therapy strives to enable patients to develop effective ways of tackling their phobia. An aspect of this treatment approach entails gradual exposure to the source of fear. Exposing—or, in medical terms, desensitizing—the phobia sufferers to their fear object in a gradual yet repeated manner may help them feel less anxious about it. Exposure therapy aims to help patients gain control over their fear.
Mindfulness strategies can help decrease the stress level you feel. This strategy might not be able to stop the rush of anxiety when your phobia is triggered. But it could help you decrease the extent and severity of the fear. It might be advisable to collaborate with a therapist to learn these techniques. Mindfulness techniques include deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Coping with Balloon Phobia
This strategy can help you refocus. Whether it’s a brief walk or yoga, exercise will keep you grounded while helping you feel capable.
Learn More about Your Fear
This step can be the most difficult, but it’s necessary. You cannot overcome a phobia that’s hidden in your subconscious. You should face it and know more about it. To learn about your anxiety and fears, consider keeping a journal and documenting any noticeable patterns. Learning about your fear will give you a clue on how to offset it.
Use Nature to Your Advantage
Talking to a therapist offers an excellent means to work through your anxiety and fears. However, you can’t always be with your therapist. To help you keep your mind at ease, engage in productive activities, such as going for a walk outdoors. The natural beauty found in backyards or parks can help decrease symptoms of anxiety and fear. Nature helps calm people and decreases stress levels. Lowered stress levels will help improve your moods, making you feel more relaxed than nervous. Jogging or walking outdoors could help clear up space in your head, helping you drive away illogical thoughts and, hence, your fear.
Concentrate on Breathing
The role of breathing exercises in controlling fear is more significant than you may think. Anxiety typically starts with short breaths, which cause various negative reactions in the body. If left unchecked, these negative reactions could escalate into an anxiety attack. Controlled breathing could help you overcome anxiety outbreaks.
To Sum it Up
Sufferers are aware of the impact their phobia can have in their lives. But this awareness can help them turn things around. It can lead them to seek help in getting over the fear of balloons. With commitment and the right support, patients can overcome globophobia with a bang!