Updated: Jul 8
Fear of driving is a lot more common than you might think. There are many reasons why people are afraid to get behind the wheel. For some it may not actually be the fear of driving itself that causes anxiety, but the possibility of experiencing a panic attack whilst driving.
It may be that someone has experienced a panic attack whilst driving in the past. This can make it difficult to feel comfortable about driving as there may be concerns about similar issues in the future. Alternatively, some drivers become anxious when faced with specific obstacles or routes, such as motorways or roundabouts. Deliberately taking a specific route in order to avoid such obstacles can lead to longer journeys and poor time management.
A fear of making mistakes or from unwillingly attracting the attention from other drivers can cause what is known as performance anxiety. Drivers are often worried about stalling the car or pulling away too slowly from a junction and subsequently feel pressurised behind the wheel. The fear of frustrating other drivers can become overwhelming and could even cause the anxious driver to make further mistakes.
Driving tests also cause many people to feel anxious. This feeling of nervousness is often worsened if a driver has previously failed a driving test. Nerves brought about by an upcoming driving test can be the difference between a pass or fail!
How can hypnotherapy help?
Hypnotherapy can help someone in making beneficial changes to the way they think, feel and behave. Most drivers experiencing anxiety will have decided subconsciously that nervousness is the most effective strategy to keep them safe. Hypnosis can persuade the subconscious mind that there are much better strategies to keep you calm and alert. This makes driving a safer and more enjoyable experience.
What will a hypnotherapy session involve?
Hypnotherapy is an interactive process and is most effective when a client is fully committed to bringing about change and improving their wellbeing.
The hypnotherapist, having discussed any particular fears and gained an insight into the client’s specific needs, will bring about a feeling of relaxation and intense calm before proposing positive suggestions that will encourage the client to alter their behaviour.
For example, in this particular scenario, the hypnotherapist may describe an ideal driving test. This could involve talking the client through the whole process, while suggesting feelings of calm and positivity. By replacing feelings of panic within the subconscious mind, the mind can be trained to react to stressful situations in a more helpful and constructive way.