Overcoming Driving Anxiety – Three Effective Strategies

A person suffering from driving anxiety or fear of driving is likely to be looking for a quick fix because this problem can have a very serious impact on quality of life. Here are three ways that can be used to relate many of the physical and emotional symptoms that are typical of driving phobia.

1.) Affirmation is a very strong tool to use to eliminate driving anxiety. Simply put, affirmation is the process of telling one's self positive things. This can be done out loud or simply in thought. Let's take the example of a person who is fearful of driving at night. Chances are, the person is already engaged in some form of negative affirmation as in: "I have to drive tonight and I know I will have a panic attack." Instead of this internal dialog the substitute and opposite thought should be verbalized: "I have to drive tonight and I know that I will be fine – I will be calm and I will be able to handle the situation in a normal way.

2.) Imaging is similar to affirmation but instead of being a verbal process, it is a visual one. The sufferer takes the feared situation (ie driving at night) and imagines a scene where he or she is at the wheel, driving in the dark and experiencing no fear. Sometimes conjuring up an image of whistling a happy tune while driving or simply picturing a smile on the driver's face.

3.) Relaxation techniques can involve progressive muscle relaxation techniques or deep breathing techniques to eliminate driving anxiety. These techniques can be learned and used to overcome fear of driving and have been used for centuries in the practice of natural pain control (as in childbirth) and other situations where a 'mind over matter' technique would be useful.