It is only normal to feel afraid when driving for the first time. However, if you aren’t a first-time driver and you feel anxious each time, it could be that you have an underlying driving phobia. Driving anxiety develops progressively, particularly, among individuals who have had horrible driving experiences in the past and those that have overpowering fatality fears. Some of the signs of driving anxiety include loss of mental clarity when driving, dizziness, heart racing, and sweating, to list but a few. Driving anxiety ought to be addressed immediately; otherwise, it might progress and yield detrimental effects. Take over this anxiety so that it doesn’t take over you. Discussed below, are the measures that you can take to address your driving anxiety.
Consider Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy involves confronting anxiety head-on. Applying this therapy is challenging. Exposure therapy can be done in various ways. Firstly, you can start by sitting inside your vehicle and turning on the engine. Repeat this for at least a week or two. After this, start driving over short distances, maybe, within your block. A lot of people think that they can overcome their anxiety for driving by avoiding driving altogether. In reality, it will only exacerbate it. Exposure therapy will help you to get used to your fears thus, making it easy for you to overcome them in the long-run.
Consider Relaxation Therapy
Tension is a common experience for people struggling with driving anxiety. So, what should you do when you feel tensed when driving? Is walking out of your car the best thing to do or should you try to relax and get over the tension? Many times, victims of driving phobia choose the latter. If what you want is to treat your driving phobia, then jumping out of your car is not the right thing to do. A few minutes of abdominal breathing can help to keep the tension at bay. Breath in slowly and pause. After this, you should release the air progressively. Repeat this until your tension subsides. Aside from abdominal breathing, muscle relaxation can also wade off tension. Fold your knuckles and keep clenching and un-clenching them. Muscle relaxation will ensure that you do not lose your mental clarity and also keep you calm. Also, you can consider making positive affirmations to yourself.
Overcoming driving anxiety is not easy. This should not, however, keep you from trying and staying focused on your goal to get over your fear. If the strategies outlined above do not work, you can always consult with a professional.