Reducing Anxiety Behind The Driver’s Wheel

Driving can be scary. It’s something we don’t really acknowledge, but being in charge of a dangerous vehicle on a road where everyone has a different idea of driving etiquette can be an anxiety provoking situation! It could even be stopping you from getting into the car at all. 

If that sounds like a struggle you have, it’s probably best to speak to a therapist about the stress you’re experiencing. But in the meantime, you can use ideas like these to try and control the anxious feelings. A fear of the road shouldn’t prevent you from being independent. 

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Don’t Rush

The more you rush, the more you’re likely to lose focus and make a bad decision on the road. Give yourself plenty of time to get from place to place, and watch out for the traffic report before you head out the door. Download an app that’ll push alerts straight to your phone screen, so you know about accidents and closures as soon as they occur. And if in doubt, always leave 10 minutes earlier than you planned to. 

Remove Distractions

If you often find it hard to listen to the radio at the same time as driving, you’ll want to turn it off and simply drive in peace and quiet. Anxiety often arises from things being out of our control, but that’s one thing you can definitely make better for yourself! Similarly, you might find it beneficial to put your phone into ‘airplane’ or ‘do not disturb’ mode while you’re on the road. This way you’ll never be tempted to look at it, no matter what calls or messages come through. 

There’s Always a Chance of an Accident

But it’s unlikely. More people get home safe than they get into a motorcycle accident or have a roadside breakdown, and that’s very important to remember when you feel your anxiety spiraling. Being realistic and rational about out of control thoughts can prevent you from needing to stop and get out of the car completely, but if you feel the need to pull over for a breather, feel free. If you’re losing focus, stopping until you get it back is one of the safest things you can do. 

Text Someone Before You Go Out

If you’re really worried about something happening out there, text someone you know and trust before you head off and tell them when you’re going and when you expect to be there. This way, if anything happens, you have someone on the lookout for a confirmation text, and will notice if you’re in trouble. 

However, if you feel the need to do something like this, it’s definitely worth talking to someone about how troubled driving makes you. We mentioned a therapist at the beginning of this post, and we want to reiterate just how much a professional can help with coping mechanisms. 

If you can’t help but be anxious behind the wheel, it’s time to do something. Don’t let it rule your life.