Meditation & Driving Anxiety: So I have... - Anxiety Support

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Meditation & Driving Anxiety

ChristineJarvis27
ChristineJarvis27
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So I have really bad anxiety driving especially when I'm about to change lanes or merge into lanes. And because of that I feel like I have a hard time looking over my shoulder when I'm about to change lanes and feel like I'm not doing it right and not long enough. Or I'm also afraid that I'm looking over my shoulder too long and I have a hard time not being in control and I can't control how others drive and am afraid I may loose control of my car. But I've recently started meditation and yoga and found that the meditation has been very helpful with my anxiety and am wondering if I should start doing that the meditation in the morning or evening before I drive to help with my anxiety. Any suggestions especially with anyone that has driving anxiety or has done meditation to help with their driving anxiety.

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Dolphin14

I do meditate. It's great for anxiety. So give it a try and see if it helps.

I understand the driving anxiety. I always feel like I've lost confidence in the skill. I'm just a little jumpy all the time. Mayb I should try it before driving also.

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ChristineJarvis27

I just started meditation and it has really been helping me. But, I was wondering if anyone had ever started meditation before driving because they had driving anxiety. And I also feel like I've lost confidence in my driving ability but I should try and tell myself I passed my drivers test and I'm a decent driver so I can drive carefully. I do feel better that I'm not the only one with this problem.

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ChristineJarvis27

I have a hard time with the driving because I feel more comfortable when there aren’t any or many cars so I can change lanes. And I’m afraid I’m not looking over my shoulder right even though I look in my rear view mirror in the front of my car then I look over my shoulders. And I do turn m head to the side to look over my shoulder but not all the way that I turn my head to the back of my car. And I know it’s my anxiety it’s just hard because sometimes I don’t know or don’t feel as if I have enough space o change lanes unless there are no cars or the cars are really far behind me. Any suggestions for how I can get myself to a point of feeling comfortable changing lanes when there’s a car in front or behind me and knowing I have enough space to change and knowing that I’m looking over my shoulder the correct way.

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Dolphin14

ive been forced to learn to drive on the highway due to life circumstances. I feel like I'm getting a little more " daring" which my husband calls " normal" driving.

I think you just have to keep at it and eventually the anxiety does shift a bit.

I take a longer route to work because trying to get off the exit would mean cutting two lanes. I'm not interested in that.

But, I think the key for me was I got forced to do it. Believe me I spent a great deal of time in the slow lane.

Just take your time and be safe. That's what important.

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ChristineJarvis27

Yeah it’s hard for me especially when my mom has to have a ride somewhere if her cars being looked at because she’s an aggressive driver that she makes me nervous because she can be on high alert and I need someone that’s a little more calmer due to m anxiety and that’s why I just let her drive so I don’t get the anxiety. And because of my anxiety and depression I’ve learned that being calmer is the best for me so I’m by an aggressive driver at all. And I had to take my mom to the car dealership to get her car back and when I was coming back home I changed lanes twice and I was happy about that. But, it was because there were cars way behind me so I had lots of room and feel the most comfortable changing lanes when I’m in that situation. And I know I’ve got to to do it when other cars are around it’s just hard to know if there’s enough space sometimes and if I’m looking over my shoulder correctly even though there shouldn’t be this fear that I am because I look over my left shoulder when changing to the left lane and look into the side of my drivers door window a little while looking over my shoulder. Which is how I’m supposed to do it, right?

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Dolphin14

You use the rear view mirror and the drivers mirror right.

I hate driving with my husband he's " mr perfect driver" lol

Yes just keep practicing when no one in on the road. Eventually you will get more comfortable.

I wouldn't go speed racing down the highway. Just go with your level of comfort. I see some pretty aggressive drivers out there and they scare me lol

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Dolphin14
Dolphin14
in reply to Dolphin14

Are you a new driver or just new to the highway?

