Driving anxiety is far more common than you think. Sometimes driving anxiety is part of feeling anxious generally, however some may only feel anxious about driving.
Driving anxiety may be the result of being involved in a car accident or it may as a result of modelling driving anxiety. I sometimes talk about anxiety almost feeling like a virus you can catch.
Perhaps you’re ok if you’re driving but feel anxious as a passenger?
Sometimes the fear is about being injured or killed in an accident, sometimes it’s about the anxiety impacting your ability to drive and hurting others and yourself. Driving anxiety can be about having a fear of anxiety symptoms whilst you’re trying to drive.
Remember that anxiety creates its own rules, and they don’t always make sense. Some people may feel anxious about driving on motorways, for some it may be anywhere unfamiliar, for others it may be about driving in the dark.
The first step to overcoming anxiety about driving is to understand exactly what your rules are. We need to find out the detail and rules you store. Cognitive behavioural therapy has the best solutions for all types of anxiety. A word to the wise about CBT, because I notice that more and more people are saying they use CBT, unless you’re registered with the BABCP you don’t use CBT. CBT is so effective because it changes how you perceive and respond to situations which is the quickest, easiest and most effective way to start to feel calm, confident and in control when in the car, and the ability to drive wherever and whenever you want.
Driving anxiety is classed as a phobia, and there’s only one way to beat phobias and that’s with graded desensitisation. This sounds far more complicated than it is. It’s about building a hierarchy of your fears, starting with something that you can do with only a little anxiety and building up to your worst-case scenario. You’d be surprised how quickly and easily you can do something you never thought you’d be able to.
Don’t struggle on with a driving phobia. Phobias always get worse if untreated.