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Fear and Anxiety Whilst Driving Can be Overcome

Posted By: Mike Sanderson on August 19, 2011 at 8:35 am

Many individuals have worry or panic attacks when they get behind the wheel of an automobile. For many of them just the notion of driving fills them with fear and they have felt that way since their first driving lesson. Other folks have had bad experiences while driving such as being in an accident and have gone on to develop anxiety and panic around driving. Some have very particular driving nervousness issues such as driving over bridges or a fear of motorways for example.

However your driving nervousness manifests you may be reassured that there are efficient techniques of treating the problem so that you can overcome fear of driving. It may well be that your anxiety is simply a absence of confidence and with further exposure to the driving experience your symptoms may go down. If however the issue is more deep rooted then it may take a little more work. Anxiety whether it’s attached to driving or something else has the same underlying root cause. This root cause is the fight or flight response which becomes turned on by your brain when you feel there to be a threat of danger.

The flight or fight response is what sets off the chain of events in your physiology that bring on the sensations of nervousness and panic attacks. It’s nothing more than your body preparing itself to take action to protect you from danger. However this response in panic sufferers gets triggered too sensitively. This means that if you've had a bad experience while driving that the memories and feelings linked with this event make a conditioned response where the flight or fight response is triggered when your drive a car. Just sitting behind the wheel is a reminder of the situation you were in when you had that upsetting experience and this sets of the anxiety.

Like all of the phobias driving fear has its own name. It is known as hodophobia. You do not have to be car driver either, as it can apply to passengers also. Driving fears are typically related to agoraphobia where people feel out of control if they go outside of their zone of comfort.

The nervousness you experience while driving is due to you perceiving yourself to be in a threatening situation and you body will reply by turning on this flight or fight response. The is our built-in instinct of self preservation that kicks in when we are in a threatening situation and need to escape from danger. In spite of how bad you feel you most likely realize that what you are experiencing is irrational as you aren't really in danger. All that's happening is the flight or fight response is too easily caused. The key to beat driving nervousness and fear is to stop this response from kicking in when you are driving.

The author has written more articles on how to conquer fear of driving on his website and effective forms of driving phobia treatment.

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