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Home > Panic Attack Articles > Article

Does Stress Affect Your Driving? 

By Rich Presta

 

 

Not everyone gets angry and filled with rage when they’re feeling stressed. Some people wind up feeling an intense amount of worry in the pit of their stomach when they’re driving or stuck in traffic. They can’t stop fidgeting and feeling nervous about what the outcome will be, some even fear a loss of control and panic.

Do you bite your nails when stress is seeping into your life? Do you get a bad case of insomnia whenever you’re mired down in stress, unable to sleep because the situation keeps replaying itself in your mind? Does it manifest into anxiety about driving?

Stress happens for all of us when we can’t control a situation – when something doesn’t go our way. Unfortunately, when stress causes you this sort of intense anxiety, you’re even less in control than if you were calmly able to analyze your next move.

Worrywarts generally feel stress over even the smallest things in life. If their loved one snaps at them slightly, they spend all day wondering what they did wrong. If the boss takes their assignment and doesn’t offer up compliments, they sit there concerned that he didn’t like it.

Do you “what if” every situation that causes you stress? What if I get lost in the car? What if I lose control? What if I embarrass myself? Stress isn’t always about something being done to you – it can often occur out of pure dread that something might happen.

You may need an anti-stress therapy that helps your body create or absorb melatonin. Not only does melatonin help stave off stress, but it also helps you sleep, which the usual worrywart needs to be able to manage his or her stress better.

When your body is under stress, it goes into overdrive producing cortisol, the stress hormone. Melatonin controls this excess production and allows you to remain calmer and feel more in control.

There are supplements on the market that you can take to get more melatonin in your system, but you can also get it from certain foods, like dried cherries or walnuts! Check with your doctor before taking a supplement, but the dosage will probably be somewhere along the lines of 1-3 mg that you take about half an hour before bedtime.

Melatonin will help you sleep, but it isn’t something that will knock you out or make you groggy in the morning. It’s something your body naturally produces, but during times of stress, gets overpowered by the cortisol production your body’s delivering.

 
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