Tips to Help You Cope with Driving Anxiety
Regardless of the severity, a vehicle accident can affect us much more deeply than we might anticipate. Even after the initial shock is over, the feelings of helplessness and of the real threat to our life can last a long time. People who have been in collisions are known to suffer depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s a side of the ordeal we don’t talk about enough, and there are things you can do to help move past it.
Don’t be afraid to talk about it.
For many people, the stigma of mental health issues prevents them from seeking help for it. However, it’s not wise to assume you will simply get better over time. Express what you’re feeling to trusted loved ones as they may be able to provide support they would otherwise be unaware you needed.
There are collision survivor support groups that can also help you process your experiences. Counseling is another option as well. If your anxiety and stress is getting in the way of your ability to function normally, or if it’s interfering with your day-to-day responsibilities, it’s important to seek help from either a medical doctor or mental health professional.
Achieve the outcome you deserve.
Besides helplessness, a lot of people can suffer real frustration if they are the victim of someone else’s recklessness or bad judgement. Besides offering the compensation you might need to cope with medical bills, lost hours at work, or damage to your vehicle as a result of the collision, a free lawyer consultation can open the door to a little emotional healing, too. By getting the justice you deserve and seeing responsibility being assigned to the right party, it can provide closure and remind you that the world isn’t necessarily as unfair as you currently perceive it. With that healing and closure, you can begin to put the accident behind you and move on.
Get back out there slowly.
If you feel entirely unable to start driving again, then you may need more time and help with processing your emotions with the help of family or a counselor. When you do start to regain your confidence behind the wheel, it’s important not to rush into it.
Practice driving again slowly, in relatively safe environments. Consider taking defensive driving courses so you feel more aware of your place on the road and more prepared to face potential threats that can rear their heads.
Choose the right coping habits.
When stressed or depressed, we often turn to established habits to help us take our mind off things. Sometimes those habits aren’t necessarily good for us, though. It’s easier said than done, but getting into a healthy habit like exercise or meditation, for example, can help you process your emotions.
What you need to avoid at all costs is turning to habits like stress eating, smoking, or drinking. These are temporary reprieves at most, that quickly lose any soothing benefits and can contribute to deep emotional health issues down the line. Coping mechanisms don’t necessarily have to be bad, you just have to try to choose the right ones.
If you’re having trouble sleeping after an accident, experiencing vivid flashbacks of the incident, or find a strong aversion to getting behind the wheel or in a car, you may need help–and that’s ok. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Help is available and there’s no need to struggle alone.
Share your thoughts: do you struggle with anxiety when you’re driving?
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