Stressed out family in the car

5 Ways to Manage Your Anxiety Behind the Wheel

There are endless reasons why you may be anxious behind the wheel. Regardless of why you feel stressed while driving, it’s important to have healthy coping mechanisms so that you don’t get into avoidable accidents.

Here are five things you can do to manage your driving anxiety:

#1 - Focus on your breathing.

This may sound cliche, but that’s because it works. Especially if you notice your anxiety is triggering a physical response, focus on taking slow, deep breaths. If your mind starts to wander, that’s okay. Just redirect your attention back to your breathing until you feel calm.

#2 - Distract yourself, safely.

When you start feeling anxious behind the wheel, a good way to distract yourself without derailing your concentration on the road is to listen to some of your favorite music, podcasts, or the radio.

Consider putting together a playlist with music that calms you down or that you find relaxing. The soothing melodies can help take your mind away from damaging thoughts.

#3 - Roll the window down or turn on the air conditioner.

You may find it helpful to roll down the window or turn the air conditioning on if you start noticing any of the following physical stress responses:

  • Dizzyness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sweaty all over your body
  • Clammy hands

Getting some air can help refresh your perspective and ease the tension you experience.

#4 - Concentrate on your symptoms rather than the thoughts that trigger them.

Don’t forget to take long, slow, deep breaths. Shake out your hands and arms if you are trembling. If you’re hot or sweaty, roll down the window or turn on the air conditioning. If you are chilly, turn on the heater.

Give yourself a gentle reminder that the symptoms won’t last forever.

#5 - If you can’t calm down, pull over.

If you find yourself having an anxiety or panic attack, you may feel safer pulling off to the side of the road and waiting out the attack before starting to drive again. You know yourself best, so if you don’t feel safe to keep driving, don’t push yourself too hard.

If You’ve Been Injured, We Can Help

Getting into a car accident as a result of another’s recklessness is not okay. Let us see what we can do to help you.

Call our firm today at (512) 400-3278 or fill out the online contact form to learn more about your options.