How to Overcome Fear of Driving With Guided Meditation
Do you fear driving, and you are not sure of the reason? Well, rest assured that it is a common problem that many people suffer from. Which is the reason that instead of giving up on your chances to overcome your fear of driving, you should accept it and be ready to address it head-on.
So-called driver anxiety is one of the most common modern conditions that have occurred in the past few decades, as the rising popularity of cars was followed by an increased chance of traffic accidents. The reason why it's important to address problems such as driving anxiety is that it is a valuable skill, without which you will be at a serious loss.
We are not saying that everyone with a fear of driving will be able to drive all the time. On the contrary, that would be awful for the environment. While battery-electric vehicles becoming more popular, we have to admit that driving a gas-powered car is the most effective land transportation method. Yes, a bicycle works too, but it requires more time and physical effort.
Bearing this in mind, it is essential to address the root of the problem, and once you have done that, you can move on to an adequate treatment. One of the most common methods on how to overcome this fear is by using guided meditation while driving. While this may sound too much like alternative medicine, it is actually one of the most effective, useful, and safe ways to overcome your fear of driving.
In order to bring the idea of driving anxiety closer to you and help you resolve it, we need to get into the details, symptoms, and root causes. To get started, let's take a look at what guided meditation is.
What is Guided Meditation?
As you might know, meditation and mindfulness are two ancient Eastern practices that are becoming more popular in Western culture. The reason? Both allow you to get the much-needed peace of mind that you need, and you can focus on what actually matters to you in the present moment, which is driving safely and carefully.
Now, for someone who has a fear of driving, meditating can go a long way, as long as they are ready to accept and face the problem. But why are people afraid of driving in the first place? Let's find out.
Why Are People Afraid Of Driving?
To solve the problem, you first need to find out what the problem is. There are a number of different reasons why people fear driving. It is not just the fact that a car is a heavy machine that may fold like a tin can upon a massive impact.
No, there are many causes of driving anxiety, of which most are caused by negative thoughts and emotions. To alleviate these thoughts, there are certain tricks that may act as positive signals and actually motivate you into investing more time and effort in your driving confidence.
The first trick that we are going to analyze is the one to counteract the fear mentioned above of driving with negative thoughts. There are a number of cases where people develop anxiety simply because they are not experienced. Other people develop anxiety because they have caused traffic accidents of their own, or that they are not confident in their driving skills.
Once you’ve acknowledged this as a potential root cause, you are ready to address it, and, thankfully, the solution is an easy one. All that it will take is training with a professional or an experienced relative or friend who might instruct you on how to improve your driving skills and get better on the road. Did you ever think that you might be thanking your anxiety? Well, this is the one case where it happens.
Now another common root for the problem is panic attacks. There are two scenarios here. Either you are suffering from panic attacks only, and the driving anxiety is only a consequence. Or, panic attacks come as a consequence of your fear of driving.
In the first case, you will need to sit down and carefully address the panic attack that is causing you to be stressed while behind the wheel. That can be done through behavioral therapies and by taking natural remedies that feature herbs such as lavender, chamomile, or lemon balm. These have properties that are well known to do a great job when it comes to solving anxiety.
On the other hand, if it is the driving that is causing your panic attacks, it should once again be addressed as soon as possible, unless you want it to spread over other life situations.
Last but not least, there is also performance anxiety which is quite common for people that lack confidence, or are beginners when it comes to driving. It is caused by a fear of other people judging them for going too slow or following the wrong route.
Also, they are afraid that they might fail the expectations of their friends or relatives, which is why the whole driving experience turns into a huge mess. Luckily, performance anxiety is present both in and outside of a fear of driving, which is why addressing it should be quite straightforward.
What Lies Behind Driving Fears?
Now that we have addressed the potential fears and reasons why you may suffer from driving anxiety, it is time to go ahead and find the little details and emotions that you need to address it in order for the anxiety to go away.
The first thing we think of is, of course, the negative past experiences that manifest themselves through traumas that are related to traffic accidents, whether caused by the driver or people around them. As you might know, it is quite hard to get rid of the memory of this kind of trauma.