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ChristineJarvis27

I’ve had my license for 5 years and I’ve driven on the highway before and have changed lanes . So I just don’t know if it’s my anxiety talking and me being worried bout hitting another car or getting hit by one because I’m a person that needs to be in control and so it’s hard for me to only be in control of how I drive and not others. And it probably doesn’t help that my mom is an aggressive driver so it makes me more anxious when I’m in the car with her that I think I’m doing it wrong.

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ChristineJarvis27

Or it may be me just overthinking and over analyzing it due to my anxiety.

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ChristineJarvis27

You mean the drivers mirror on whatever side? What about when you try to change lanes into the righ lane use the rear view mirror and look over you shoulder or do you also use the side mirror for that lane change into the right lane?

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Dolphin14

Going to the left you use the drives side mirror

To the right the rear view and the other mirror

Now I'm sitting her wondering if I even look over my shoulder or just use mirrors when changing lanes

When exiting onto the highway I def look over my shoulder.

It's so automatic now I can't think of what I do lol

It's definitely the anxiety. It will get better with time

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ChristineJarvis27

Thanks. It’s just hard because the mirrors on the side of the cars say things in the mirror are closer than they appear. So that makes me think I can’t really use them because the cars are closer than they actually look in the mirrors.

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ChristineJarvis27

Again my anxiety is probably causing me too overthink and over analyze everything.

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Agora1

Hi Christine x I do my meditation everyday 3x a time. But it wasn't until

I was Agoraphobic for 5 years did I find the peace and tranquility that deep breathing

give me. It gave me the courage to enter out into the world again as well as drive

again. What I found was breathing properly went beyond that. I could shop big box

stores, grocery stores and no longer be anxious when merging, stopped at a railroad

crossing in the inner lane and on and on.

I hope you give breathing a try Christine. It's the long slow exhales that will lower

your adrenaline and take away your anxiousness. It's been over 7 years since I've

been housebound but I still continue to use my deep breathing multiple times a day,

even when on the forum, watching tv etc. It allows you a more relaxed in control

feeling. :) xx

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ChristineJarvis27

I recently have started the yoga and the meditation. I just started once a day but I think I need to do it more than that. And when you do the exhales do you make noise when you exhale by kind of making your lips a circle. Or do you exhale by keeping it inside of yourself?

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Agora1

No noise Christine. That's what makes it sooo great. No one need know.

Your breath is always with you, it doesn't bother anyone else and it's free :)

Standing in line is another great place to use it. It has been the "key" to

my success from anxiety. Practice makes perfect. Using the lower abdominal

muscles to breath deeply in and then slowly exhale while bringing your

shoulders down. I do exhale from my mouth and not my nose. For me it gives

me better control. I still use meditation at home or in the waiting room of a

doctor/dentist but you can't use it when you drive and that's when breathing

properly can really help (esp driving) Let me know if you can feel more

comfortable in the car once you acquire a naturalness to it. :) xx

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ChristineJarvis27

I'm hoping to. But I guess I got to get used to the breathing because I was more focused on the meditation. I just did a breathing where I breathed in and then exhaled out through my mouth but I did it in more of a quiet breath. So hopefully I did it right because when I was watching meditation videos on youtube I would breath out but sometimes if I didn't want to be too loud I would just inhale and then exhale but I would go down to exhale and keep my lips closed instead of making a circle with my lips.

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Agora1

Christine, I've never smoked but I would say that you purse your lips like you

are blowing the smoke out of your body. Instead think of it as exhaling the

fear and anxiety from deep within you. When doing it correctly, you will feel

your shoulders drop away from your ears and almost a release of the adrenaline

coming from the upper stomach. Remember it's always about what works best

for you. The outcome is the important thing in feeling more in control. xx

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ChristineJarvis27

I have a hard time with the driving because I feel more comfortable when there aren’t any or many cars so I can change lanes. And I’m afraid I’m not looking over my shoulder right even though I look in my rear view mirror in the front of my car then I look over my shoulders. And I do turn m head to the side to look over my shoulder but not all the way that I turn my head to the back of my car. And I know it’s my anxiety it’s just hard because sometimes I don’t know or don’t feel as if I have enough space o change lanes unless there are no cars or the cars are really far behind me. Any suggestions for how I can get myself to a point of feeling comfortable changing lanes when there’s a car in front or behind me and knowing I have enough space to change and knowing that I’m looking over my shoulder the correct way.

