Using Driving Affirmations for Driving Anxiety
Affirmations are positive statements about yourself.
They are well researched in Health Psychology (think smoking cessation) and Sports Psychology (the USA Volleyball Team advocates positive self-talk using affirmations to work through stressful situations).
Affirmations, alongside other techniques, can be used to reduce anxiety and stress. When feeling anxious, your thoughts can get in the way of progress. You can get stuck in your head with negative thoughts and replaying old mistakes. This can lead to analysis paralysis where you don’t take action.
An affirmation can help to interrupt your usual pattern of negative thoughts.
If you have a phobia such as driving anxiety, you likely have frequent negative thoughts about getting lost, having a crash or losing control of the car. Those thoughts can stop you from driving. Using positive driving affirmations can help to interrupt those thoughts to allow you to take action, go for your drive and build up your confidence.
Even if you don’t believe the positive statements yet, they make room for the possibility that there are different facts other than your automatic thoughts.
I’ve created some affirmations for driving anxiety designed to interrupt your normal pattern of negative thoughts about your driving skills.
Here are a selection of them.
- I feel calm and confident of my actions behind the wheel.
- No matter the destination, I drive with confidence and ease.
- I am a safe driver.
- My driving gets better every day.
- I relax and flow with the traffic.
How to use positive affirmations for driving anxiety
- Listen to a recording of affirmations (try my affirmation video). Either repeat each affirmation silently to yourself or speak them out loud. Other people might say you need to be more passive and that they’ll seep into your subconscious, but I think you should try them on for size because some may not suit you.
- Pick one or two that resonate for you or design your own affirmation that is more relevant to you.
- Write these affirmations down and read them before your next drive. Or place them somewhere in the car (dashboard or center console) where you’ll be able to see them when you stop at a traffic light.
- Recite the affirmations often so that when you are in a stressful situation you can recall them easily. You may choose to say them silently in your mind, say them aloud (have you ever heard tennis players give themselves a pep-talk on-court?), write them down daily, chant them or move with them (Mantras in Motion).
- Every now and then, reflect on whether you’ve outgrown your affirmation and need a new one and start the process again.
Using driving affirmations will improve your confidence and ease your anxiety. They are not meant to replace your automatic thoughts. But a positive affirmation will interrupt your negative thoughts to allow you some peace while you practice your driving skills.
If you like this blog post, pop on over to my YouTube channel and check out my playlist for driving anxiety.