Resisting a panic attack is the most natural thing in the world. It’s an animal instinct, direct from our lizard brain. That’s the brain stem, the oldest part of the brain. It reacts with fear and/or aggression to any perceived threat. Unfortunately, that includes threats that don’t actually exist. Our lizard brain is pretty dumb. The good news is, it can be retrained to know a real threat from a false one. That’s the premise of the Panic Away program.
It’s not all good news, of course. Panic Away is based on a radical approach to anxiety treatment, something called paradoxical intention. Paradoxical intention bypasses the lizard brain completely by enlisting the help of the conscious mind to actually move towards the feelings of panic, not away from them.
Sounds crazy, right?
Barry McDonagh from the Panic Away program says your driving distance “safe zone” is really all just in your mind.
I’ve heard from Driving Peace customers countless times about the suffering they endure from driving long distance anxiety. These feelings occur when they drive outside their driving distance “safe zone”: an imaginary circle (usually with home as the center) that they feel “safe” driving inside of. Driving safe zones are not just based on geographical distance. They also include familiar locations and driving routes.
Editor’s note: Today’s post comes courtesy of Jessica, a young woman from South Africa who struggles with driving anxiety.
So, here’s the thing: I cannot drive. This isn’t because I haven’t bothered to learn or that I’m physically incapable of sliding into the driver’s seat. No, it’s because I have a driving phobia. And yes, that is a real thing. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to explain this phobia.
People develop a sudden fear of driving sometimes. And they can’t figure out why. What happened to bring it on? Did anything happen? Where did this sudden fear come from?
The fear is often about something driving-related that’s very specific. Like suddenly being afraid to turn left. Or go around curves where part of the road is hidden. One poor woman told me she became frightened of stopping on hills.
She lives in San Francisco. That place is nothing but hills.
A sudden fear of driving can seemingly come out of nowhere. I say seemingly, because these fears almost always have a cause.
But how do you figure out the cause?
I talked the other day on Facebook about how cruel people without driving anxiety symptoms can be. They’re often cruel towards people who live with these symptoms every single day! It makes me ANGRY. Watching them stigmatized makes me angry. I also get angry when sufferers aren’t taken seriously. However, I get especially angry when they’re made fun of.
You’re part of the problem if you think driving anxiety is stupid or funny. You’re also not wanted here. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.
But if you live with driving anxiety, read on. I have a small favor to ask you.
Photo by Kat Smith IG@boohaifarm
As any anxious person can tell you, anxiety and stress go hand in hand. Anxiety causes stress, which causes more anxiety, which causes more stress. The whole thing creates a vicious feedback loop that cranks your tension up to unbearable levels. We all know stress makes everything worse. That can easily include your IBS symptoms. Let’s examine four simple ways you can wipe out IBS stress flare ups when life gets too heavy.
Looking for natural remedies for anxiety to help ease your anxiety symptoms? I’ve got 5 great choices for you. Before we dive in, let me point out something important about natural remedies for anxiety. Natural anxiety remedies can help speed up the process of soothing anxiety. But they’re not a cure-all. Like taking medication for anxiety, natural remedies work best as part of an integrated anxiety treatment plan.
The best way to achieve lasting freedom from chronic anxiety disorder is to seek professional help from your doctor or an anxiety treatment specialist. Learn more about how to find a good therapist for anxiety.
Do you feel your heart race, cold sweat running down your forehead, or become breathless at the thought of driving? Do your symptoms get worse once you get behind the wheel? This is called driving anxiety, and causes many people suffer intensely while driving. There are a number of ways to treat driving anxiety. One solution that’s effective for some is to take medication for driving anxiety.
Whether or not you should take medication for driving anxiety is a decision that can only be made with your doctor, or another health care professional who’s licensed to prescribe anxiety medication.
If you’re already prone to anxiety, you may fear sitting in the passenger seat while someone else drives. This is driving anxiety as a passenger, and it’s extremely common. It can show up whether you’re in a car, an airplane, a bus — any moving vehicle where you’re not the driver.