Driving on modern roads is not easy by any means. There are many things you need to think about at all times, which can cause stress and anxiety.
If you are prone to anxiety as it is, driving may be challenging for you. However, there are ways you can manage stress while you’re behind the wheel so that it’s as peaceful as possible.
Here are six tips for managing anxiety while driving:
#1 - Distract Yourself Safely
Of course, it’s essential to use safe distractions so that you don’t cause an accident. Some safe distractions you can use while driving includes listening to:
- The radio
If you suffer from anxiety or another mental condition, soothing music or an intriguing podcast can help you cope with stressful thoughts and emotions.
However, it’s important that the audio isn’t too loud to the point that you wouldn’t be able to hear an ambulance approaching from behind. Essentially, you want to make sure that the sound doesn’t interfere with your ability to concentrate on the road.
#2 - Get Some Airflow Through the Car
If you begin to feel intense symptoms of anxiety or panic, rolling down the window or turning on the air conditioning can help you alleviate the unwanted feelings.
#3 - Take Deep Breaths
You’ve probably heard advice for calming yourself down, suggesting that you close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. Even though you can’t close your eyes while driving, it’s the breathing that makes the most significant difference in calming you down.
If you begin to feel stressed or anxious, take several slow, deep breaths. It can help to breathe in while counting to five, hold the breath for a second or two, and then breathe out while counting to four. Repeat these conscious breaths as many times as you need to calm down.
However, remember to keep your focus on the act of breathing in and out, not the thoughts causing you anxiety.
#4 - Focus on Your Symptoms Rather Than the Thoughts Causing Them
It can be relatively easy to head toward a downward spiral when you are feeding the negative thoughts swirling around in your head. If your hands begin to tremble, shake them out. If you’re having trouble catching your breath, take slow, deep, intentional breaths. If you feel hot or sweaty, open the window or turn on the air conditioner. If you feel a chill, turn on the heater.
Give yourself a gentle reminder that the symptoms won’t last forever and will subside shortly. Do your best not to focus on your fear. If you find that it helps, try putting more of your focus toward buildings in the distance or the signs along the road.
#5 - If You Can Help It, Don’t Give In To the Fear
Pushing yourself to get through the discomfort of driving can help you overcome your anxiety about being behind the wheel. Getting past stress and anxiety often makes you realize that an anxiety attack won’t hurt you even though the situation is frightening.
When you can drive through your stress and anxiousness, you can begin to notice that it doesn’t have ultimate power over you and you can handle driving without anything terrible happening.
#6 - Pull Over If You Feel You Need To
Even though it can be helpful to push yourself not to give in to your fears, there’s no shame in pulling off to a safe and appropriate location if you feel completely overwhelmed behind the wheel.
Some days are harder than others, so it is more than okay to take the time you need off the road to calm yourself down and feel comfortable driving again.
One of the main reasons why people feel stressed or anxious while driving is the fear of getting in an accident. If you’ve been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you may be owed compensation. We’re here to help you recover it.
Give our Kent personal injury attorney at Dore Law Group, PLLC a call today at (253) 236-3888 to discuss your case.