We all know the feeling: the anxious knot in our stomach, the racing heart, the urge to stay home. It’s called FOGO, or the fear of going out. It’s something we’re all experiencing right now. Especially with the recent pandemic, we all had to go through, forcing us to stay locked in our homes for fear of catching the virus.
But just because we feel it doesn’t mean we have to give in to it. There are things we can do to fight the FOGO and get back to living our lives. Here are five tips from psychologists to help anyone overcome FOGO:
1. Acknowledge Feelings
The first step is to acknowledge that one’s feeling afraid. We’re living in unprecedented times, and it’s natural to feel uncertain and anxious. It’s okay to be scared right now. Accepting that fact is essential to feeling better because once a person is aware of what one is feeling, one will know what to tackle.
2. Identify Triggers
What is it that’s triggering our FOGO? Is it the thought of being in a crowded place? Or of being close to people who may be sick? Once the triggers are identified, one can start to work on addressing them.
3. Challenge Beliefs
One of the main things that fuel FOGO is our negative thinking. We tell ourselves things like, “I’m going to get sick if I go out,” or “I’m not going to have any fun if I don’t go out.” But these are just thoughts, not reality.
Try to challenge the negative beliefs by asking, “Is there evidence to support this?” or “What is the worst that could happen?” Chances are, one will realize that the fears are exaggerated and that one can handle whatever does happen.
4. Build Up Confidence
Part of the reason we’re afraid to go out is that we don’t feel confident that we can handle whatever happens. But the more we do it, the more confident we’ll become.
So, start small by doing things that make one feel comfortable, like taking a walk around the block or going to the grocery store. Then gradually start doing more things, like meeting a friend for coffee or going to a movie. The more one does different things, the more confidence one will feel.
5. Seek Social Support
It can be helpful to talk to someone who understands what one is going through. Talk to a friend or family member who will listen and offer support. Or seek out a professional if one feels like they need more help. Talking openly about one’s feelings can be difficult, but it can also be very therapeutic. So, it is always recommended to reach out to help if anyone needs it.
FOGO can be tough to fight, but it isn’t impossible! With the proper process and help, anyone can overcome such fear and enjoy the great outdoors again. That said, take it slow. one shouldn’t rush the process of overcoming one’s fears. Taking it to step by step ensures that one can thoroughly overcome the factors that make one scared to fully enjoy being able to step outside of the home once more!
Therapy24x7 offers life coaching and psychotherapy services online. Reach out to our affordable therapy in Brooklyn today!