How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety When Traveling

The Problem

I have a car accident one year ago. I am really worried that my 10 year old daughter may 'catch' my anxiety about going in cars. him in the car telling him to slow down. What can I do to stop my daughter being as nervous as me? "

The Solution

It is very common after a bad traffic accident to feel nervous in the car both as a passenger and a driver. So what can you do? Please reassure yourself that your nervousness will get better. The keys to this are: Every time you go in the car tell yourself 'I'm safe' and 'this will be OK'. It is extremely unlikely that you will have another accident. Next, you need to have regular practice going out in the car both as a passenger and as a driver. Try going on very short trips around where you live – put your kettle on, and go out for a 5 minute journey.

If you are driving, remember to relax every 5 minutes – let your shoulders drop, do not grip the steering wheel to tightly, and take a deep breath. If any particular situation, like passing a junction, makes you tense, apply the 'relax' technique then. When you are a passenger be aware of your 'feet, hands and mouth', try not to 'brake' or hang on, and try not to point things out to the driver! As these nervous passenger behaviors stop, you will relax more and find it easier to cope with the journey. As you feel better, you will transmit this to your daughter. You can also explain to her that traveling is safe; play games in the car to distract her and make the journey more fun. Please do not worry, this nervousness is understandable and gradually goes.