If you are someone who struggles often with anxiety, then you might find it differs in different settings and on different occasions in your life. One of the places where many people find they experience anxiety is when they are driving on public roads. If you have this experience and feeling, then you will want to know what you can do to make sure you are overcoming it or at least dealing with it as best as you can. In this post, we are going to take a look at some ideas for how to manage your anxiety when you are driving.
Start The Drive With Deep Breaths
If you feel anxious or stressed out as you get in the car, it might be worthwhile taking a few deep breaths before you do anything else. This simple act might be all you need to do in order to overcome your driving anxiety. In any case, it is certainly going to help, so you should definitely think about doing it. For most, three deep breaths will suffice in ensuring you start the drive in the right frame of mind, and are therefore less likely to get stressed as you drive along.
Plan The Journey
If you find that your anxiety is related to not knowing what is going to happen, you can help to alleviate it somewhat simply by planning the journey out as much as you can. You never know what might happen or whether you have to take new routes, but by planning out your journey you can at least reduce much of the uncertainty, and much of the fear. You could do this even for regular journeys, including ideas on where you might go if you are forced to take a detour. That will stop those situations causing you a lot of anxiety.
It can be hard to avoid thinking about the very worst possible outcome when you have trouble with anxiety. But as much as possible, you should aim to avoid catastrophizing about what might happen on the roads as you drive. Whenever a thought of this nature crops up, just try to remind yourself of how unlikely it is, and at the very least aim to question where it has come from. Is there any real reason to think that it will happen, after all? If you can do this, you should find that it really helps.
Prepare For Emergencies
It might sound strange to say don’t catastrophize but yet prepare for the worst, but the fact is that knowing what you would do in an emergency could help you to feel calmer while you drive normally. It’s all about having the necessary preparations in place, just in case you have to use them. That includes knowing what steps to take if you crash, but also making sure you are insured and that you have the number of a local car accident attorney on your cell phone. The more prepared you are for emergencies, the less anxious you will be the rest of the time – and the better you will be at dealing with emergencies in the unlikely event that they do occur.
Many of the feelings and thoughts you have when you experience anxiety could be made easier to deal with through the simple act of noticing them dispassionately. This is the process often referred to as mindfulness, and it can help you to stop your thoughts circling and getting worse and worse, which ultimately makes driving harder anyway. If you have some basic mindfulness ability, you should be able to manage your driving anxiety so much more effectively.
Deal With Issues Of Low Self-Belief
For some people, their anxiety about driving is directly related to issues they have around self-belief. If you find yourself thinking that you are incapable of driving and that you’ll never be able to improve, that is probably what is fuelling your anxiety. It is important to take a look at those assumptions you have about yourself, and question whether they are really true. You might discover that they are not true, and that discovery could lead you to being a better, less worried driver in no time.
As you can see, there are various steps that are worth taking if you want to overcome your driving anxiety. As long as you work at it, you should be able to feel better about driving before too long, and reduce your anxiety on the roads as you go.