Along with that are people who develop driving anxiety as a result of a fear that they will step out of their comfort zone. In this particular scenario, you could be dreading running out of gas, driving on an unknown road, or being with people with whom you are not comfortable. In most cases, it highly increases the chances of something wrong actually happening.
Last but not least is the fear of losing control and causing fatalities. We have to admit that this fear is something reasonable and valid, even for an experienced driver. At the end of the day, you are driving a heavy machine and not going by foot. Still, thinking and focusing on fatalities instead of the positive experiences and thoughts related to driving is not going to do you any good. That is why excluding your negative thoughts and emotions is a must.
As many wise people have said, your thoughts become your actions. Well, in this case, they first turn into emotions, and then those emotions may lead to potentially fatal consequences. These emotions are the reason why you need to invest extra time in addressing them and focusing on a positive mindset. The best way to do it? Through guided meditation while driving.
What Is Guided Meditation All About?
As you might know, meditation is becoming quite popular in the Western world, and there is a good reason for it. As long as it is done the right way, it is an effective method of relieving stress and staying in the present moment. Also, it contributes to your physical health by improving your breathing technique, lowering blood pressure/heart rate, and improving your posture.
In the long term, when it is combined with mindfulness, meditation can yield many benefits with just a little bit of effort (as long as you are aware of the fundamental concept).
Guided meditation is perfect for beginners who are new to this whole idea and need a kick start to get comfortable with it. It is usually encouraged by instructors and professionals with years of experience in meditation and mindfulness. Why use it when driving? Well, because meditation and mindfulness can be practiced almost anywhere and at any time, and it is one of the best methods to cope with anxiety in general.
The whole magic of guided meditation lies in repeating patterns. How does that work? Well, it uses the power of synapses that your brain creates in order to relate a particular experience with a positive feeling. So, if you ditch your negative thoughts and emotions and focus on all the positive things that have happened while you were in a car, your brain will slowly understand, and develop a sense that there is nothing to be anxious about.
Focusing On A Positive Mindset
The main idea is that you accept the problem and understand that it lies nowhere else but in your mind. With this kind of approach, you will be able to successfully solve the issue in no time. Try associating driving with positive recommendations and do that on a daily basis. Some of our suggestions are:
- Tell yourself that you enjoy driving because you have confidence in yourself and driving shouldn’t be a problem as you have practiced it and earned your license.
- Tell yourself that you will enjoy driving as it can lead to many positive experiences including social meetings and new acquaintances.
- Tell yourself that all the driving you do in unknown places is to better your skills and increase your confidence.
- Ensure yourself that although you may be driving slowly and take the extra few seconds to turn the right direction, you are doing it with utmost confidence.
- Tell yourself that any practice in a parking lot is a long term investment in your future skills.
Now, while those thoughts above are some mantras that you can practice while driving, we will present you with the concept of guided meditation through a few steps. First of all, it starts with an introduction to the positive aspects and the importance of driving skill. After that, it goes off to 10 minutes of meditation that you can comfortably listen to even while driving.
It is followed up by some upbeat music, only to be replaced by another 15 minutes of meditation. The fourth part is another original song, and it all ends with 20 minutes of calming meditation practice. The whole idea is to reinforce you into driving and thinking positively about the experience. Once you are comfortable with these meditation practices, you can turn off the guided meditation and try leading it on your own.
The best thing about this method is that apart from behavioral and exposure therapies that certainly are quite effective, this one is low-cost. Yes, you will not need a therapist or psychologist that will treat your issue. Of course, chatting with your family members or good friends about your experience and/or progress is a great idea.
But the fact that you can be led through an effective solution through guided meditation is pretty great. On top of all that. you will become informed on how mindfulness works and that is a skill that you may and should practice in your everyday routine as well. At the end of the day, staying present in the moment is what it is all about, right?
There are many ways to get over your fears. We have covered how to overcome fear of driving with guided meditation which is one of the most efficient ways to do so. It is low-cost and doesn’t put a lot of pressure on the person that needs to accept and address the problem. It is based on an Eastern practice of practicing mantras and creating positive suggestions in your brain.
In no time at all, you will associate driving with something great instead of a fearful duty that you must perform without much choice in the matter. By embracing your fear and using guided meditation, you can deal with it and overcome it, allowing you to enjoy your driving experience.