5 Ways to Overcome Driving Phobia

5 Ways to Overcome Driving Phobia

This months guest post comes from the talented writer Sarah Brooks a Houston based freelance writer and blogger.

 

The fear of driving is not altogether uncommon, and certainly nothing to be ashamed about. There could be a number of reasons for developing this particular phobia, such as being involved in an accident, or even just viewing a horrible wreck. It could also be related to another symptom such as agoraphobia.

 

However, understanding the reason for your fear isn’t necessarily essential to overcoming your anxiety. It may help, but most phobias are based on irrational beliefs, which may be hard to dispel. There are a number of ways to confront your agitation, and get behind the wheel and on your way again.

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1. Avoid negative, simple, black-and-white thinking, like “If I drive a car, I’ll get in an accident.” It is alright to understand there is an inherent risk with driving, but don’t let it consume you. This type of thinking will simply feed your angst. Don’t fill your head with negative thoughts about driving, and what might happen while you’re behind the wheel. Instead take a more positive approach. Consider all of the benefits of driving, such as independence, and the ability to get to far away destinations without a lot of hassle. Drive sensibly, and recognize your limits. Don’t push yourself too far, too fast.

 

2. Take it one step at a time. Don’t just get in the car and drive. First, just sit in the driver’s seat and start the engine, and just leave the engine running. Get a feel for what it’s like to be in the “captain’s chair” of such a powerful machine, and keep reminding yourself you are in control. Next, just move slowly back and forth in the driveway or a vacant parking lot. Don’t even worry about using the gas pedal; let the idling motor do the work. Get used to controlling the car while it’s in motion. Then try slowly going around a quiet, familiar neighborhood. Just take a few laps around a block where you feel comfortable and aren’t likely to run into much (if any) traffic. From there, choose a destination only a short distance from where you start. Then keep going further, gradually expanding your limits. Avoid busy motorways and especially freeways until you feel comfortable. Above all, don’t rush – take it at your own pace.

 

3. Practice relaxation techniques, both in and outside the car. Getting enough rest, eating well and practicing meditation are all good ways to help relieve stress in any form. When you are in the car, a little deep breathing before you get started can help. Practicing a mantra, such as “The car is just a tool, a friend, and I’m in control and a good driver” (or whatever works for you). Listen to music if it helps you relax, or make sure the radio is off if it adds to your tension.

 

 

 

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4. Make use of positive thinking. Congratulate yourself on the things you are doing right – driving carefully, adhering to the speed limit (both min and max), being alert and aware of your surroundings. Plan out your journey and know the route beforehand. Convince yourself it’s not the end of the world to miss a turn, and doesn’t warrant sudden erratic lane changes. You can always turn around at a safe location, if needed. Accept that moving to the slow lane is fine. Driving fast isn’t a must, especially if you’ve planned well and given yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Properly maintain your vehicle to ensure it’s safe. Check the lights, turn signals, mirrors, seat belts, and get regular tune-ups. Before beginning your journey, make sure you are comfortable in your seat and positioned to reach the steering wheel, pedals, and other features without issues.

 

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, both for your driving and your phobia. If your fear of driving is overwhelming you, or especially if it is coupled with other causes for anxiety, seek advice from a medical professional. Trained counselors can help you rationalize your fears and put them in their proper perspective. If you have friends or family to help you with your driving, take advantage of that resource. You may also consider enrolling in driving school or defensive driving classes to make you more comfortable with your skills, which will naturally ease your concerns about being behind the wheel.

 

Author Bio:

 

This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from Freepeoplesearch.org. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com.

 

Chris Delaney NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Career Advisor is available for booking for One to One Private Sessions, Group Training Sessions and Public Speaking Events

 

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Chris Delaney NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Career Advisor is available for booking for One to One Private Sessions, Group Training Sessions and Public Speaking Events

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