By Rich Presta
Have you ever tried to explain to a friend or family member your fear of driving?
Sometimes the reaction you’ll get won’t be the one you’re looking for. Instead of a sympathetic shoulder, you often get rolled eyes and a response like, “Just forget about it,” or “You have to get over it.”
It isn’t always as easy as turning off your fears like you would a faucet. Driving Fears are embedded in our conscious and subconscious mind.
They become ingrained as a formal belief system that we hold.
Getting past a fear like driving doesn’t necessarily mean it will ever be completely erased from your mind, but you can find ways of relieving the panic and anxiety you feel when confronted by your fears.
Facing fears of driving is often the most difficult thing we can do. It’s our instinct to avoid those things that worry us or that we fear will do us harm in some way, whether it’s physical or emotional turmoil.
The first thing you have to do is examine the fear of driving to see if it’s credible or irrational. It doesn’t matter if it is irrational, you’ll still need to find a way to deal with it.
But giving it a realistic examination will help you find a solution to your anxieties.
For instance, you might fear that you’ll get lost and have to stop for directions. When examining the evidence, you see there have been previous times you’ve gotten lost.
This is a valid fear that would require you to take action in the form of being sure to bring a map and maybe a cell phone.
An irrational fear might be having a panic attack every time you drive more than 10 miles from home. When examining this fear, you find that whether you’re near to home or further away, the act of driving is the same and the fear isn’t justified.
Either way, you’ll need to take the next step, which is dealing with your fear responsibly.
For irrational fears, you’ll need to learn how to remove the bulk of the stress you feel by calming yourself down before you allow panic to ensue.
You might do this by using breathing techniques, self-hypnosis, or even (in some rare cases when you can’t control your fears), through prescribed anti-anxiety medications.
Don’t ever let yourself become prisoner to your fear of driving. Whether you have a close support system or not, you have the power to take control and diminish the effect it has over you and your life.