Did you pass your driving test with confidence, yet feel a sense of dread when you get behind the wheel? Does the idea of driving somewhere you don’t know or driving long distances make you feel unwell? Do you avoid driving at all costs? If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then you could have driving anxiety.
What are the symptoms of driving phobia or anxiety?
These kinds of issues can manifest themselves in all kinds of ways. The physical and mental effects could look like this:
- Chest pains
- Feeling sick
If you understand where your driving anxiety has come from, then you may find overcoming it much easier. Often, it can be a one-off event that triggers these feelings, such as being in a car accident – speak to a Brooklyn PI lawyer if you’ve been in a car accident that could have been avoided. Or it could have manifested gradually over time after being exposed to various dangerous and stressful driving situations, such as a bad parking experience, nearly hitting a cyclist or being on the receiving end of an aggressive driver.
So, how can we combat these issues and stop them from holding us back? Read on for how you can overcome your driving anxiety with these simple tips.
Go back to driving school
It doesn’t matter whether you passed your driving test twenty years ago or just a few months ago, there’s nothing wrong with building up your confidence and going back to driving school. Find a driving instructor and explain how driving is giving you anxiety, they’ll be more than happy to guide you through the scenarios that are giving you difficulty and will help to build your confidence up! Within just a few short lessons you could greatly diminish the anxiety you’re experiencing.
Throw yourself in
Sometimes, throwing yourself in at the deep end and facing your fears head-on is enough to quell those debilitating thoughts and voices that are telling you that something bad is going to happen. If you’re terrified at the idea of parallel parking in a crowded street, just do it. Or if you’re scared of driving on the highway, consider driving in the slow lane and taking someone along with you to guide you. This doesn’t work for everyone, but exposing yourself to the things that you scare the most might help.
Focus on relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques such as meditation and breathing exercises can help you to overcome your driving anxieties. Although it’s not always appropriate to pull over and start meditating at the side of the road, focus on ensuring you’re fully relaxed before you get behind the wheel. Or concentrate on your breathing before you set off on a long journey.
And finally, use positive affirmations
If you’re driving and you recognize the signs of an anxiety attack or you can feel yourself start to panic, using positive affirmations and thoughts may help you. Consider telling yourself that these feelings are normal and that they’ll pass within a few minutes or that your anxiety cannot hurt you and it’s not in control of your life.
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