How to overcome your driving phobia?

Some people say they don’t like driving or are afraid of getting behind the wheel. If you are so afraid of driving that you are in distress, you may have a phobia about driving.

This specific phobia could make you feel that your life is in danger when you are driving. You may even experience panic attacks, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, or feelings of dread. If you are dominated by your anxiety behind the wheel and it prevents you from being comfortable behind the wheel, it is important that you face your phobia. This will allow you to get back behind the wheel and take control of your life.

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Create a calm environment in the car

You should feel comfortable just sitting in the car, whether it is moving or not. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Practice sitting in the car and relaxing before you even start driving. Consider listening to relaxing music. This could help you overcome a sense of panic and cover up the noise of other cars.

  • Even the most insured drivers can become anxious if their passengers are noisy. Keep the car quiet, free of litter or clutter.
  • Improve your feeling of safety by having all the necessary repairs done on the car.

Practice abdominal breathing

If you start to feel a panic attack or your neck and chest muscles contract, start breathing deep into your lungs. Breathe in slowly through your nose, with the goal of bringing air into the lower lungs. Inflate your stomach and hold your breath for a while. Exhale slowly and relax your whole body.

  • You could repeat this process 10 times, counting to 10 on each expiration. Try to make 3 sets of 10.

Try to gradually relax your muscles

Contract and relax the muscle groups in your body so that you become aware of how to release the tension. Start by clenching your fists for 7-10 seconds. Relax for 15 to 20 seconds while you focus to release the tension in your hand muscles. Repeat the exercise with the other muscle groups, raising your arms above the head, then by tilting your upper body toward your feet and toes.

  • You could even practice this relaxation method for 20 minutes every day, even if you don’t have a panic attack. You will be able to improve your self-control and your mood, reduce the frequency of panic attacks and increase your concentration.
Use positive affirmations
Affirmations are short, positive sentences that remind you that you can change. In the case of driving, here is the type of statement you could use.

  • I drive carefully while respecting speed limits. Safe driving guarantees safety.
  • Driving is a common activity that is part of everyday life. I am an alert driver who participates in a joint activity while being careful.
  • I don’t have to drive fast. I can stay in the right lane if I want to go slower than the other cars.
  • I don’t take the risk of changing lanes at the last moment. If I miss an intersection, I can turn around later, without danger.
  • I planned this route from start to finish. I know where I’m going and when I have to change lanes and turn. I prepared myself well.
  • Even if I am a passenger, I can control my reactions. If I feel bad at some point, I could always ask the driver to pull over.