Anxiety is the feeling of dread that you can’t explain, and it causes a rapid heartbeat and heavy breathing. Sometimes, these little moments can progress into panic attacks.
Driving is full of unlimited possibilities that you often can’t control. For many individuals, sitting behind the wheel causes immense fear. If you’re one of them, know that you’re not alone. Read about some of the reasons why you might feel anxious while driving your car.
You Feel Frightened by an Unexpected Accident
While driving, you get the sudden fear that another car or an animal will crash into your car this instant and cause catastrophic damage. You can’t get those thoughts to stop. They pop up out of nowhere, and you can’t get them to go away. This can cause anxiety or even a panic attack.
You Endured a Traumatic Car Encounter in the Past
Trauma is a prolonged emotional response to a disturbing or tragic event. It’s difficult to control when emotions peak, and it’s even more difficult to recover from afterward.
Maybe a friend passed away from a car accident. Perhaps an accident occurred when you were merging on the interstate or parallel parking. These intense memories can greatly influence how you feel while driving.
You’re Driving in an Unfamiliar Location
Sometimes the drive to a new place feels longer than any other drive. Going somewhere new can be extremely frightening.
You might have anxious thoughts about where you’ll park, if the location is safe, or if your car will die while you’re somewhere you don’t know. These thoughts are distracting, which can be dangerous for you and other drivers.
You Don’t Understand How Your Vehicle Works
Cars are complicated machines. Unless you’re a mechanic, an engineer, or an automotive enthusiast, you likely don’t know much about how your vehicle works. It’s common for auto owners to drive something they don’t understand.
Perhaps you frequently worry about your car breaking down or causing an unexpected malfunction while driving. And when that happens, you won’t know what to do. The unknown is a frightening thing. The trick is to learn as much as you can about your car to give yourself peace of mind.
Find out how to extend the transmission’s lifespan. Read about when to receive regular car maintenance. Learning more about your vehicle and providing frequent service will build trust between you and your car.
It’s Possible To Overcome Driving Anxiety!
Each reason for feeling anxious while driving your car is valid. If you feel like anxiety is taking over your daily life, there are ways to combat it.
Anxiety is a mental battle. One of the first ways you can confront anxious thoughts is to remain in the moment while driving. A frightening thought can overwhelm you and ruin the entire drive. Instead, stay present and focus on what’s right in front of you.
Consider incorporating breathing techniques into your driving routine. If you feel your palms start to sweat or your heartbeat increase, implement breathing techniques with positive affirmations to eliminate those anxious thoughts.
Another option is to seek professional help. Mental health professionals who specialize in anxiety or phobias can assist you through this journey. They will get to the root of your driving fears and anxiety, and then you can implement beneficial tactics.