How to overcome driving anxiety

Let me share the secrets of how to overcome driving anxiety and get your life back.

If you find your palms sweating when you drive at speed, panic when there’s nowhere to pull over or can’t drive at night or over bridges then don’t worry because all those things are common and you can get rid of them.

You can often fix a fear of driving in an hour, even if you’ve had it for decades!

This video explains how driving anxiety starts and how to overcome it.

How to overcome driving anxiety

Use these links to visit these parts of this page or scroll and read them all:

The biggest secret to driving anxiety

There’s one thing you must understand about driving anxiety:

Driving anxiety has nothing to do with driving!

Driving anxiety is just a symptom – how your real problem is showing itself.

Think of it like how sneezing and coughing mean you have a virus. It’s no good working on the sneezing by taping your mouth shut because the real problem is the virus.

So many “experts” get this wrong and waste time focusing on exposure therapy and driving lessons for anxiety.

Doing that will only make the problem worse as you fight anxiety head-on. Your constant failure then makes you feel there is no solution.

Let’s look at the truth about driving anxiety.

What causes a fear of driving?

Driving anxiety is generally caused by three things:

  1. A build-up of pressure throughout your life
  2. An emotion from earlier in your life that is being triggered by driving
  3. Part of your mind stops you from driving for a reason

A fear of driving can be caused by any one of those things or a mixture of two or three.

Everyone’s problem is unique. That’s why you’re unlikely to fix the problem by listening to YouTube hypnosis tracks which are a generalised one-size-fits-all solution.

Something to consider as you continue reading this page is that all of what I’m about to describe happens subconsciously. That means you won’t be aware you’re doing it, just like how you breathe and blink without being aware of it.

If you now find yourself thinking about your breathing and blinking then there you go: you’ve just brought something from your subconscious into your consciousness which is what you need to do to overcome your driving anxiety!

If you are thinking about those things then don’t worry, they’ll slip back into your subconscious mind soon and be running on autopilot again, just like your driving will.

Let’s have a look at each of the causes above and I’ll explain more about each one.

A build-up of pressure throughout your life

I find this to be the most common cause of driving anxiety.

We all experience negative and stressful things as we go through life such as deaths, relationships ending, moving home and having children.

These things create stress which builds like steam in a pressure cooker.

One day the steam will build so much that it just has to come out.

But why does this happen when you’re driving?

There’s a thing in your head called the Amygdala (more commonly known as the fight/flight mechanism). If your amygdala becomes too stressed then it can’t relax and fires off danger signals when it’s not necessary.

Your fear of driving will stop once you’ve found and released what’s stressing your amygdala.

This is where hypnosis comes in. Thinking about things logically or listening to an audio track where you keep being told how relaxed you feel when driving won’t work. You need to access your subconscious mind where the problem lives.

Many people feel better after learning what I’ve said above. There is no major problem, you just need to chill your amygdala!

Learn more about this by watching the video at the top of this page.

An emotion from earlier in life

One day when you’re driving, something happens that reminds you of an earlier time in your life.

This can be caused by something that reminds you of that event or even a song playing on your car stereo that was playing years ago when the event happened.

This triggers your mind into replaying the emotion you experienced at that time and because you’re driving, that feeling becomes attached to driving.

Driving will now trigger that old emotion in just the same way that hearing a song makes you remember people and events from years ago.

This is why driving anxiety seems so out of place – it is! You’re getting scared because of something your mind thinks is happening right now but it happened years ago.

It makes no sense to most people that an event such as dropping an ice cream as a child gave you driving anxiety as an adult. This is because of two things:

  1. There will have been many events between the two and just giving the start and end makes it sound silly. It’s like saying “I met someone and we got married”. What about all the other things between those two events?
  2. You’re thinking about it with your logical conscious mind but the problem lies in your unconscious mind where logic plays no role. For example, love is an unconscious feeling. You can’t tick boxes and logically explain it!

Your mind stops you from driving for what it thinks is a good reason

Something scares you one day when you’re driving such as seeing a crash or almost falling asleep.

In many cases, you’ll have no idea what it was and you don’t need to.

