Occasional fear of driving is normal, but if you find yourself often afraid of getting behind the wheels, you may have a driving anxiety. Driving anxiety comes as a result of previous experiences like accidents, or it may be due mental triggers such as fear of having panic attacks. Driving anxiety is quite stressful and can prevent you from doing important things in life. Luckily, there are ways to overcome it.
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Relaxation is the key to overcoming driving anxiety. First, ensure the car environment is calm and comfortable. Wear comfortable clothes and turn on soothing music. This way, you can suppress any sense of rising panic before you drive. If you begin to panic, try abdominal breathing repeatedly for two minutes. Also, tighten and relax your muscles to release any tension. Don’t forget to embrace positive affirmations like “I am a good driver,” or “driving is something I do every day.”
Confront Your Fears
When it comes to overcoming fear of driving, you need to face the specific fears. Exposure therapy is one of the most effective methods of overcoming driving phobia. Always remember to use relaxation techniques before you begin any exposure method. Pen down your fears and scale them based on intensity and frequency. Go through each one of them from what you fear the least to what causes full blown panic when driving. Avoiding your fears will only make the situation worse.
Taking steps towards confronting your fears is an important step on how to overcome the fear of driving. After you identify the fears, start gradually with the least feared element on the list and slowly practice it until you no longer fear it. Once you gain full confidence with an item, move to the next one. For instance, you can begin by driving around the apartment, holding the car keys while you look at the car, or making left and right turns around the neighbourhood.
Commitment applies to those who want to know how to overcome fear of driving for the first time. To remove your fears, commit yourself to learning and get an experienced and knowledgeable instructor to help you. Ensure you master all the traffic regulations to avoid accidents caused by misunderstood QLD road rules, which are the major cause of driving anxieties in Queensland.
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See a Doctor
Sometimes driving anxiety can negatively affect your normal life. It can hinder you from doing important things in life. If everything else fails, see a doctor. However, know when to see one because not every anxiety situation needs a doctor’s attention. For example, if you develop depression as a result of your fears, contact a physician. He or she will refer you to a psychologist, counsellor or a psychiatrist who has experience in treating patients with phobias and anxiety disorders.
Go for Therapy
A combination of a therapist and a counsellor can work perfectly. A therapist will work with you slowly in tackling the items on your list. He or she will also help you get rid of coping strategies such as avoiding driving or looking for reassurance. Some therapists will only make you talk and give helpful answers.
You are not alone in this, so you can join a group and share with them your fears. There are several driving phobia groups around Queensland. You can also go online and find a group that matches your interests. Being together as a group of people experiencing the same problem and symptoms is enough to comfort you and take away your fears.
Don’t let anxiety define you driving future. Driving in Australia is possible for everyone, and it’s fun. In case you want to know how to overcome driving anxiety, try the tricks above.