AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

All of us know someone who’s scared of driving. Of course, a certain amount of fear is right and proper these are powerful and potentially dangerous machines that could harm you and anyone who crosses your path. However, for some people it’s beyond logic, and becomes a genuine phobia that can keep their cars on the drive and severely restrict their lives.

1 Take things easy

Almost all fears can be overcome. The good news is they can be overcome fairly easily too. One of the worst things you can do when you start to get anxious about something is to stop doing it. You’re telling yourself that your fear is justified and you’ll start a feedback loop in your unconscious that will just intensify the fear.

Take things easy and reassure yourself in small stages. Even sitting in a stationary car can help reduce your fear. Then drive where you feel safe and try to extend your driving each day challenge yourself. If it’s motorways, busy junctions or city centre traffic that is causing you trouble, build up to them slowly.

2 Calming sounds

Music is one of life’s great mood enhancers. Play fast, aggressive music while you’re driving and you’re much more likely to put your foot down. Find something that really relaxes you and put it in your car music player. Keep the volume down though, you need to be able to hear what’s going on around you.

Here are some tips from a hypnotherapist who has treated people with driving phobias and which can help you keep cool, calm and collected behind the wheel.

3 Life doesn’t stop at the car door

If you start to develop a fear of driving or a manageable anxiety starts to ramp up then it might be an idea to take a look at what else is going on in your life.

When you’re driving you need to feel in control, and if you’re struggling for control in other parts of your life that lack of confidence can spill over to your driving.

Take a stress check and if you have problems then try to put them in some perspective and deal with them. If you’re worried about making the next payment on your car lease deal then that worry could follow you into the car. Your driving stress could be a symptom of something bigger.

4 Phone a friend

You don’t want to end up unable to drive without someone holding your hand, but while you’re recovering your confidence a calm reassuring presence alongside you can be a great help.

5 Breathing

Breathing is key to remaining calm. It’s another feedback loop, you start to become anxious and breathe more quickly making you more nervous.

One simple trip to slow your breathing down is 7-11 breathing. Count to seven while you breathe in and 11 while you breathe out. Again, don’t let this interfere with the important business of keeping an eye on your surroundings.

6 Your mind controls your mind

We often have more control over our moods than we give ourselves credit for. There’s good research evidence for the power of visualisation as a confidence-building technique.

Find a calm, quiet place where you feel relaxed and then try to visualise yourself climbing into your car with an air of complete confidence. Imagine yourself coping well with situations that have made you nervous imagine away your worries about your car leasing deal too if you can and you’ll soon find that this translates from the theoretical to the practical very quickly.

Sam Harrison is a lover of driving and though he does find it stressful at times, he often considers these tips and feels better.

Categories: General

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