Virtual tours help people with anxiety in numerous ways.
One of the challenges people with anxiety face, especially those with social anxiety or agoraphobia, is the fear or apprehension associated with unfamiliar environments and social situations.
The prospect of entering a new space, like a library, can be daunting due to uncertainties like:
- Navigating a New Space: The unfamiliarity of a space can be overwhelming. Not knowing where different sections are or how to find specific resources can increase anxiety levels.
- Interacting with Strangers: The idea of having to ask for directions or assistance can be a source of stress. For some, the mere possibility of such interactions can be a deterrent from visiting a library.
- Feeling Observed or Judged: Being in public spaces can make some individuals feel self-conscious, as if they’re being watched or judged. This feeling can be amplified in quiet environments like libraries.
- Overstimulation: Large spaces filled with people, sounds, or even just the sheer volume of information can be overwhelming for some individuals with anxiety.
Having access to a 3D virtual tour, like a Matterport tour, can significantly mitigate these anxieties:
- Familiarity with the Environment: By taking the tour, users can familiarize themselves with the library’s layout, know the locations of different sections, and even identify quiet spots or areas where they might feel more comfortable. This prior knowledge can reduce the uncertainty and unpredictability of a new environment.
- Reduced Need for Interactions: With a clear understanding of the library’s layout, individuals may feel less need to ask for directions or assistance, thus minimizing potential stress from interactions.
- Build Confidence: Familiarizing oneself with the environment can instill a sense of confidence. When individuals eventually decide to visit in person, they may feel more in control and less apprehensive, knowing what to expect.
- Preparation for Sensory Experiences: If the virtual tour includes audio elements or depicts busy times, individuals can also prepare themselves for the sensory experiences of the library. They can plan their visits during quieter times if preferred.
- Incremental Exposure: For those using exposure therapy or similar techniques to manage their anxiety, virtual tours offer a step-wise approach. They can first familiarize themselves with the space virtually before transitioning to short real-life visits and gradually extending their time as they become more comfortable.
In essence, the ability to virtually explore and familiarize oneself with a space can act as a bridge for individuals with anxiety, allowing them to gradually build their comfort and confidence levels. This is how virtual tours help people with anxiety. They offers them control over their environment and experience, which can be crucial in managing anxiety triggers.