3 Things to Get Your Mind Off Your Agoraphobia
The Agoraphobia Series (Pt.5)
As you know, we've been working together on our agoraphobia for a little while now and again, I'm doing this series because I'm hitting the decade mark for my diagnosis (thanks doc, it really helped to know). I'm not going to lie to you when I say that I had never even heard of the word when I was first diagnosed, I had never heard of either of my anxieties: agoraphobia and hypochondria. But, I am not going to lay down dead and do nothing but pop pills for the rest of my life. And there is no reason you should too. Your medication is very important but it can only go so far. Other things you should do is practice some habits that you can use to get your mind off those intrusive thoughts.
I know it's very difficult and often you can think it is impossible to get your mind off those thoughts. But think about it this way: if you give in to those intrusive thoughts then everyone who ever made fun of you at school, everyone who took the piss out of you and everyone who ever gave you a beating in the school corridors - they all win. This is what they want. They want you to be psychologically tortured because they know that you're better than them and they are scared of being left behind.
Know that many of my methods for coping don't normally require you to have any money or buy anything. You can use the things you have around at home and you normally just need yourself and your habits to get going.
I've written four article on this so far and you can click on the following numbers to access them:
Today, we are going to discuss three things that you can do to get your mind off your intrusive thoughts, especially when you're in the space of agoraphobia. This is 'going out' without 'going out' because on a bad day, we all know that this is either not possible or it is extremely difficult. Take five seconds to shut your eyes and breathe. Let us take a look at the three things that you can use to get your mind off your intrusive thoughts. Yes, you can do these in whatever anxiety you are having, but I want to cover ones specifically that will help agoraphobia as well.
3 Things to Get Your Mind Off Your Agoraphobia
1. Drawing and Sketching Outdoor Places
Take a piece of paper and a pencil (or some colours if you want) and sketch an outdoor place that you're comfortable with. Maybe this can be your garden, a supermarket you go to or something like that. This can not only get your mind off your agoraphobia but it can make your agoraphobia settle into a space you're already good with. If you have tried my 'part one' comfort spacing technique then you can definitely try sketching a route to the comfortable space as well.
2. Learning a Foreign Language
I'm learning Russian at the moment and have learnt Japanese in the past. Learning a foreign language, getting immersed in the culture of the place through photos, history and documentaries of the history of the place can help as well. Listening to the music, watching the movies etc. is the next step in the process. But this can really help on days where your agoraphobia almost beats the crap out of you because of the way it gets you away from the space you're living in without getting you away from you safe and comfortable place. You can sit in your house, go on YouTube and watch French YouTubers, or you can watch a documentary about the Russian Revolution, or maybe watch an anime in Japanese without the subtitles. Immerse yourself in the beauty of all the different languages of the world, because I guarantee it will make you feel that slight bit better.
(As you can tell, that is my favourite one because I practice it every day!)
3. Watch your favourite movie and write a review about it.
Write about all the things you love about your favourite movie whilst watching it. Try to discover new things and remove yourself from your own space psychologically, put yourself in the world of the movie and because it is your favourite movie you won't be as isolated. Oh, and when you write the review publish it on Vocal Media because I would love to read it!
Writing a review on your favourite movie ever can make you feel really good not only because you're talking about something you love but, as we have already talked about the psychological space removal, but also because of the way in which you can watch something you've seen before. It is not unfamiliar, it is not going to shock you, it is something you know and you love and honestly, something that you care about and you feel you can connect to. That is very important.
So I hope you enjoyed that article on three things you can do to get your mind off your agoraphobia. I think you should definitely give them a go on top of you medication but if you're not sure after these, then please keep trying. Don't give up and don't give in to your intrusive thoughts - I am here and we are here together. We will go through this together - I've got you.