Safe and Simple Ways to Relieve Driving Anxiety
Driving anxiety can be a potentially dangerous situation. However, there is something you can do to regain control in order to be safe. There are four key steps to take if you are showing signs of moderate to severe anxiety while driving a car.
Obviously, your first instinct is to pull over and stop driving. However, it may be difficult if you're in the far left lane in heavy traffic. Trying to change lanes during a panic attack is like white-water rafting without the oars. In other words, it's virtually impossible, scary, and generally unsafe; your brain is freaking out.
Four steps to help curb your anxiety while driving include:
1. Take slow deep breaths
2. Do not swerve and stay in your own lane
3. Center yourself and focus
4. Safely pull over when possible and stop
What to Do After You Pull Over
If your anxiety is particularly bad, try a little meditation to calm your nerves and relieve your anxiety. There are various ways to effectively meditate. Since everyone is different, there isn't a right or wrong way. Just use the method that works best for you and makes you feel better.
Relaxing your mind and body (or meditating) is just a matter of simply letting go both inside and out. It doesn't have to be difficult, scientific, or even religious.
Meditation at its core is the process of eliminating the negative thought patterns that run rampant through the mind. Try to block out the external world and relax. If you think about it, the opposite of anxiety is relaxation and that's what you need to do; especially when you're pulled over in your car and feeling out of control.
Use Meditation to Relieve Anxiety
Many people think or assume meditation is a form of prayer or at the very least somehow related to religion; and it can be based on your beliefs and values.
However, meditation is nothing more than a simple tool to use in order to "ground yourself", get centered, and return to a state of peacefulness. Meditation is very personal and evokes a different experience in everyone.
The point is to get your mind off your anxiety and focus your attention elsewhere. Focus on things like the sound of your breath, the rain outside, or an object you're holding in your hand. All of these will help you to regain your composure and control.
Driving Anxiety is Manageable
Driving anxiety can pose a huge problem for those struggling with anxiety disorder. Even though it's a precarious situation, the danger is actually more imaginary than real.
Keep in mind, that although anxiety is controllable it will require you to take a few proactive measures on your part. Being prepared is the first step to overcoming anxious driving.
Practice meditation when you're not behind the wheel and somewhere safe. Actually, meditation should ideally be practiced when you are not feeling anxious at all. This way, your body and mind will have a better chance of remaining calm should a crisis arise.
Do not wait until your next anxiety attack to learn how to perform the exercises. Meditation works much more effectively if you perform it on a regular basis.