Overcoming fear of driving is important, because getting behind the wheel has a tendency to strike fear in those prone to driving anxiety, like myself. The swift movements of cars, and people making unsure decisions all around you can lead to an uneasy feeling of not being safe. The fear of driving is much more common than you might think, so many people need to learn techniques to help them overcome it.
This is because fear blocks us from achieving our goals, from going after what we want in life, and in this case, from getting to where we need to go.
Tips for Overcoming Fear of Driving
- Get Comfortable — When you get into your car, it’s important to make sure that you are as comfortable as possible to begin with. Adjust your mirrors, seat, etc… This way you feel more at ease with your set up.
- Surrender — “Stress happens when the mind resists what is.” That’s one of my all time favorite quotes, because it’s true! The more you try to push away unwanted, negative feelings, the longer they linger. It’s okay to feel the way that you do. The only way to move past it is to accept it.
- Reassure Yourself — When making an attempt to overcome fear, it’s necessary to keep your thoughts positive (to the best of your ability). Make an effort to consciously reassure yourself, even if you don’t believe it. Positive affirmations can be helpful with this as well.
- Drive Safely — When you’re anxious and afraid, actions and movements tend to become erratic. Make an effort to drive smoothly at the speed limit. Use your blinkers and all that good stuff so that you don’t add to your own fears by putting yourself (and others) in danger.
- Practice Acceptance — Remember that you can’t control how other people drive. Accept your current situation, the way that it is, so that you can focus on how to make your next move, calmly, in a way that works best for you.
- Tension Release Exercises — These are great because you can do them while behind the wheel! If you feel yourself getting stressed out, or you’re already deeply in the fear, practice one or both of these easy relaxation techniques: Tighten the muscles in your shoulders, as much as you can, for 5 seconds, then release. Repeat this a few times, or as needed. Tighten your grasp on the steering wheel for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this a few times, or as needed.
- Mobile Meditation — This one is my favorite short breathing meditation exercise. Breathe in and out normally. There is no need to force your breathing. Simply, pay attention to your natural breathing patters. With each inhale say to yourself “in”, and with each exhale say to yourself “out”. You can say it in your head or out loud, it’s up to you. Practice this for at least a few minutes and notice a new sense of calm.
Overcoming fear of driving is important, because that fear can end up running your life. It’s time take your freedom back.