How to deal with anxiety attacks while driving

While doing any hazardous work, there are chances of having anxiety attacks. Driving is also one situation. Having an anxiety attack while driving is something unthinkable for a normal driver, but some cases arise in which the driver is stricken by an attack. As this may end in a fatal accident, it is advisable not to ignore it. This does not mean you should quit driving altogether. If you go through the following set of advice, you won’t have to worry about anxiety-attack anymore.

Listen to music you enjoy

The best way to avoid anxiety attack is by diverting your mind to something pleasant. As these attacks occur because your mind is too rested to think of anything else but the fatalities of driving. So, in order to keep your mind preoccupied, you can listen to music of your choice, irrespective of the genre. You can have DVD player or iPod installed in the car for this very purpose and play it while driving. If you do not have such a device, you can settle with a radio. However, keep in mind not to keep the music-volume too high to hamper your auditory reception towards other vehicle’s sounds. Do not use earphones or headphones.

If you have someone sitting beside you, you can go for a lighthearted chat in order to distract yourself. Do not go for anything audible that gives you more stress than anything else. Keep a cellphone at hand to assure yourself that you are not alone in the world. This brings wonders to human psychology.

Have some fruit or light snack around

Having a heavy meal or no meal is not advisable even for a normal driver. This leads to untoward incidences such as sleeping while driving and wane of concentration. In order to keep yourself away from attacks, you can go for light food such as sandwiches, every now and then as per the biological cycle. Fruits are a very good option as they help in restoring fluids in the body and keep you rejuvenated. You can also go for energy drinks during night-driving, though it is not advisable most of the times. You should refrain from drugs and alcoholic drinks while driving as they not only increase the chances of accidents, but also make you vulnerable to panic attacks.

Don’t think about the action of driving the car

When a person thinks too much about something, he/she is inadvertently more aware of the thing. This is the last thing you will need while driving, especially when you have a history of anxiety attacks. In most of the cases, people land up in a worse situation just because they think too much about driving, while driving. Instead, you can think of yourself sitting in a vehicle driven by another person. This will help you reduce anxiety. Even better advice is to forget the fact that you are driving, as far as you forget to drive it altogether.

Have a brown paper bag and water bottle in your car

Anxiety attacks often lead to vomits and dehydration. It also leads to stomach-upset and other digestion related situations. In such a situation, always keep a brown paper bag for vomit and a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated. This will not only help you in dealing with anxiety attacks, but also help in reducing the intensity of driving that may take a toll on you. You can also go for fruit juices that are known for hydrating properties. Keep a first-aid kit in your vehicle for more severe situations. If your anxiety attack is too severe when it ever occurs, it is better to have a physician-prescribed medicine before driving.

Take deep and slow breaths

While driving, always take deep and slow breaths, if you ever feel like panicking. This will increase oxygen-supply to your brain and other vital parts of your body and de-stresses your brain. If you still feel that it is not working, park your vehicle to one side of road and get out of it to get fresh air. Keep deep breathing slowly to reduce the anxiety-level. Resume your drive only when you start feeling well. If you have another person in the car who can drive, it is better to let him/her drive for the rest of the day. This will give you more time to deal with panic. Avoid alcohol consumption in such a situation. In case you are alone and are unable to cope up with the anxiety attack, call up the emergency line.

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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