How to Kick Daily Driving Fear Worries to the Curb

worry eyesWhile conquering deep-seated driving fears can take some time and effort, you can use a few quicker tips to overcome the daily worries associated with those and other fears. Daily snippets of worry can exacerbate your driving phobias while eating at your life and your health, as outlined in our previous post What Worry Does to Your Driving Fears (and Your Life). 

The following tips, culled from psychology professor Chad LeJune, life coach Melanie Rudnick and our own experience, can help get through the day with less worry and more time for the enjoyable things. 

Catch it in action and acknowledge it.

When you find your stomach twisted in knots, know that your head may be twisted in worry. Start to recognize when worry sets in and then acknowledge and label it accordingly. Worries are not facts; they are simply thoughts like all other thoughts. 

Worry thoughts are often focused on the future, creating fearful scenarios of “What ifs.” Once you recognize your worry thoughts as the simple thoughts that they are, you can easier extract yourself from their grip.

Don’t try to conquer, simply accept. 

Trying to control or quash your worry thoughts only tightens their grip and gives them more power. Instead take a deep breath once you realize they’re in your head, accept their existence and relinquish control.

Observe it as a disinterested third party. 

Watch what your worry thoughts do when your give up your control. They may spin, dance and try to incite you into panic. Observe them as a disinterested third party and become fascinated by, instead of fearful of, their antics. If there are any reasonable actions you can take to reduce the worry, by all means take it. Otherwise let them go, dancing their way off into the distance.  

Guide your mind back to the present.

While your worry thoughts are busy dancing, gently guide your mind back to the present moment. You can do this numerous ways, such as practicing mindful thinking Simple things, such as focusing on the beauty of something in front of you, can also help to remind you’re right here, right now, where none of those worry thoughts are coming true.

Also remind yourself that you’re wasting the magic of the present moment by giving space to those fears of the future. Then focus on what’s magical about the present, whether it’s the joy of a sunrise, the smooth feel of your cozy fleece jacket or that scrumptious cup of morning coffee at your fingertips. 

Throw in a mantra or positive thoughts for good for measure.

Keep the feel-good vibes going by thinking positive thoughts or creating a mantra that can help override the same old worries that seem to arise. If a constant thought is worry about a crash, for instance, remind yourself something like: “My car is solid, my brain is trained and the road stretches safely in front of me.” Repeat as necessary and then drive safely down that road.


Photo Credit: Corrie… via Compfight cc