You are doing it again. You are pulling off to the side of the road to recover from the onslaught of your driving phobia. The dizziness, nausea, and cold sweat are all in full gear making driving almost impossible. It may have just been a minor event on the road which triggered this anxiety attack, but to you it feels insurmountable. You are ready to overcome these fears once and for all.
The Power of Persuasion Fuels Your Fear
Most times we hear the phrase “the power of persuasion” in a positive light, but in this case it has turned into a negative experience. The persuasion which hit you was your own mind convincing you a small event was of much greater significance. Your own mind is powerful in taking thoughts and amplifying them to meet our own hidden expectations.
Take a simple event like a car swerving towards your lane. To most drivers this means you make a minor adjustment, curse under your breath, and keep on driving. To anyone with a fear of driving it can set off an anxiety attack in an instant. The difference is in what our mind communicates to us, and how we talk to ourselves about the event.
As mentioned, a normal driver sees the event as troubling but minor. On the other hand, you or anyone with a driving phobia will see the event as an imminent disaster. You may have felt you were almost in a head-on collision and your life was threatened. Your mind begin racing with all of the possibilities which almost happened. Every car on the road is now suddenly suspect. Your heart is beating fast only being outrun by the thoughts circling in your mind.
The Power of Persuasion Can Rescue You
The power of persuasion is a dual edged sword. While it has the power to steer you into a full blown anxiety attack, it also has the power to guide your mind into a quiet calm. The difference is learning how to take control of your thoughts and patterns of thinking.
The first item everyone tries to convince you to do is relax. Try this. Scream “RELAX” at the top of your lungs while pinching yourself hard on the arm. Did it work? You feel calm and relaxed now? Of course not, you feel pain in your arm and a little emotional jump from your scream.
Try this instead. Pinch your arm but observe the pain, only. You probably feel no emotional change. You still feel the little bit of pain, but no importance is placed on it. When you are driving down the road and see someone swerve you can react one of two ways. You can observe the situation and watch how it unfolds. You can scream RELAX or NO NOT AGAIN.
The difference is in how your mind will interpret the event. If you simply observe your mind will persuade you everything is ok and allows you to react normally. If you scream your mind will persuade you the even t is filled with danger and put you on high alert.
Knowing these facts will not solve your driving phobia, but it guides you in the right direction. Studying material which gives you new patterns of thoughts and methods to practice can help you overcome your fear of driving permanently.
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