Categorized | Stress

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A Panic Attack and Traffic – How to Deal With Your Panic on the Road

Driving on the road today can be a pretty frightening experience, more for some people than others. Everyone has been in that situation where you get boxed in by a couple of 18 wheelers and your heart starts to beat a little quicker, you grip the wheel a little tighter and just cannot wait until just a little bit of space is created so you can get away from them.

In that scenario, you could not blame anyone for getting a little tense. Imagine if you were absolutely terrified of tight spaces or of being cornered in by cars and trucks. You do everything that you can do to avoid it, but ultimately you have little control over the driving of others and the busy highway traffic.

For sufferers of certain anxiety conditions, traffic panic attacks are a very real thing. They may not even realize the correlation, thinking their panic attacks may be related to something else. Then all of a sudden something about a traffic jam or cars just getting too close can be a trigger. Suddenly the cold sweats hit, heart begins to race and breathing becomes fast and dizzying. It is a pretty scary scenario to think about let alone live through.

The best thing you can do when faced with panic on the road is to try to regain what calm you can and carefully get off the road. Fortunately, someone highly anxious and nervous will also have a very high sense of alertness and will be extremely careful on the road during their panic. So you should employ your fear. If you are in heavy traffic, it may be a bit of a challenge but there is a flow and you can ease yourself into the right lane and finally to the next exit.

Recognizing the symptoms of a panic attack in traffic as being related to driving in traffic is half the battle. The other half is trying to overcome your panic so that you can slowly reduce and eliminate panic from your life.

An important step is to identify the triggers of your panic. Do you always panic on the road, regardless of the amount of traffic? Does your panic occur when you are surrounded by other cars or maybe by trucks? What is your specific fear? Through identifying your triggers you can examine them and work to train your thoughts to a more positive and supportive response that will calm the panic.

Once you have identified your triggers it is helpful to place yourself in a situation that might normally start a panic attack. Start with the most minor of triggers, use your planned positive and supportive thought responses to reassure yourself that there is nothing to fear, that you are in control and that you are an excellent driver.

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