Hypnosis For Driving Anxiety – Can Hypnotherapy Really Help?

By Mark Bowden | Advice

Nov 23

Driving anxiety is a common ‘unspoken phobia’ that affects thousands of people each year. Research shows that nearly 39% of drivers feel anxious behind the wheel, while 23% are uneasy when driving on roads with multiple lanes. Moreover, 47% of them avoid highways and freeways and prefer taking other, smaller routes.

This fear of driving is more common than most of us admit, but the good news is that it is a problem that can be solved with some expert help.

Self-hypnosis sessions can enable drivers like you to get over the fear and tension that grips them behind the wheel. It is an easy, affordable, and efficient way to drive confidently. Before we explore how hypnosis for driving anxiety can help, however, let’s first understand why people fear driving.

Feeling Anxious On The Highway – What Is Driving Anxiety?

Also known as Vehophobia, driving anxiety is the persistent and recurrent fear of driving that manifests as you drive or even when you are just thinking about getting in the car.

Interestingly enough, it has affected all kinds of people – even professional and race car drivers. Sure, symptoms can vary in persistence and intensity, depending on road types, driving conditions, and personal situations. However, most people really don’t like driving on expressways.

Driving anxiety can show up as:

  • Panic attacks
  • Erratic behavior
  • Dizziness
  • Sweaty palms
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Anticipatory stress

All in all, the very idea of driving triggers horrible thoughts for someone who suffers from driving anxiety. They might feel like they are going to crash, the car will break down on the highway, or they’ll take a wrong turn and cause an accident. This is clearly a fear response brought on by previous experiences.

Hypnosis for driving anxiety can help by teaching drivers to change it to a relaxation response.

Causes of Driving Anxiety

Just like any other anxiety, driving anxiety can be caused because of several reasons, including:

  • genetic predisposition to anxiety
  • long-term stress
  • PTSD from past experiences
  • Fear of bad performance
  • Lack of confidence
  • Learned behavior, for example, from parents

Unlike many anxieties, the fear of driving is dangerous, especially if you have no choice but to drive. Many people report that driving is the most stressful activity they partake in during the day.

In fact, some even have anxiety for driving tests that impede their judgment and keep them from getting their driver’s licenses.

This is a serious issue that, if it interferes with your safety, must be reported to the DVLA. It can lower one’s quality of life, causing drivers to make decisions that increase their journey times or give up driving altogether.

Utilising Hypnosis For Driving Anxiety

Hypnotherapy for driving anxiety puts you in a state of highly-focused concentration. You are still conscious, aware, and in control of your body, but your hypnotherapist induces deep relaxation, so it’s easier for them to help you focus inward.

This is an effective method to overcome a lifetime of hurtful attitudes, stressors, and beliefs that we take on unconsciously. Hypnotherapists tap into your subconscious mind to bring emotional and psychological change from the core.

It opens up the possibility of healing parts of your psyche that result in driving anxiety, making you more confident behind the wheel. Who knows, you might even start thinking driving is fun!

There is an entire science behind hypnosis for driving anxiety. It involves using proven-effective techniques like Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to bring change in your attitudes and approach toward the idea and act of driving.

How Does Hypnotherapy Help Reluctant & Anxious Drivers?

Hypnotherapy is a way to condition your thoughts. It enables you to become the master of your nerves, limiting the adrenaline to an acceptable level so it can help you excel at the task at hand. It lets you relax as your hypnotherapist’s voice guides you with positive words, suggestions, and metaphors that help improve your thinking patterns, actions, and behaviors.

Here’s what you can expect:

Hypnosis Teaches You How To Relax

Your hypnotherapist could teach you to relax around possible scenarios, sights, and sounds that trigger you on the road. This learning affects you on an unconscious level, but you also take away practical techniques that can help you conquer the fear of driving and anxiety for driving tests. With multiple sessions of hypnotherapy, you will start using a relaxation response each time you are behind the wheel. Instead of feeling frightened, scared, or anxious, you learn to relax.

Hypnosis Improves Your Confidence

Next, hypnotherapy can teach you to summon self-confidence at will. Your imagination has connected the road or the car with fear. And when you are scared, all rational thoughts go out the window, which can be life-threatening. The hypnotherapist can help you overcome these debilitating fears and give you the will to break the connection.

Hypnosis Helps You Overcome Anxiety

Your hypnotherapist might combine several techniques to rid your mind of any driving-related anxiety or worry. This might also include storytelling in which you will be asked to imagine a scenario in which you are driving but feel calm and in control instead of the routine anxiety. You might also be assigned some mutually agreed-upon homework to help accelerate your progress.

Hypnosis Gives You An Understanding Of Your Triggers

Hypnotherapy for driving anxiety is a great way to update your unconscious responses as your mind and body learn and relearn triggers. This can let you separate reality from imagined memory to deal with life situations better. After a few sessions of hypnotherapy, you will find that you:

  • no longer feel paralyzed behind the wheel
  • don’t get anxious at the thought of driving
  • can drive confidently and efficiently
  • feel in control of your car
  • don’t experience negative emotions when driving

In Conclusion: Hypnotherapy Can Help You

The ability to drive is perhaps one of the most liberating skills but while many take it for granted, others find even the most mundane journeys to be painful reminders of things that did and can go wrong. Guided self-hypnosis can help you overcome your fear of driving and make you more confident in your driving skills.

Your safety on the road and in your sessions is of utmost priority. A qualified hypnotherapist can set the right pace during this driving phobia treatment and help you take the necessary steps to maintain road awareness while becoming more comfortable in the driving seat.