How to Stop Panic Attacks While Driving
Being a good driver is an important skill in the times we are living in. Why you might ask? If you are confident in driving your car, it will allow you to reap many benefits like going to your friends/family members more often, going on a vacation by car, as well as the freedom to get a job in any location and not be tied to public transportation.
On the other hand, a car is the most common land transportation option, and probably the most effective one as well. There is a good reason why each day you see hundreds of cars driving on roads and freeways. To be honest, driving itself can be quite fun and relaxing (especially when going on a vacation), but a traffic jam is something that nobody likes.
However, some people develop a fear of driving over time, and like any other fear, if left untreated, it can result in numerous consequences. While driving fear and anxiety is not that rare, it is still something that should be addressed as soon as possible, especially if panic attacks accompany it. Panic attacks while driving could seriously put your safety and the safety of others at risk, and that is why it is important not to leave the problem untreated.
Luckily, this problem has a solution. But before going any further, you will have to admit that you have a problem, and you need to be ready to confront it. Panic attacks are an issue that stems from your thoughts, so it is something you can easily get under control with the right mindset and understanding of the given issue. Without further ado, let’s take a look at how to know if you suffer from driving anxiety and how to stop panic attacks while driving.
Determining Your Driving Anxiety
There are a few symptoms that might indicate that you suffer from driving anxiety. Apart from the obvious panic attacks, which are a clear sign you have a problem, there are certain behavior changes that you might notice. First, avoiding certain routes or being scared of driving alone is usually a red flag that something is wrong. Along with that, if you notice that you are finding excuses not to drive, even if it results in you not seeing your family or missing out on opportunities, it is an indicator that your driving anxiety might be a problem.
Determining this by your panic attacks is quite easy as these are manifested through a variety of physical symptoms as well as overall anxiety and discomfort. A feeling of lost control is the one that often accompanies both driving anxiety as well as panic attacks. Our recommendation is to check out The Driving Fear Program – it is one of the best ways to start the treatment of the existing problem, and you will learn quite a few useful tips from it.
How to Stop Panic Attacks While Driving
As mentioned above, panic attacks are something that could put both you and all the people around you in a life-threatening situation, and that is why it is important to get these under control. Panic attacks are either caused by overall anxiety or a fear of a certain situation. Being behind a wheel can make you feel like you are not at control, and this can often result in a panic attack.
A panic attack is easy to detect – you start sweating, trembling, your heart beats faster, you start to stumble, and your overall physical condition is shaky. Along with that, a panic attack is often accompanied by a variety of negative thoughts predicting the possible outcome of a certain driving situation.
To start, it is crucial that you accept the driving anxiety and panic attack issue that you are facing. Accepting the fact that you might need to confront your fear is the first step in your successful treatment. Once you have done that, it is time to write down everything that might be the reason for your panic attacks. Whether we are talking about traffic jams, nighttime driving, driving alone, or freeway driving, it is important to know the cause of your discomfort. While panic attacks don’t feel good, treating them is not as hard as you think.
Before anything else, there are certain habit changes that you might want to implement. First, it is time to quit that negative thinking and start connecting your driving routine to positive results. Instead of thinking about possible traffic accidents, think about all the great things that will happen once you arrive at your desired destination. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should be unfocused while behind the wheel. On the contrary, you should stay in the present moment, but in a calm and collected manner.
By using the positive affirmation method, you will feel safe once you are behind the wheel, and very soon you will find yourself enjoying the whole driving process. Most panic attacks are caused by our brains tricking us, and that is the reason why you need to get back in control of your thoughts. While fear is real, it is solvable and something that you need to confront.
Along with that, one of the most common tips mentioned in the Driving Fear Program is the importance of breathing, especially when we are talking about existing panic attack conditions. Adequate breathing exercises like Eastern practices such as Yoga, meditation, as well as Tai Chi are great for recentering yourself. By abdominal breathing, you take control over your mind-to-body connection, improving your blood flow in the process.
With improved blood flow, you can expect to be calmer, and have a better overall focus by being aware that you are in control. In fact, abdominal breathing is something that you should do, both in your free time, as well as when you start experiencing panic attacks. A 10-second breathing routine will calm you down and put you back on the right track, instead of you making an impulsive or irrational decision.
Panic attacks aren’t the most comfortable thing to experience, and if left untreated they can create a big problem for your overall well-being. Still, getting back in control of yourself is as simple as a few habit changes, starting off with a positive mindset about driving.