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Old January 14th, 2018, 09:56 PM
PineLeaves PineLeaves is offline
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Overcoming phobias/nerves

Hi,

Anyone have any tips for beating nerves or overcoming phobias.

I have a phobia about driving. No idea why-no bad experience or anything. I just get very anxious about it. It took me many years to build up courage to go do lessons and get my licence.

Iíve had licence about 2 years and still get nervous in lead up to having to drive. I make myself do it at least once a week.

Iíve been lucky working at same place as my husband, so he does the driving to/from work. Iíve only had to do it when he has a day off.

But heís in process of looking for a new job so Iíll have to drive everyday-eeeep

Any tips would be appreciated
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Old January 14th, 2018, 11:34 PM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: Overcoming phobias/nerves

I wish I had good advice, but I don't. Have you talked with your doctor to see if there is some kind of medication that would help?

The confusing thing is that there's no reason for it. I had a friend who was terrified of driving over bridges, but she had a bad experience that gave rise to that. I really admire you for making yourself drive once per week.

Do you do better if there's someone in the car with you, or by yourself?
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Old January 14th, 2018, 11:48 PM
PineLeaves PineLeaves is offline
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Re: Overcoming phobias/nerves

Thanks for the reply. I donít really want to go down the medication route-prefer to try to find more natural solutions. But if I find it gets bad that will certainly be an option B

Umm Iím better on my own. I half wonder if itís not the driving itself but a fear of doing the wrong thing/being judged that influences me...a performance anxiety I guess...I do feel more tense with someone behind me and worrying I might be going a bit slow etc

Iím a bit of a people pleaser so have struggles with overthinking about other people.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 09:31 AM
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Re: Overcoming phobias/nerves

I understand about preferring a natural remedy. I prefer that too. Is there any kind of music that calms you? Maybe some nice scent that makes you calm?

There's probably no easy solution. It sounds like you'll have to gain bits and bits of confidence with experience.

I taught both of my kids to drive. My son was particularly nervous to learn. With him I had to start small - driving one block in our neighborhood with no traffic - and add as we went. His first driving lesson was in our driveway where we sat for an hour while he familiarized himself with controls (turn signals, windshield wipers etc.) and blind spots (I walked around the car inch by inch so he could tell where his blind spot was). He turned out to be a really good driver. It just takes patience.

One thing I did with my son, which may be helpful to you, is that before we'd leave, I'd have him envision where we were going. I'd break the drive into small segments and talk through them. "Okay, we're going to turn right out of the driveway and drive down the street to the stop sign. The street curves around to the left, and today is trash day so there are trash cans on the curb. Okay, now we're approaching the stop sign. After you have stopped, you'll look to make sure there are no cars approaching, count 3 seconds, then turn right if the coast is clear." The segments got larger as he gained confidence until he didn't need them anymore. Do you think something like that would help? Talk yourself through it?

The goal of driving isn't to make other people think you're a good driver. It's to get to your destination safely. Don't worry about what other people think. They'll forget about you within seconds of getting past you.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 09:37 AM
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Re: Overcoming phobias/nerves

I agree with this: "I'd break the drive into small segments and talk through them."

The best way to overcome phobias is to desensitize yourself to the phobia, a little bit at a time. Start driving a little distance every day. Break the drive up into smaller chunks. Use one of the map apps if that helps you to feel a little more confident with directions and possible road hazards.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 11:44 AM
PineLeaves PineLeaves is offline
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Re: Overcoming phobias/nerves

Thanks very much for your replies and suggestions. I think music could be a good option to try.

Yes I have found breaking the trip up does help me too. When Iím driving longer distances Iíll think of the trip in sections Ďjust got to get to this partí and then the next Ďhalfway there nowí and so on.

Also if Iím going somewhere Iíve never been before and am totally unfamiliar with the roads, I use google maps street view to track along the route and see what itís like.

That is very true, people likely wouldnít give my driving more than a passing thought, so I shouldnít worry about that!
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