CONQUERING THE FEAR OF DRIVING
I often see clients who have a fear of driving. The stress can vary between someone who gets a bit nervous behind the wheel where the fright is always present, to someone who becomes so paralyzed with fear that they cannot drive at all. In all of these cases, the person is aware that the panic they are feeling is irrational, but they cannot seem to do anything about it.
This fear of driving is one of the most common phobias, and it often really is just the fear of loss of control. People that have this are afraid that they may be stuck in a huge traffic jam and can’t get out if they start panicking. They also are terrified that they might pass out, vomit, lose control of their vehicle, have a panic attack, or get into an accident. They may experience the classic “fight or flight responses” with such symptoms as excessive sweating, dry mouth, heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, and disorientation. Obviously these are very unpleasant feelings to have, and most people will just avoid driving so as to avoid experiencing these types of reactions.
As my clients tell me, their fear of driving is serious enough to hamper many of their daily activities. When they come to see me for the initial free screening that I do for every client, they explain that they are tired of relying on friends and family to drive them everywhere. Simple tasks such as food shopping, or going to appointments quickly become very challenging for them.
This fear of driving can take form in a variety of ways. One client has had this difficulty (including a fear of being alone) for much of her adult life. Another client had been driving for close to 50 years before she was involved in her first traffic accident…That was 3 years ago, and she has been unable to drive since; her fear of another accident has been debilitating to her. And in another client’s case, his fear of driving on the highway seemed to come out of nowhere.
In many situations, if the person is already prone to stress and anxieties/fears, driving can be one of the places where this shows up. The problem is that the more you don’t deal with the issue, the worse that it gets, and the harder it becomes to get “back on the bike” so to speak. However do not lose hope! The fear of driving is not a hereditary disease; it is a learned behavior. So to put it another way: if in your lifetime, you have ever felt comfortable and confident driving, that was something that you learned how to do. And by the same token, if you “learned” how to be uncomfortable driving, then you can simply relearn how to be comfortable driving again!
If you are not driving because of fear, then I recommend you contact us for a free screening to see if hypnosis can work for you and help with your issue. In the meantime it is important to know that even though the fear and anxiety feels really bad, it can be managed. Instead your reaction to these feelings can help make it controllable for you or not. So if you are feeling anxious or fearful, just allow it to be present; don’t fight it. Notice it, and see if you can almost “separate” yourself from the fear to observe the feeling. Breathe deeply, and be aware of being focused on something else like the cars around you, or the music you’re listening to, etc. These are just some things that I work on with my clients to help them.
However if you are still having trouble, you may be able to benefit from hypnosis and the help that it can bring, as it can be very effective to assist you in driving comfortably and with confidence.
If you would like more information about any of our programs including management of your stress and fears, please contact us to book your free screening at (647) 210-8842.