Do you feel scared leaving the house? Perhaps you worry about being lost in an unfamiliar place or stuck in a crowd of people. Or maybe you think something bad might happen.
If you find it hard to get the confidence to leave the house, you might be experiencing agoraphobia. This is an anxiety disorder where people avoid leaving the house as they fear being trapped or embarrassed in a public place and having a panic attack. Sometimes the only place they feel safe is home as they don’t want to trigger their anxiety and lose control.
Do you want to escape this trap of being stuck at home and find a way to live a happier life?
Here are 7 tips for building your confidence to leave the house today.
Before trying to leave the house many people find it helpful to go through a visualisation exercise. Try to imagine a place where you feel very happy, safe, and relaxed. When you are focused on this place, what sounds and smells do you sense? Doing this activity can help relax your mind so you feel more settled and ready to face leaving the house.
Ask a friend
It might help to ask a friend to come round to your house so that you can leave the house together. Being alone when you are feeling anxious can be hard, so reaching out for this support can help you build your confidence.
Choosing where you would like to go will help give you a vision and the motivation to try to find a way to get the confidence to leave the house. Think about what you are missing and where you would actually like to be able to go again. Is it your favourite coffee shop, a country walk, a trip to the cinema, or something else?
Work out why
If you are feeling scared of leaving the house, try to work out why. Is there a specific place you fear, or people you don’t want to see? Have you always felt scared or has your confidence dropped after something happened?
Looking for five quick ways to boost your self-esteem?
Maybe you have been struggling with the confidence to leave the house for weeks, months, or even years. Remember that there is no rush to push yourself into a space where you might feel unsafe.
Take your time to build up your exposure to new places. For example, you don’t need to get on a crowded bus and walk around a huge supermarket straight away. Instead, you could start with walking to your local shop. By choosing the least threatening situations first, your body and mind will learn to cope and feel more able to once again face those difficult places that you are finding overwhelming.
It may be that what you are facing is too difficult alone. If so, you might want to talk to your GP and ask for a referral to get some therapy to support you in building your confidence to leave the house.
Chloe Foster has a background in working in mental health and youth work. Today she runs Sussex Rainbow Counselling where she specialises in counselling LGBTQ clients online.
Chloe holds a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapeutic humanistic counselling from The University of Brighton. She is also an approved accredited registrant member of the National Counselling Society, and an accredited gender, sexuality and relationship diversities therapist with Pink Therapy.