Driving anxiety

Amaxophobia is real!

That overwhelming sense of panic behind the wheel, which can occur day, night or even when accompanied, is driving anxiety. This uncontrollable fear that takes hold in you is called amaxophobia.

Amaxophobia is not an irrational fear, because driving a vehicle is a real danger and requires a lot of vigilance. Being aware of the danger is quite normal and it is essential to drive safely.

On the other hand, this fear becomes harmful when it turns into a handicap. That is, when the latter adds additional danger to those already present on the road.

It can manifest itself differently from person to person. You may have stress reactions like shaking or sweating. A lack of vigilance can also be a sign of this phobia. In most cases, avoidance is the primary reaction, causing the person to give up driving.


Now WHY?

Several factors can be at the source of this phobia. It could be a lack of self-confidence or a lack of experience behind the wheel. It could also be agoraphobia (fear of tight spaces), or even a past situation or an accident that caused trauma. Whatever the reason, this anxiety cannot be stopped with a magic spell. You have to work to overcome this fear.

How can I overcome it?

Here are three suggestions that could help you reduce and possibly eliminate this driving anxiety.

  1. Practicing with an experienced driving instructor could help you a lot. By taking additional hours of training, you could equip yourself with tips to better handle stressful situations in addition to gaining experience, and in turn, confidence behind the wheel.
  2. Drive in a calm and non-anxiety-provoking environment. It is a fact that it will be impossible to avoid stressful situations when you have to drive, for example, to get to work. However, to start and build your confidence behind the wheel, nothing better than choosing the time of day when the roads are less busy. You can also choose who you want to practice with.
  3. Work on his breathing. Breathing helps reduce the stress hormone. You can practice the cardiac coherence breathing technique sometimes per day. This technique works favorably on many neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, and helps prevent anxiety and depression (Source: ULAVAL.ca). It also helps reduce the perception of stress and provides a feeling of well-being and calm.

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