How To Overcome Driving Anxiety
Driving Anxiety Tips. Here are some tips to help you get back on the road feeling safe and comfortable and confident. If you are currently not driving due to fear, I highly recommend that you seek help as many have been able to resume driving with the help of a good .
How to overcome driving anxiety
One kind of fear that can seriously limit mobility is a driving phobia, which experts say can come in the form of a fear of bridges, tunnels, freeways or intersections, or just from being behind the wheel in general.
Michael Valentine, a counselor in New Rochelle, N. He says his compassion for his patients comes from having a serious phobia himself: For years Valentine suffered from bridge phobia, a condition that kept him essentially landlocked — restricted in where he could attend college, find employment and travel. He suffered panic attacks, a sensation he describes as an overwhelming sense of fear coupled with a rapid heartbeat and the loss of sensation in his hands and feet, until he started working with a therapist who helped him overcome his phobia.
Some nervousness about driving can be legitimate, especially as our skills decline with age. That’s why it’s imperative to discuss your driving concerns with your physician, who can refer you to a driving evaluation, occupational therapy or additional resources. Take the AARP Smart Driver course online or find a course near you But if your fear isn’t based on any physical issues or cognitive impairment, you can likely overcome it — with work.
Many therapists are happy to get in the car with patients, to help them on the spot; some communities will send a police escort to accompany fearful drivers through a challenging situation such as a bridge or tunnel. Edmund J. Instead, experts recommend approaching your fear in hierarchical steps.
For a fear of bridges, your first step could be as simple as looking at pictures of bridges online. These tools are not meant to be used forever, though — just to get your toe in the water. He advises patients to practice anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes at a time. But it’s essential to get back to driving after 15 to 20 minutes of taking a break. Instead, if you hit a rough spot, use your coping strategies — breathing, breaking, coping mantras and so on — then try again.
Be patient with yourself It may take time. Bourne has had patients take two months to overcome a driving phobia, and others take two years. Everyone is different. Expect to feel anxiety You’re supposed to feel anxiety when you’re exposing yourself to something that scares you, Bourne explains.
Get help Therapists who are skilled in CBT cognitive behavioral therapy and treating OCD obsessive compulsive disorder are well-trained to help patients tackle phobias. And while it can be challenging to find therapists who accept insurance, Medicare does cover therapy. There are also countless self-help books, like Bourne’s and others. And many communities have support groups for all kinds of phobias.