Your mind then decides that driving is bad and it must protect you at all costs by stopping you from driving.

A fear of driving often starts on high-speed roads and while it often remains isolated to those, it can spread to other things over time. What was once a fear of multi-lane highways or motorways becomes a fear of main roads, backroads and sometimes all roads.

I’ve known some cases where people’s fear went on to get so general they couldn’t even pick up their car keys or leave the house at all.

The good news is that it is possible to reverse all these things. It’s just your mind getting it wrong and being overprotective.

A big thing to understand is that your mind only ever wants what’s best for you. It isn’t punishing you and you’re not stuck this way.

In fact, once you learn to reverse these thoughts, the power that stops you will be helping you!

How to overcome driving anxiety

To stop driving anxiety you first need to find the cause of it as mentioned above.

I know what to look for because I’ve spent 20 years working with anxious drivers. I know the common phrases and themes that come up and I’m an expert at finding the link between obscure memories and a fear of driving.

Here’s a great example of how finding the cause of fear stops it.

Imagine that one night you’re lying in bed and are suddenly woken up by the sound of voices from another room. You freeze in terror and clutch at the sheets as you realise that someone must have broken into your home! You then hear the voices change into an advert for carpets and realise they’re coming from the TV that you left on in the other room.

What happens to your fear as soon as you realise there are no intruders and it’s just an advert for carpets?

The fear goes – exactly like your fear of driving will go!

How to find the cause of driving anxiety

Finding the cause of your anxiety is not done in the way people think.

Many people say they’ve been thinking for years and they just can’t think what it is. You won’t because that’s not how you find it!

The problem exists in your subconscious mind so you’ll never find it just by thinking back to events that happened. That’s all conscious stuff and won’t get you anywhere.

Please do not get obsessed with finding the root cause consciously. You can fix a problem without ever knowing what the root cause was consciously. It’s your subconscious that must find the answer.

Sometimes after your subconscious has found it, it’ll choose to show you by popping a memory into your head. Sometimes it doesn’t and your problem will be fixed without you ever knowing what it really was.

The video below describes how to find the root cause of driving anxiety.

I also have a playlist of videos about the root cause of driving anxiety.

How I can help you when others can’t

My name’s Paul and I am a professional hypnotherapist specialising in driving anxiety and one of the UK’s most experienced driving instructors.

This unique mix of understanding hypnosis and experience as a driving instructor makes me the go-to person for help with a fear of driving.

Therapists usually offer a wide range of services without being an expert in any of them. You can easily find therapy sites offering services to beat anxiety, quit smoking, lose weight, sleep better and much more. They do a bit of everything and aren’t particularly good at any of it! As the saying goes: jack of all trades, master of none.

Someone who is just a driving instructor can’t get rid of anxiety because they don’t know how to. They often make the mistake of booking you a driving lesson and putting you in a car; right into the very situation that makes you anxious. Driving instructors will often teach you how to deal with anxiety or cope with it but that’s no good. You want it gone!

Only by having extensive experience in both therapy and driving tuition am I able to help people so effectively. I’ve met many clients who said the therapist they went to laughed or scoffed when they said they couldn’t drive over 50mph or over a bridge. They just don’t get it because unlike me, they’ve never been in the car with someone who has driving anxiety.

A comforting thought for those with driving anxiety

Many people worry that there is no way of fixing driving anxiety.

They think that because they’ve had it for years (sometimes decades) they just have to accept that’s how their life is now and they’ll never be able to go back to how they once were.

These things are not true because:

You can overcome driving anxiety in as little as an hour!

You’re not stuck this way. This is not how your life has to be.

Fixing a fear of driving is as simple as releasing stress and pressure from your life and accepting that how you were does not have to be how you are.

I am not promising a miracle cure because the whole point is you don’t need a miracle! You’ve only had driving anxiety for so long because you have misunderstood it and have been working on the wrong things.

If you want to change and overcome the problem you can, quite quickly!

Contact me now for help

Contact me to get help and join these people who overcame their fear of driving.

If you want to learn more keep exploring this site or watch my YouTube videos on driving anxiety.