There are a number of reasons why you may be anxious about driving. Maybe you or someone you love has been involved in a serious accident which triggers flashbacks when you get into a car. Maybe you are stressed out about other elements of your life which leads to anxiety while driving.
Whatever the reason, if you experience anxiety while driving, there are some techniques you can use to reduce the amount of stress you feel. Below, we’ve put together five tips to help you manage your anxiety about driving.
#1 - Don’t forget to breathe.
Of course, your lungs automatically breathe in and out to keep you alive. However, conscious breathing can make a big difference in the amount of stress you experience behind the wheel.
If you find yourself getting worked up while on the road, try taking several long, deep, conscious breaths. It may sound overrated, but there’s a reason why so many people suggest conscious breathing to reduce stress. That’s because it actually works.
Be genuine with your efforts and try it out for yourself to see if you notice a difference.
#2 - Talk to a therapist about what makes you anxious.
Speaking to a mental health professional can help you understand where your driving anxiety comes from and how you can best manage it. Not everyone’s triggers are the same, which means what makes you anxious might not cause concern for another person with driving anxiety.
Learning about what makes you tick and why can help you overcome the anxiety you experience while driving. Working on your mental health regularly is so important and is vastly undervalued.
#3 - Maintain your focus on the road.
Sometimes you may feel anxious because you are thinking about too many things at once. It’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed when you are thinking about several things you have to do at the same time.
Instead of thinking about things that can increase your anxiousness, consciously think about your driving. Don’t think about the entire trip, but rather concentrate on small portions of the drive at a time.
For instance, if you are concerned about crossing over a bridge, don’t think about having to get over the whole bridge. Just think about crossing 10 feet (ft) of the bridge at a time. Once you get past the first 10 ft, think about the next 10 ft, and so on. When thinking in this way, your mind is active and moving, which doesn’t provide the opportunity to experience anxiety.
#4 - Get some cool, fresh air.
The physical symptoms of stress and anxiety can easily get overwhelming. Some of the most common symptoms people face include:
- Chest pain
- Racing heart
- Muscle tension
- Jaw clenching
- Stomach discomfort
If you start feeling physiological stress symptoms, opening the window or turning on the air conditioner can help your body cool off.
#5 - If possible, don’t give in to your anxiety.
If you’re able to push through the feelings of anxiousness, you will have much better chances of overcoming them in the long run. If your stress gets so severe that you experience anxiety attacks, it’s important to understand that no matter how scary and life-threatening an attack may seem, it won’t actually hurt you.
Driving through an anxiety attack can help you understand that your anxiety doesn’t control you and you can manage it without bad things happening. This realization can provide you with the confidence you need to feel more comfortable about addressing an anxiety attack if it occurs again.
We’re Here for the Injured
If you have anxiety about driving because you were hurt in an accident through no fault of your own, you may be owed compensation. Our team believes it is critical that you recover the money you deserve to pay for your losses.
Call the Ozone Park lawyers at The Cassisi Law Firm today at (718) 524-3398 to speak with an experienced attorney about your case.