You must practice overcoming agoraphobia in order to find recovery. Practice, practice, practice! I cannot stress enough about the important of practice.
I understand how dreadful this idea is to many of you. I wish I could tell you that there is an easier way. I know I wanted an easier answer, but I assure you, there isn't any. If there was, I would have found it! In order to recover, you must practice and there is no other way around it.
Just like anything else that you are trying to master, whether it be cooking, playing a musical instrument, or even a specific profession, you have to practice overcoming your agoraphobia. It is true that the more you practice the better you will become. You want to practice so much that the skills will become second nature to you.
As long as you practice and practice often, you cannot lose the battle with agoraphobia.
At first, you will make many mistakes when you practice, but you learn from those mistakes. The more you learn firsthand for yourself, the easier it will be for the skills to stick with you. Just like learning to ride a bike; it may be difficult at first, and you might even crash a few times; but if you persist, before long, you are riding with ease, crashing less and less. You have to think of overcoming agoraphobia the same way. Practice makes perfect....well almost!
So how often should you practice?
If you are serious about overcoming your agoraphobia, you will practice often. If you can practice four times a week, then you are heading in the right direction. For me, I found that there were certain things that I needed to face daily. Whatever your biggest avoidances are, these will take the most effort and need the most attention.
There is no daily number of practice that is right for everyone. Practice overcoming agoraphobia at your own pace. We are all different and I believe we all know where we struggle the most. The stronger urge you have to avoid something is a good indication on how often you should approach it during practice!
Practice opportunities are exhausting! Mostly because when you practice, you are provoking anxiety symptoms. When you practice overcoming agoraphobia you are exposing yourself to feeling those sensations that you so desperately want to be over. So you definitely want to pace yourself in your practice.
It's okay to take a break when practicing. When you practice overcoming agoraphobia it can be exhausting. So be sure to allow yourself a day off here and there, but be sure not to allow too much time in between practice sessions. The longer period you have between sessions, the harder it is to get back to work! So allow yourself a break but once that is over, get back to business!
If you are severely agoraphobic and have a particularly hard time with the body symptoms associated with practicing, you might consider seeing your doctor about using a mild tranquilizer. However, if you don't like the idea of medications, there are natural alternatives that are non-addicting and have very few side effects. Just be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist before taking natural supplements. To learn which natural supplements work effectively for anxiety symptoms, be sure to visit natural stress relief.
It's important that you understand that you will experience anxiety and perhaps panic sensations when you are practicing overcoming agoraphobia. This is normal and very acceptable. In order to conquer your agoraphobia, you need to work through those body symptoms. So even if you take a mild tranquilizer or a natural supplement to help with the body symptoms, you will still feel some anxiety. It is important to recognize that medications and supplements are meant to help lighten your symptoms, not take them away.
The Agoraphobia Workbook: A Comprehensive Program to End Your Fear of Symptom Attacks by C. Alec Pollard Phd. This workbook deals with the many unique conflicts and fears specifically associated with agoraphobia.