Do you know fear is a defense mechanism? Fear helps you act against potential danger and not do dangerous things.
Fear of driving, in its innate and sublime form, is there to protect you. But when it turns into driving anxiety and panic attacks while driving, it hampers your performance rather than help you in any way.
Here we present you with solid tips and techniques to cure your panic and anxiety attacks while driving. When you apply these techniques you will see your panic attacks disappear, and what will remain is awareness to spot signs of fear and take appropriate action to protect yourself.
So don’t worry about fear, let it come to you whenever it is useful. And it is definitely not useful when you pull it towards you and multiply it a hundred times to create panic for yourself.
How to Prevent Fear Turning Into Panic or Anxiety While Driving
Most of us have a slight fear of driving. A frightful incident while driving creates an impression in our mind that plays to itself the next time we drive.
While most people manage to douse the fear, some tend to kindle it and inflame it with every passing incident. They make fuss over physical symptoms of fear like sweaty palms, trembling or dizziness, which makes them even more scared of driving, eventually ballooning into driving anxiety and panic attacks while driving.
The trick is to catch the moment of fear before it soars to uncontrollable heights. Just keep yourself occupied in the present moment and you’ll be just fine. This article is all about remaining in the present. Anxiety is nothing but anticipation of fear.
The fear may or may not be real, but the anticipation of fear is definitely real, detrimental, and hard to bear.
Just look at the present moment. Look at the cars ahead of you. Enjoy the experience of operating a marvelous machine on wheels. Keep your breath flowing and don’t let it lock up. Be aware.
Trick to Quickly Dissolve Panic Attack While Driving
Here is a fantastic technique to avoid an impending panic attack while driving. It may look insane upfront, but it works every time to douse your driving anxiety. Here is how you do it.
Consider you are driving on a freeway or a long bridge, places most of you would tend to panic. Suddenly you start feeling the heat and you get squirmy with fear. Your hands start trembling and your palms start sweating.
Now what you need to do is observe your feelings (identify them), accept them and worsen them. Yes you heard right. Worsen the feelings and symptoms yourself.
Once you have identified and accepted your feelings, make them worse on your own. If your hands are trembling, you make them tremble more by putting in a conscious effort.
If you are feeling jittery, consciously take control of your body and make it jitter more. If you feel like shrieking, gather yourself and consciously shout out something.
What happens is you gain control over your feelings. You realize that you cannot really make them worse. You remain firmly in the present and avoid spiraling into anxiety and panic. This technique will help you relax and avoid panic attacks while driving.
Periodically as you drive, you can perform a relaxation procedure to keep yourself nice and composed. Here is one relaxation technique to help you relax from time to time as you drive, especially if you feel anxiety building up in your system.
Relaxation Technique While Driving
1. Relax your forehead, eyes and jaws. You’ll be surprised how much tension you had unnecessarily built up around that region. Tell yourself it’s fine to relax the muscles of your face.
Relax your jaws and slightly part your teeth. A relaxed face is not going to drop your stance; it is going to equip you with more awareness and alertness.
2. Slightly roll your head both ways. Roll your shoulders clockwise and anticlockwise. Bend your shoulders blades backwards and press them against each other. Hold for a few seconds and relax.
This will soothe your nerves. The best time to perform this exercise is when you stop at traffic signals.
3. Squeeze the wheel tightly with both your hands and relax. Repeat a couple of times. This will make sure you are not holding the wheel with more effort than needed.
4. Squeeze your buttocks together and relax. Repeat twice more. If you have been clenching your buttocks too much while driving, this exercise will relax them and your nerves.
Practice this relaxation technique periodically to get rid of any anxiety while driving. You can practice it on freeways, traffic signals, or before entering a bridge.
There’s nothing really to be scared of while driving if you know how to drive. Unless your driving capabilities are not up to the mark, the only thing stopping you from driving confidently is your mind.
If you engage it in the present moment, anxiety and panic are never going to haunt you. Panic and anxiety attacks while driving are only due to the mind running into the future or harking back to the past.
Use the techniques given above to good effect and keep your mind in the present.
Driving is easy. Just look at those that text as they drive, eat and drink as they drive. This is not to scare you away from the roads but you have you realize that driving is a piece of cake!
Practice. Practice your way up and resist the temptation to test yourself directly over bridges spanning water or speeding on the freeway. Each time you drive, increase the duration of your drive.
Remember, your aim is to get better. Don’t try to achieve perfection; it will only lead to more anxiety attacks while driving and make you more scared of driving.
Having said that, it is better for you to go and drive rather than sit at home thinking of fear, anxiety and panic. If you have decided to follow the techniques given here, it is your best chance ever to get rid of driving anxiety and panic attacks while driving. Good luck!
Check out the Driving Fear Program in which you can find ample tips and tricks and proven methods to eliminate fear, anxiety and panic attacks while driving.
The program is a well thought out guide that comes from the actual experiences of the author as he learned how to drive fearlessly from being a nervous driver.