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Agora1

Christine, it might help you by taking a few defensive driving lessons. Anxiety will

always have you second guessing yourself which will accomplish only raising your anxiety level more.

Learning to use your mirrors will help in knowing what is around you at all times.

When changing lanes, put on your signal, check the rear view mirror as well as the

side mirror. If it looks all clear, before you turn that wheel into the next lane, then

you turn your head just enough to make sure it's still clear.

Driving is a huge responsibility. It's not only about cars but about pedestrians as well. Driving cautiously can and will bring up your anxiety. Short of breathing to

reduce your anxiety level, I would say that years of practice will make you more

comfortable behind the wheel. xx

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ChristineJarvis27

Thank you I guess I just need to keep driving and practicing and make sure I breathe to calm myself down. I guess the more I do it the more comfortable I’ll get.

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Agora1

You've got it dear. To be an expert in anything needs practice. xx

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ChristineJarvis27

I just got to tell myself that it’s okay that I’m not an aggressive driver and that I need to drive my way to help deal with my anxiety. And not everyone drives the same. I think I need to also start telling myself I can change lanes safely and correctly and try not to overthink or over analyze how I change lanes.

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Agora1

You definitely don't want to be an aggressive driver just a SAFE one xx

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ChristineJarvis27

That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself everytime I’m driving 🙂

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ChristineJarvis27

Is it a good idea if I tell myself I CAN change lanes and tell myself that especially when I'm driving to help with calming myself and help with my anxiety?

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Agora1

Christine, you have to learn to trust your instincts. That you are a good and safe

driver and once you have checked behind and the side, it's okay to change

lanes. It's all about driving responsibly which I feel you are doing. x

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ChristineJarvis27

Thank you. It makes me feel better that someone else thinks I’m driving responsibly. I think that the reassurance from others is making me feel better is due to my anxiety levels being.

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ChristineJarvis27

I’m always going to tell myself everytime that I’m driving that I’m a safe and responsible driver at all times. Hopefully this will help my anxiety levels lower each time and I will always use my breathing techniques. Which I did use my breathing today when driving back and it definitely helped me and I was able to change two lanes on the highway even though there were very few cars around and beside me.

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ImHere_Again

I also get anxiety when I'm driving, but in the freeway. I get tensed up or start feeling dizzy. I tend to humm while I'm driving, I think that helps for me. Eventually it goes away, on a long drive. I also try to entertain myself by listening to a podcast or the radio to distract me from my anxiety. I think if you have the time to do yoga you should definitely do it. Hope you feel better and find a way to conquer that feeling. <3

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ChristineJarvis27

I feel very tense and stressed and scared when I drive on the highway especially when I have to change lanes because sometimes I feel like I didn't turn my head quite enough to look over my shoulder to see my blindspots and that I've either turned my head for too long or not long enough and I'm going to loose control of the car and hit something because I have figured out I have a hard time not being in control of stuff since I feel like I have to be in control the whole time but I can't control how others drive or what will happen next. I also have a hard time with listening to music or a podcast when I'm driving and anxious because I was diagnosed with ADHD so it makes it a little harder for me to focus, so I feel like I will be more distracted if I listen to the music or etc. And although I do like listening to music it doesn't make me feel any less anxious.

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ChristineJarvis27

I have a hard time with the driving because I feel more comfortable when there aren’t any or many cars so I can change lanes. And I’m afraid I’m not looking over my shoulder right even though I look in my rear view mirror in the front of my car then I look over my shoulders. And I do turn m head to the side to look over my shoulder but not all the way that I turn my head to the back of my car. And I know it’s my anxiety it’s just hard because sometimes I don’t know or don’t feel as if I have enough space o change lanes unless there are no cars or the cars are really far behind me. Any suggestions for how I can get myself to a point of feeling comfortable changing lanes when there’s a car in front or behind me and knowing I have enough space to change and knowing that I’m looking over my shoulder the correct way.

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