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How to overcome your fear of driving

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Many people suffer from a common problem, a phobia, which is a fear of driving. It can take many forms like intense sweating, incapacity to move, palpitations and even panic attacks. These may result when people find themselves in certain situations where they are no longer at ease such as the thick strand of traffic on the highway, crossing bridges, getting out of traffic jams etc. if not tackled properly and at an early stage, this phobia can take some of the forms of entertainment like simple visits or even bigger problems like driving to work out of the affected people’s lives.

However, fear of driving is a reversible process. This may have arisen in the past due to some fear through a bad experience that has managed to infiltrate in some people’s lives like getting stuck on the highway and unable to do anything or an almost crash on a bridge. The brain has thus been taught to be careful when it comes to such situations again and has stimulated the person to be always on their guard. But being afraid is not helping the person at all; he has to face his fear head on lest it becomes a handicap.

There are many advantages of being able to drive all over again like visiting your family and friends, driving to work, getting more involved in your career like getting to meetings or changing jobs, overcoming health problems that this phobia may stimulate in you, not having to ask for lifts or using public transport, teaching your children how to drive, going away for holidays and above all being in control of yourself and not having to hide from others and going on lying about your inability to drive.

Some simple steps can help you eradicate that fear if you are willing enough to let go of it. The first thing is to realise what is causing this fear, which situation in particular. Sit back in your car and condition your brain that you can overcome it. You did not go through all the processes of getting your licence to keep from driving because of some fear. Make yourself comfortable in your car, put on some peaceful music to help you or switch off your radio altogether if it distracts you; take some deep breaths and concentrate on your aim, your final destination.

Remember that you are neither the only one nor the first one who is going through this. Tell someone to accompany you if it makes you more at ease, in this way you will not have to face your fear alone. Start by doing some short drives around the block, then go for longer drives when you feel strong enough. If the situation is not getting any better, consider getting help from a therapist, driving expert or get some books/DVDs about overcoming your fear of driving.

gices
gices Published 12 Sep 2011

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