Driving can be a stressful and dangerous activity. Many people experience panic attacks while driving. If you are having this problem, first, you should know that you’re not alone. Quite a few people are in the same boat. Secondly, there are many things you can do as discussed in many online traffic schools. This article will lay out several tips to help you stay off panic attacks when you’re driving. There is a good chance that these tips will eliminate or at least reduce your panic attacks. If they do not, however, do not hesitate to see a mental health professional. This is imperative for your own safety and for the safety of everybody else on the road.
Take Slow, Deep Breaths
The first and simplest thing you can do to avoid having panic attacks when you’re driving is to take slow, deep breaths when you feel a panic attack coming on. If you feel your pulse starting to quicken and your breath starting to get short, try taking slow, deep breaths. This will not only calm you down physically, it will calm down your mind as well. This is only the first line of defense against panic attacks, but many people find it very effective when they have anxiety while driving.
Take a Break
If you feel yourself starting to get anxious while you’re driving, pull over and take a break for a minute or two. In many cases, this is enough to stop a potential panic attack from happening. Even if you cannot stop the panic attack, at least you will not be driving so you will not be endangering yourself or any other people. If the panic attack does happen, simply sit and ride it out. Do not try to drive when you’re having a panic attack.
Let Your Passenger Drive for a While
If you are in too much of a hurry to stop and take a break and you have a passenger, it may be a clever idea to let your passenger drive for a while. During this time, you can calm down and relax. Once you have reached the state where you will not have a panic attack, you can take your turn driving. It also will help with your anxiety just to know that you have a passenger who could possibly drive if you start to have a problem.
Avoid High-Traffic Times and Areas
If possible, you should try to avoid high-traffic times and areas. If you have a traditional nine-to-five job, this may be difficult. However, if you look carefully enough you may be able to find an alternate route for your commute that doesn’t have as much traffic. Traffic is one of the main causes of stress and anxiety while driving, and if you are driving in a relatively traffic free area you are less likely to have a panic attack. It may be difficult to figure out a way to avoid high-traffic times and areas, but you should be able to avoid these situations at least part of the time.
What to Do If These Tips Don’t Work
If you tried the tips in this article and they did not work for you, you should see a professional. Keep in mind that there is nothing to be ashamed about when you are seeing a professional for your mental health. Many people deal with panic attacks, and you are not alone. A mental health professional can provide you with treatment that will drastically reduce or even stop your panic attacks. This would reduce your stress and anxiety while driving and decrease or eliminate the risk of a panic attack-related accident.