This is episode 146 of the Absolute Mind podcasts and today I am covering fear/phobia of driving.
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Please do bear in mind that we have created this podcast to be of some insight and some sort of assistance but by no means a way to treat conditions on their own.
If you do have any deep-rooted conditions or ailments that you’d like some assistance with on a one-to-one professional approach, then please feel free to contact either myself or Michael on Facebook or directly through the website and we can arrange sessions that way or via Skype, whatever suits.
If you are experiencing anxiety or fear around driving then hopefully today’s podcast can help you to start feeling more confident when driving.
What Causes Driving Anxiety/Phobias?
With any phobia or fear it’s hard to be precise on what causes it, sometimes it can be an unpleasant experience which triggers the fear. Long dark journeys, being in a car accident or just seeing one these kind of things could all be triggers. Although some people find that their fear of driving can come on gradually or can come and go over a long period of time and no particular triggers are involved.
It could simply be anxiety caused by focusing on the activity gradually rising the anxiety levels around it. Now it may be useful to understand your trigger and the cause to the anxiety you feel but this isn’t vital. I like to say focus on feeling right rather than focus on whats making you feel so terrible, more solution focused rather than problem focused.
How Can You Start To Feel More Confident?
With any phobia or anxiety the solution is generally always the same. Remember the term what you focus on increases and the more you focus on how terrible your anxiety levels are around driving the more you will increase those feelings.
When we have a fear we become conditioned to produce that fear response in situations that aren’t dangerous at all, so to begin making a change in how you feel you need to re train “de-condition” your response to driving.
You can do this by gradually exposing yourself to the things you fear so if its night time driving gradually drive a little more each time in the night, if its motorways try driving on large roads first with somebody you feel confident and safe with, then progressively get to motorways. The more you practice this type of de-conditioning and experience those original fears without actually running away from them you eventually should become less sensitive to it.
Create yourself a plan, where are you now and where would you like to get to and when would you like to get there by?
As for all fears or phobias everyone experiences them in different levels of severity so you need to work at your own pace gradually expanding your travel bit by bit. These gradual exposures can be as small or as large as necessary but keep in mind that each step should challenge your anxiety a little bit.
Its important to be able to relax in any anxious state, so learning useful relaxation techniques can be really beneficial for you. Techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, mindfulness and so on.
These kinds of techniques can be used a fast acting relaxation, allowing you to regain control over your thoughts quickly stopping that fear response.
As always if you feel you require more help please do speak to somebody, self help groups or 1-2-1 with a therapist or GP could all help in these cases.