How to Deal with Driving Phobia and Driving Fears While at Work

While you can leave some things at home when you head to work, that typically doesn’t apply to driving phobia, driving anxiety and driving fears. Those fears can follow you to your job, sometimes even popping up when you would least expect them – like when you’re in a staff meeting or over lunch with your boss.

This doesn’t mean you need to quit and stay home forever. You can instead take note of a number of tips that can help you deal with your driving fears while in the workplace.

Know You’re Not Alone

An important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. An estimated 19.2 million Americans, or nearly 9 percent of the population, have a specific phobia. In fact, many have more than one specific phobia.

Driving phobia is one of the most common, ranking behind a number of other phobias that make the most list. The most common phobias include:

  • Stage fright or public speaking
  • Flying
  • Enclosed spaces
  • Heights
  • Injections or needles
  • Emetophobia
  • Driving

Knowing that other people are successfully dealing with their own phobias can help bolster you with the courage to do the same.

Don’t Try to Simply Ignore It

Trying to pretend a driving phobia or other fears don’t exist tends to backfire. Those that try to ignore or bury the phobia can often end up confronted with increasing levels of discomfort. This, in turn, can result in increased levels of anxiety as well as an intensified phobic response, such as sweating, shaking, rapid heartbeat and panic.

Remove Yourself from the Situation

A more effective way to handle your driving phobia in the moment is to politely dismiss yourself from the situation that’s triggering it. This can be done both physically and mentally. If possible, take a short break that lets you physically remove yourself from your immediate surroundings.

Mentally removing yourself involves imaging yourself in a place where you feel most safe and secure. While you can certainly place yourself on a tropic island, it doesn’t have to be that elaborate. Perhaps your friendliest place is sitting in front of the TV with your family, or lying in your bed with your dog or cat.

The soothing image can help calm your nerves, even if you aren’t able to physically leave the situation that exacerbated the phobia.

Take Care of Yourself

Self-care can go a long way toward decreasing anxiety, fears and phobias. Get adequate sleep. Eat healthy foods. Don’t go crazy with caffeine. Also learn to be kind to yourself, giving yourself a break and avoiding negative self-talk.

Think Hard before Telling Your Boss

While you may think life in the workplace could get easier if simply told your boss about your driving phobia and fears, that may not always be the case. You want to be honest but, unless you’re specifically asked about it, you may not want to disclose information that could prevent you from being offered future opportunities.

Most people end up knowing in their heart if sharing information about their driving phobia is the right thing to do. It all depends on your individual situation and workplace. The most important thing is having your own personal game plan for dealing with your driving phobia as soon as anxious feelings arise, which is exactly what these tips can help achieve.