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Overcoming Driving Anxiety

Driving anxiety can make any ordinary task extraordinarily difficult, especially if you don’t live in an urban environment with access to public transportation. Since car accidents are a very real risk for every single driver on the road, feeling nervous about driving is a fairly common form of anxiety. In most cases, there are two reasons why driving phobias occur.

traffic-sign-6602_640Some people develop a fear of driving after they experience a serious car accident. It’s also possible to develop anxiety about driving if you know someone who has been in a devastating accident. If you already have anxiety in general, it can naturally manifest as a driving phobia. If your parents didn’t like to drive and you observed their anxiety while growing up, you can develop a driving phobia as well from watching your parents’ behavior.

Regardless of where your anxiety about driving comes from, it’s important to address it as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse. If you are like most people who don’t live in an area with a great public transportation system, you need to drive on a regular basis in order to lead a normal life.

Being afraid of getting into your car every day to go to work or grocery shopping can have a big impact on your quality of life. Even if you live in a city where you can get access to public transportation, a fear of driving can prevent you from visiting your friends and relatives or going on vacation.

The first step to reducing driving anxiety is recognizing that you have a problem with driving and taking a closer look at the source of your phobia. Narrowing down the reason why you are afraid of driving can help you find a treatment that will work best for your unique situation.

Unlike other forms of anxiety that often form for seemingly no reason, a specific phobia like a fear of driving usually develops as a result of a traumatic event or a learned behavior. You may be afraid of driving because you fear having an accident, or maybe you have a driving phobia because you know you are not a great driver. Keep in mind that anxiety about driving can be limited to specific circumstances. For example, some people are afraid of driving in general while others are fine with driving on local roads but not on highways.

If you experience extreme anxiety symptoms when you think about getting into a car, the best way to get your treatment started is to speak with a professional. You might need to take anxiety medication if your symptoms are severe.

If you can drive but feel a little anxious when you do, you can probably conquer your phobia by consciously making an effort to control your symptoms. Practicing breathing calmly when you are stressed out and driving on back roads can help you mentally and physically prepare yourself for driving on highways and other high-traffic roads.

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