How to Overcome Fear of Going Outside
To those with a fear of going outside, the world may seem a scary place and there may seem to be danger lurking around every corner. It's a self-defeating cycle because by refusing to get sunlight you will suffer from a lack of Vitamin D and be more disposed to mental illnesses like depression. Without going outside it is very easy for someone to become withdrawn from society. One idea is to start a walking for exercise plan that will help you adjust to the outdoors.
When you isolate yourself from the outside world, living indoors becomes habit-inducing. You do what is most comfortable. Without pushing your limits and doing things that are sometimes anxiety-provoking, you will fall into unhealthy patterns that can have devastating effects.
If You Have a Fear of Going Outside, There are Ways to Overcome Your Fear. Humans Need Fresh Air and Sunlight in Order to Survive
Don't be pushed around by your own thoughts. Prove to yourself that going outside isn't as scary as your conscious mind thinks it is. You are the one who can change your life for the better and conquer your fear of going outside.
1. What is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is an irrational fear of going outside, which can cause feelings of isolation, hopelessness, and intense anxiety from someone suffering from it. A person who spends all of their time indoors is at risk of developing several health problems. Furthermore, their social life, career, and mental well-being are in danger as well.
The Impact It Has on People
People with a fear of going outside often have a hard time feeling safe in any public place where there are other people. They are especially prone to anxiety attacks when exposed to stimulation from large crowds. These fears can become so overwhelming that people become trapped in their own homes because it is the one place where they feel safe.
2. How Can I Conquer My Fear of Going Outside?
Treatment for the fear of going outside can be challenging, to say the least. It's difficult for anyone to face their fears. Add to that the feeling of anxiety that appears when dealing with the unknown and there is no worse feeling. For someone who hasn't been outside in a long time, getting them to take a leap of faith can seem near impossible. The only viable treatment is for somebody to help themselves and get over their fears in order to live a more enjoyable life.
Trust the Process
If you dread having to go out and do things, have a friend to help you integrate with the real world slowly. By associating pleasurable feelings with the outside, you can override the fear you have at the moment. Start by going places which you fear the most. You will see that things aren't so bad and that you have harbored irrational feelings all along. You need to lower the tension you associate with outside stimuli at all costs.
Options to Conquer Your Fear
Rid your fears one social situation at a time and soon you will have nothing to worry about anymore. By replacing a couple of negative thoughts you have about society with positive aspects, you can also start trusting people a little more. Eventually your anxiety will drop and the pleasure you feel from basking in the warm sun will return.
Consider listening to some of your favorite music next time you leave the house. Choose a song that is inspirational and uplifting so that you will associate your outdoor experience with positive feelings. You will then be motivated to go outside with the safety that your music brings you.
Next time you have to wait at the dentist's office or for the bus, bring a book so that you won't be distracted by how many people there are around you. If you bring a book you are in the middle of, you will be too engrossed in the story to be scared of what is happening around you.
Whenever you go to a place where you know there will be a big crowd of people, take precautions beforehand. Park your car far away so you have a direct route back home in case the roads become congested. Do some reconnaissance and find the most comfortable looking area to camp. Know your surroundings and know your limits in case you get sudden anxiety.
Get a smartphone with a couple of games on it. Normally people pull out their phone when they are bored. Pull out your phone when you are scared or anxious. Playing a familiar game will put your mind at ease and you can be happy in the company of other people. In a best case scenario you will want to interact with them, but let's start out with baby steps. Phone games are also very useful when going for long trips such as by airplanes.
There is no such thing as being over-prepared. If you are a shut-in who spends their time using a computer, you should be proficient enough at it to research about where you are going and what you will be doing. Prepare for everything and visualize the experience in your mind so that you will be prepared for anything. If you aren't used to the stimulation of having other people around you, it can be quite a shock unless you have mentally prepared yourself.
3. The Bottom Line
The key to overcoming your fear of going outside is to stop staring at the problem. It may sound quite obvious, but if you had a fear of heights and you were at the top of a twenty story building, would you look down? The more you look at the problem in your mind or in person, the more you will induce your anxiety-provoking symptoms. We have a natural predisposition to spend our lives outdoors because the Earth holds everything we need to survive. Shelter is only a place of refuge and shouldn't be a place for us to hide from our fears.