For some people, solitude is a priceless luxury. But there are also people who actually feel down, anxious, afraid, and anxious if they have to be alone (even if not for a long time). Such fear is known as autophobia: a type of phobia that often recurs when a person feels neglected, does not get love from others, or is dissatisfied with himself. If solitude creates a sense of fear and isolation in you, you may have autophobia. Fortunately, with dedication, perseverance, and the right support, autophobia can be overcome.
Part 1 of 3: Assessing Condition
Step 1. Evaluate your level of fear
Recognizing the symptoms that arise can help you choose the best treatment, as well as determine self-healing efforts that do not pose a physical risk to you. See if your symptoms match some of the specifications below (which usually last for six months or more):
- Have an excessive fear of being alone or often anticipate being alone
- Instantly feeling anxious and having panic attacks when alone (or anticipating being alone)
- Realizing that the fear you feel is not worth the danger that accompanies being alone
- Constantly feeling anxious or restless from avoiding being alone
- Anxiety and anxiety that arise disrupt your daily routine (work, education, efforts to socialize with the environment, and relationships with those closest to you)
- Fear of autophobia itself
Step 2. Listen to your doubts
Is there a negative view of solitude that haunts your mind? For example, you might be afraid of appearing antisocial or weird when you're alone. You may also fear being seen as selfish or arrogant if you want to be alone for a while.
Recognizing the negative views that you are "injecting" into your mind when you are alone will make you realize that the reasons for your fear or anxiety are completely unreasonable
Step 3. Write down your fears in a diary
Ask yourself, can you take care of yourself and create your own happiness? After that, ask this question, “What did other people do for you that you couldn't do yourself?”. Also think about what really formed your fear. Answering these questions in a diary can help you identify and process your fears:
- How long has this fear haunted your life?
- What happens when the fear appears for the first time?
- So how does this fear develop afterward?
Step 4. Consider your relationship situation with those closest to you
Usually, people who are afraid of being alone have a certain obsession with maintaining perfection with those around them. Do you always feel the need to spend a lot of time and energy on other people?
- Be realistic about the needs of others; try to understand that they also have the ability to take care of themselves. Understand that their life is fine, even before you walk into theirs. In addition, they also have other people who will support them, even if you don't.
- Having a tendency to give other people excessive attention and affection (which you really want) can be a problem for you. Everyone needs “alone time” to develop themselves; having such tendencies will actually prevent you from doing so. Having such tendencies will actually prevent you from focusing on things beyond the other person's life and their needs.
Part 2 of 3: Facing Fear
Step 1. Be prepared to face your fears
Always remind yourself of the benefits that you will get if you successfully face these fears. List the advantages and disadvantages of spending time alone. Also consider the impact of these fears on your relationships, desires, and self-development processes going forward.
Step 2. Set specific goals
For example, you could try being alone for fifteen minutes without calling, texting, or contacting anyone in any way during that time. Do this process at least four times a week.
- Process gradually and also consider how bad your fear is. The above process takes time and cannot be done in a hurry. As time goes on, increase your “time out”, at least until your panic is completely gone.
- Try to create a hierarchy of situations, starting with situations you can tolerate to situations you really don't want to be in (scale 1-100 for each). For example, being alone at home would probably put you on a scale of 100, while watching a movie alone would only put you on a scale of 70. By putting this hierarchy together, you'll know where to start overcoming your fears. Start overcoming the simplest fears; Gradually, move on to dealing with more serious fears.
Step 3. Face your fears
Start with the fear that is at the lowest level. At first, you're bound to feel nervous, anxious, and restless; these feelings are normal. At one point, your body will feel relaxed. After a few tries (which are definitely not fun), you'll get stronger and ready to spend some time alone. Facing fear also helps you to think more deeply about the reasons behind your panic.
- Don't focus on the panic and stress you're feeling. Remember, you're really dealing with the things you've been afraid of. It's natural for your heart rate to increase, your breathing to shorten, and your body to experience other symptoms of anxiety that accompany the fear.
