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I have a decided heart. Michael felt the swaying of the Santa Maria as he looked up from the parchment. He stood up and saw that he was no longer in the crow's nest, but his feet seemed to be planted firmly in midair, moving at an ever-increasing pace away from the ship. Risks are exponentially higher from the moment you leave the house. For example, there are many bees outside the house. Far too many bees. I can be assured that the number of bees inside my house is far lower than the number of bees outside my house. The only sensible solution to avoid bees is to never leave my house. On the other hand you have to look at the positives. My landlord won't let us get a dog, because he is a dog-hating villain and should be in prison for hating dogs. But as with the bee scenario, which is a negative, if I don't leave the house, I never get to see dogs. As someone whose main hobby in life is waving at strangers' dogs, this would limit the number of things I enjoy doing outside my home to zero. The downside to waving at strangers' dogs is that they are usually attached to a human, and the human will sometimes wave back, which is a completely unnecessary interaction in my opinion. Notice your sensations and feelings. How do you feel being pushed as compared to when you were pushing? Note if your reaction changes in any way from one interval to the next. Resourcing Exercise Start here if you scored very high or high on the task approach or organization assessments. In this exercise, we are going to build a resource list. This is a list of internal and external resources you have at your disposal.

A resource can be any person, place, or thing that makes you feel safe. An external resource might be as wide-ranging as a dog, a close friend, or even a pillow. It might be your job or a specific location. In the next instant, Michael was standing in a small room. The air was musty, and the only light in the room came from a bare bulb hanging on a wire from the ceiling. Michael counted seven people in the room with him. Incredibly, they were motionless. A man and a woman were seated at a tiny table. Two teenagers, a boy and a girl, were on the floor, an interrupted card game between them, and the rest, two men and a woman, appeared to have stopped in midstride. Each person wore a look of terror. Michael heard knocking on the wall behind him and the muffled voices of men. As looked toward the sound, he noticed a small girl he had missed before. She was thin and sharply featured with dark wavy hair and eyes so black that they shined. Your dog and I are sharing a moment, please give us some privacy. Anxiety feeds on control, and so things that happen outside of your small bubble of control are triggers. Agoraphobia seems like a promising concept for the anxious brain. Yet for some reason it is seen as terribly unhealthy to never leave your house and start drinking your own urine. People are such prudes. It's also very difficult to make a living if you do not leave the house. It's not impossible, you can become a freelance writer, but that pays very little unless you can feed yourself with exposure' andgreat opportunities'.

Or you can set up an Etsy shop where you make tiny jackets for dogs out of your old clothes, but this takes time and energy and no one wants dog ball gowns made out of XXL blink-182 T-shirts. As anxiety lives on fear, and everything outside is terrifying, it can be easy to fall into a routine where staying inside your home - the place you associate with the least amount of stress and triggers - is a preferable way of life. Beating this fear is just one step to overcoming your anxiety. Maybe it's your favorite hiking trail. An internal resource is something inside of you, something you know about yourself. For example, my best internal resource is my ability to connect with people. Another is my ability to maintain a good attitude when shit hits the fan. To figure out your own resources, start paying attention to the moments when you feel the strongest and most in charge. What makes you feel accomplished and confident? Think back to a time in your life when you encountered a difficult experience and dissect some of the things that helped you through that. You can also ask a safe person who knows you well for their input. It is important to understand what the resources in your life are so that, in moments when you require them, you can go directly to them. Aside from that, just thinking about our resources can produce more feel-good hormones and less stress hormones. She appeared to be twelve or thirteen and wore a faded, blue cotton dress that seemed at home in the dingy room. She was standing so close to Michael that he had literally looked over her. This girl, too, was not moving, but as he caught her gaze, she slowly raised a finger to her lips. After what seemed an eternity, the noise ceased. There was no more knocking, no voices, just the tense silence of the room. And still, no one moved. Finally, the man at the table took a deep breath and blew it out with a whoosh.

It is all right now, everyone, he said quietly. And with that, the people in the room shook their heads and softly began talking to each other. This was close, said the teenage boy on the floor. I know we shouldn't give out medals for tiny things, but I am completely in favour of little stickers saying Got out of bed today' orLeft the house and went to work when it felt like my brain was on fire'. Tiny victories like these are crucial to beating the anxious mind into submission. SOME QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO KEEP AGORAPHOBIC ANXIETY AT BAY: Yes, it's a simple thing, but even if you aren't planning to leave the house today, you will have done something. Get dressed. This will make you feel like you are ready to leave the house, even if you have absolutely no intention of doing so. Similarly to the above, it's about convincing yourself that you are achieving something with your day even if you have already resigned yourself to a day of YouTube videos and a bucketful of toast. Invite a friend round. You don't have to tidy your house, just a bit of human interaction can give your brain a little bit of calm. Don't want to see someone in real life today? Using our resources is how we build resilience, and resilience is how we build a sense of mastery to know that we can handle the stress in our life. Make a practice of writing down five internal and five external resources. Keep this list on your phone or in a journal and continue adding to it. Read this list every morning when you get up and every evening before you go to sleep as a reminder to yourself that you have resources at your disposal when you need them. Sensing Exercise Start here if you scored very high or high on the sensory or interoception assessments. This exercise is designed to help you build your own sensory toolbox.

A sensory toolbox is a collection of sensory strategies that will help build and support a healthy sensory system. When trauma strikes, we often lose our ability to accurately sense how we feel inside our bodies and in the world. The goal of this exercise is to discover tools that will help you connect more deeply to your interoceptive and proprioceptive systems. If there had been dogs . A tall woman, her hair rolled tightly into a bun, began weeping softly. Now then, Petronella, her husband said as he put his arms around her. We are safe. Shhh, hush now. He turned to the boy and said sternly, Peter, that'll be enough about what might have been. You've upset your mother and most everyone else, I expect. We'll have no more about dogs. I was just saying-- Peter began. Yes, the man interrupted, and I was just saying that will be enough! Skype someone. FaceTime someone. Call someone. Having someone else to listen to instead of your own thoughts can be invaluable. Plot your routes outside. This sounds stupid, but it has worked for me so I am putting it in. If you are concerned about going outside or are simply avoiding it entirely, use Google Maps' street view, and do a practice run of whatever walk or journey you need/want to do.