Crutches

Methods To Cope With Driving Anxiety

Crutches is what I use to describe ways to deal with driving or any other type of anxiety. I had several crutches and it helped me function until I no longer needed them. You don’t have to use my crutches, you can develop your own. Use whatever works for you. I used to have a mental checklist before I drove anywhere. Below I will describe what anxiety symptoms I had and what crutches I used to deal with them.

1. Cellphone – Driving and texting is dangerous so do not do that. However, having a cellphone and my wife on speed dial was very comforting. If I had an episode while driving I would just give her a call and talk to her while I was driving. She knew of my driving woes and would talk to me as long as I needed her.

You will notice, that your anxiety and its symptoms fade away once you take your mind off it. Talking, singing, listening to the radio or just thinking about relaxing on the beach distracts your subconscious long enough for the anxiety attack to pass.

2. Ice Cold Water – When I would have an attack I would get some major pressure in my temples. Like an instant bad headache. I would place the water bottle on my forehead to ease the thumping. Yes, it might sound a little strange, but like I said this worked for me.

3. Antacids – Another symptom I had was the burning sensation in my chest. I did not know what it was for a while but I finally realized it was just heartburn. Most likely it came from my stomach being upset and producing more acid than usual. I kept Tums or Pepto Bismol in the car if I had a flair up.

4. Passengers – Like I stated early, keeping your mind occupied will help stop negative thoughts from creeping in. I would always invite friends or family to go with me any where I went. Even if it was to the corner store to buy a lottery ticket. It did not matter. Someone to talk to was always better than a quiet car.

5. Nature / My surroundings – Taking a look at the sky while at a stop sign and noticing how beautiful the day was. Saying out loud “Today is a nice day.” Watching the lady in the next car arguing with her bad kids in the backset. Noticing that jogger wearing clothes that look like they came through a time warp. Little things like signs, nice cars, bad haircuts, kids playing, etc. All these things kept my mind occupied. Another thing I used was pleasant thoughts of relaxing on the beach. Imagining myself sitting down watching the waves come in. Worked wonders.

That’s my list… Use all, some or develop your own. Using these crutches will give you added confidence just by knowing you made it to your destination without being scared. Trust me, its a step in the right direction. Before long you will notice you don’t need 5 crutches, maybe only 3, then 2, then only 1. After a while you will be grabbing your keys and running out of the house with no crutches at all.