- The longer your “time out”, the higher the level of anxiety you will feel. But the more you open yourself up to these fears, the more your body will get used to it so that the anxiety will go away on its own. Force yourself to approach the boundaries. Imagine you're going for a swim – dipping your toes in the water is fun, but it won't help your body adjust to the temperature of the water, will it?
- You can also access FearFighter, a computer program that can help overcome a person's phobia or anxiety. This program, sponsored by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has proven to be effective in dealing with various phobias and anxiety problems. Explore further to see if the service is accessible in your area.
Step 4. Establish a calming mindset
Facing fear is not as easy as turning the palm of the hand. During these times, try to divert your fear in various ways, such as reciting a calming line of poetry, calculating your monthly budget, or whispering motivating phrases, such as “This feeling will pass. I've been through it before."
Remember, your fear will only get worse if you don't get used to this method
Step 5. Write down your progress in a diary
During and after dealing with your fears, rate your fears on a 0-10 scale. 0 means you are completely relaxed when dealing with the fear, while 10 means your fear has not subsided. Once you do that, you'll know how much change you've made and how many fears you've overcome.
- Highlight times when your anxiety was very high or very low. Are there other factors that influence it? Like the weather conditions or the people you spent time with that day?
- You can also write down motivating thoughts, your difficulties, or anything "related" to the fear. This action can help you get to know yourself better and highlight your fear patterns.
Part 3 of 3: Improving Situations and Adding Support
Step 1. Ask for help from your support system
You want to try being alone? Tell the people you spend most of your time with that you need time to be alone and that they don't need to be with you. Talking to those closest to you about the problem you are experiencing can help both parties understand the real problem. This understanding will also encourage both parties to respond positively to the changes that occur.
Explain that you really value the relationship you have with them. Also explain that spending time alone will only further strengthen your ability to maintain – not destroy – relationships with them. Express your gratitude for their understanding
Step 2. State all your needs honestly and straightforwardly
Don't constantly treat other people as psychics who need to be able to read your thoughts and needs. Say what you want and expect from the people around you; afterwards, allow them to do the same. More than likely, you'll find that they don't need constant companionship or communication as you thought. You will also realize that your needs are actually very simple and not very demanding.
Step 3. Develop your interest
Sometimes spending time alone is invaluable because it opens your eyes to who you are and what you really want to do. Bury your anxieties and fears by doing something productive when you're alone. Allow yourself to explore your hopes, desires, interests, and dreams.
- What does a person need when they are alone? Everyone needs time to reflect, recognize themselves, and grow in a better direction. Think about how much you can learn when you have the opportunity to make decisions without interference from others.
- Do you have a wish that you can only achieve when you are alone? Remember, being alone allows you to work and express yourself more freely, so the results are likely to be better. View solitude as a gift to cultivate your passions and desires.
Step 4. Learn self-awareness meditation
Do not rush to follow your impulses to contact other people or plan daily activities that involve other people in it. Write down what feelings trigger your anxiety when you're alone. Try to understand and acknowledge the feeling without trying to get rid of it. This will improve your ability to control your impulses, act unhurriedly, or think twice before asking someone else to accompany you.
- Relaxation and stress-releasing techniques can really work to improve your ability to manage the phobia. Some types of exercise, especially cardiovascular activities such as running and swimming, can release endorphins and other chemical compounds that can improve a person's mood.
- Meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises are great methods of reducing anxiety and controlling your impulses.
Step 5. Visualize the positives
To increase your confidence in the process of overcoming autophobia, use your mind to imagine the things you want. Imagine yourself able to achieve certain achievements with full confidence. After that, show yourself appreciation for being able to be relied on in the situation. Envisioning yourself in a more confident and reliable version of yourself can motivate you to become that person.
Step 6. Try counseling
Therapy allows you to talk about and analyze the root causes of autophobia in a “safe” environment. An expert can provide the help and assistance you need on the journey.