Tips On Overcoming Driving Anxiety

Driving is a skill that every adult deserves to learn. Despite the need to allocate a budget for gas and car maintenance, merely knowing how to use a vehicle can be life-saving in many occasions. You can drive through town if there’s an emergency; you won’t need to elbow co-passengers to get in the train or public bus during rush hour. In case you develop a deep passion for it, there may also be room for you in the racing world.

Nevertheless, it is no mystery that you can find folks who are afraid of driving. Some of them may have had a negative experience while riding a vehicle, e.g., they witnessed or got involved in a car accident. Others do not like the idea of having their passengers’ lives in their hands on the road or going too fast, to the point that they no longer feel in control of the steering wheel.


Whatever the reason is for your fear, though, you should try to deal with it sooner than later. Here are some ways to overcome your driving anxiety.

1. Avoid Caffeine

Most people want to drink caffeinated beverages before getting in the car to stay awake. That is especially true for non-morning persons who have to go to work early. However, if you know you get anxious when there are other vehicles on the highway, it is more advisable to get a cold shower or listen to music when you are driving. Caffeine, you see, can trigger anxiety; that’s why it is not an excellent travel companion.

2. Keep Your Stomach Satiated

In case you have not noticed it yet, the symptoms of your driving phobia tend to become extra apparent when your stomach grumbles out of hunger. You cannot focus on the road because half of your mind is envisioning the foods you can get on your destination. The anxiety builds up at this point as well since there is an imbalance on your blood sugar level. Hence, it matters to either eat before driving or keep some snacks in the car to avoid feeling hungry.


3. Do Self-Affirmation

The devil-may-care attitude that risk takers often tap into may not apply to people with anxiety. If you are afraid to drive or do something else, it already shows that a part of yourself is not confident about the task. Because of that, before you take your position in front of the steering wheel, you should consider doing self-affirmation. Telling yourself that you are alright, that everything will be fine as long as you keep your eyes on the road, can be helpful.

Platforms like BetterHelp provides online materials that can help with your self-affirmation. You can easily access these resources from mental health professional even when you’re just scrolling through social media.

4. Try Not To Travel Alone

Assuming your hands still feel shaky, or you break into a cold sweat when you think of driving, it is best not to force yourself to go anywhere alone. During workdays, you can offer to carpool with your colleagues. If you need to travel to a different city or across the country, ensure that at least one friend or family member can go with you. This way, someone can validate your thoughts or take over the wheel if the anxiety becomes unbearable.


To Sum Things Up

Getting over a phobia does not happen overnight. When you command yourself to stop worrying about driving, it may take several tries before your entire system accepts it. Nonetheless, feel free to heed the tips above so that you won’t have to wait much longer to overcome your anxiety.