3 Things You May Not Have Tried to Help Driving Fears and Anxiety

three beautiful activities

Whether you experience it as driving fears, phobias, restlessness, insomnia or inability to focus, anxiety can be relentless. Even when you think you may have it beat, or at least subdued, it can rear its ugly head at the most inopportune times, making you feel as if it never left.

And even if you think you’ve tried every possible tactic for keeping your driving fears and anxiety at bay, you may not have tried these three things that came out of a University of Cambridge study. These tactics are based on adjusting the way you cope with things in life, with the idea  that the more smoothly you cope, the lower your anxiety levels can dip.

‘Do It Badly’

If you’re dragging your heels about making a decision, getting things started, or worrying about perfect results, this tactic can help. All you have to do is move forward with the idea that you’ll “do it badly.” Giving yourself permission to “do it badly,” can greatly speed up your decision process, decrease your worry, and get tons of tasks started – and completed.

As you whip through your tasks “doing them badly,” you may also find the results are not all that bad at all. Jumping in to “do it badly” can give you the courage to try new things, add a bit of fun to anything, and free you from all that worry about doing everything perfectly or right.

Try it with your driving fears the next time you get behind the wheel. Instead of fretting about having a “perfect” anxiety-free ride, just take a drive with the aim to “do it badly.” The ride may suddenly become far less stressful without the weight of perfection on your shoulders.

Wait to Worry

If you’re prone to worrying all day long, particularly when you think you’ve just made a mistake, a simple change of schedule can do wonders. Instead of fretting all day long, or right after your mistake, set aside 10 minutes each day at the end of the day when you can ruminate on all your worries.

You may be surprised when your scheduled worry time rolls around and all the things that formerly ate wildly at your brain suddenly seem so small. Or you forgot about them altogether. That’s because worries and woes tend to lose their power when they’re not fueled with energy.

Be Kind to Yourself

Whether you beat yourself up over your decisions, actions, habits or even the smallest mistakes, keep in mind that self-criticism can go a long way toward feeding anxiety and fears. A good way to spot check your kindness to yourself is to ask if you would treat a friend the same way you treat yourself – or if you’d remain friends with someone who treated you the way you treat yourself.

If your answer is no, then it’s time to put away your self-beating baseball bat. Forgive yourself for mistakes. Use the same compassion and care with yourself that you do with your friends. Every time you notice your self-criticism habit start to kick in, stop the process and release the negative thoughts. Then go back to whatever task was at hand.

While these three activities are certainly not the end-all for dealing with driving fears and anxiety, they can help you move through your days – and life – much more smoothly, easily and with lower anxiety levels to boot.


Photo Credit: Ken Whytock Flickr via Compfight cc