Kick off the New Year with Tips for Kicking out Driving Anxiety

Overcome driving fearsYou may be used to suffering from driving anxiety, driving fears or big, fat driving phobias. But you can slim down those phobias and alleviate that fear with a few techniques you can work on today, right now, and throughout the entire year.

Since it probably took some time to establish such fears, it may also take some time to get rid of them – but that doesn’t mean you can’t start working on them pronto for a fabulous year to come (or at least one riddled with less driving anxiety).

Do a Reality Spot-Check

Discerning your imagination from reality can help you stay rooted in the latter. Start this process by writing down your driving anxiety and fears in all their glory. Perhaps you fear driving on bridges, driving through tunnels, or both. Maybe driving in general sends anxiety through your soul or you freeze up with fear every time you’re faced with a highway. Write it down so you can further examine it and you know what action you can take to overcome it.

Fears and feelings are not fact.

Reality always stays the same, whether you fear a situation or not. Look at the fears with just the facts in mind. For instance, instead of viewing a bridge as “ominious,” “deadly,” or “atrocious,” try to describe it objectively. Kick out the gloom and doom subjective thinking and describe it as objectively as you can.

It’s big. It may be metal. And it usually spans water. But it’s not necessarily ominous, deadly or atrocious.

“The fear is simply a thought in our brain,” Toronto life coach James Bioleau tells the Toronto Star. The Star article notes he also believes “embracing uncomfortable situations helps people reach their potential.” This counts not only for embracing your fear while driving but embracing it in all aspects of your life.

“Fear is not the determining factor in our lives,” according to the Zen Habits blog. “It doesn’t tell us how our lives will go. It is only a little child’s voice in the back of our minds, trying to get its way, trying to avoid discomfort. But we can learn that discomfort isn’t horrible: it is the feeling of exploring new territory, climbing a new peak, pushing to new levels.”

Stop Stuffing and Start Living

Do try to embrace your fears, rather than stuff them into the background. Stuffing only serves to make them stronger, giving them plenty of time to ferment, percolate and breed. Facing them helps them disappear. You’re already doing a great job of facing your driving anxiety and fears by writing them down and analyzing them. Go even further with additional action.

Small action steps work wonders for overcoming big roadblocks, such as your driving fear, and you can start with the 2-minute rule. Try doing something you fear for just 2 minutes, the Zen Habits blog suggests, a time frame that is manageable and quite quick. If you fail at it, take a break, and try again another day. If you succeed, try 2 minutes more.

Keep building on your successes until they are bigger than your failures and bigger, by far, than your fears.