How to Overcome Driving Anxiety
Driving anxiety plagues many of us. In actual fact, even emotional outbursts of rage and a disinterest in driving are tied to driving anxiety. Any fear which incorrectly evaluates the risk of any given part of driving is an irrational fear which reduces the capability to drive safely. A nervous driver is more likely to have an accident and it is also more probable that they’ll react dangerously when a traffic situation does arise.
Fortunately, there are lots of things that we can do to overcome driving anxiety. A certain degree of fear is necessary to keep us focused, aware and safe, but anxiety is totally unnecessary. Read on to see how to curb anxiety and gain complete control of your driving at all times.
Journaling your thoughts, emotions, and experiences will help you get an overview which makes it easier to identify patterns, beliefs and the root of fears. By describing our emotional and mental state while analyzing and visualizing fearful experiences such as driving and various driving situations, we grant our introspection a vantage point which frees us from emotions which often distort conclusions.
Daily journaling to wrap up a day’s thoughts is highly recommended, as are dream journals, and journaling your thoughts and sensations which arise when the fear of driving is contemplated as a regular exercise.
Most types of driving anxiety are rooted in a conditioned fear which can only be relieved by means of direct exposure. You cannot talk yourself out of these beliefs nor can your own will and self-talk direct you out of a phobia or panic attack. The only way to overcome an intense fear is to face it. Discussion and reasoning will only help prepare your mind for realizing the fallacies which tied you to your fear of driving once you have overcome it by climbing in a car or taking the wheel.
If there is a specific part of driving which triggers anxiety, take the time to go out with a trusted friend or family member whose driving skills you trust and re-experience the act until it is no longer feared. Only push yourself as far as you can without falling into a trap of crushing anxiety. Prolonged exposure can be gradually increased until you are capable of processing and managing the situation without fear.
If you want to overcome your anxiety even quicker, combine direct exposure with imaginal exposure. Visualize the anxiety-laden experience as vividly as possible. You can even get a friend or therapist to help you through a self-written script. Visualizing your fear and the legitimate reactions that arise without quelling them and replacing them allows you to gain a clear overview of your problem.
The resulting mental picture and its associative thoughts can be contemplated clearly once you are centered and free from fear. Be sure to replace the visualization with a practice that you affirm both through repeated focused thought and actual physical action.
Imagine the situation as you have realized it to be after analyzing your fear and then play it out in your mind and in a vehicle. Imaginal exposure also lets you practice your self-help plan if your fear of driving is so bad that it triggers a sudden panic attack.
Develop a Self-Help Plan
Determine what you will do if the worst arises and a panic attack hits. Walk yourself through the steps that you will take to bring yourself back to balance. Aided by creative visualization, this exercise will alleviate a lot of anxiety by simply resolving the fears which were left unattended.
By addressing our needs and realistically preparing ourselves the chances of a panic attack happening are drastically lowered while many of the accompanying fears and anxiety triggers are alleviated at the same time. Yet, if you are looking for guidance and key insights to assist you in your struggle, look no further than the Driving Fear Program.
Mindfulness is essential to living a life free from anxiety and emotional unrest. Without being mindful of one’s thoughts in the here and now, most of the immersion of life is lost to fear. Practicing mindfulness can take as little as a few minutes a day but doing this daily rewards one with profound benefits.
From less inhibition in social situations to handling stress better, mindfulness helps you reach your own sense of fullness. Fears like driving anxiety and its many triggers and associative thoughts fall away when you are focused on the moment instead of imagining conceptualizations of the past transferred to the present or grim scenes of the future which are as unlikely as they are horrifying.
Address General Stress as Well as Driving Anxiety
The stress of daily life and a person’s other anxieties play a major role in the anxiety felt when driving or driving as a passenger. A fear of driving is strengthened and supported by the other stress factors present in life. In many cases, driving anxiety can even be disassociated to a seemingly related cause such as a “valid” concern for risk or a feeling that there is no interest. Go general and work through each cause of anxiety one at a time.
It is extremely useful to list all of the related fear triggers or potential anxiety factors and then address each as you see fit. Exposure therapy is the most highly recommended means of treatment combined with mindfulness. You need to remain present in the here and now freed from apprehension while facing the source of anxiety head-on.
Seek Help When You Need It
In many cases a loved one or close friend is too emotionally involved to help guide you through the many webs of fear common to driving anxiety. At the very least, those plagued by driving anxiety should consider finding a specialized course which helps them process and overcome their fear of driving.
The Driving Fear Program has everything that you need to overcome your driving anxiety. Developed by world-renowned experts in medicine and psychology, there is no simpler way to get over driving anxiety while fully restoring your freedom and confidence. With its support and your drive, you’ll soon be in control of your own car without a worry in the world.