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The most common anxious thought?


6 months ago 0 11213 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0

Hi Smilen,

I just wanted to clarify that panic/ the flight or fight response typically only lasts 20 minutes, not 20 seconds. I'm sure that's likely what you meant but I just wanted to be clear.

Your strategies sound great! Please keep us updated on your driving. I would like to read about your future drives and what worked or didn't work for you.

If there are any lurkers out there who also struggle with a fear of driving please share your experience and thoughts too!

Take care,

Ashley

7 months ago +1 6 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1
Ashley -> Health Educator @ Sep 20, 2023, 3:45:51 PM
Hi Smilen!
Thanks for your response. As I was reading your responds I kept thinking, I am glad you're cautious. The reality is driving can be dangerous and I much rather have a cautious person on the road rather than a careless person. Being cautious could actually be considered more safe as long as your anxiety does not distract you.
I also liked how you said you deserve to have the freedom to drive. I also think you deserve to enjoy driving and not be in flight or fight mode. How do you think you could use you stubbornness or perseverance to achieve that?
I think it's awesome you are already using great coping strategies like deep breathing and music. I wonder if there are other coping strategies you could use? One suggestion is Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). This a great tool for when you are in fight or flight mode. I wouldn't recommend tensing and releasing all muscle groups while drive but if you can safely tense certain muscles it may help relax your body, which in turn can help relax your mind.
To my understanding fight or flight mode usually lasts less than 20 minutes. How long are your drives on average? Do you find you are able to relax on longer drives?
One last suggestion. It can be hard to avoid thinking about anxiety when you are actively trying not to think anxious thoughts. It's like the pink elephant effect that is mentioned in the program. If you are focused on not being anxious it is hard not to be anxious. Other than listen to music I wonder how else you can redirect your thinking? Could you try to identify things you actually enjoy about driving? Do you like singing in the car? What else can you think about while driving other than trying to control your anxiety?
That is amazing you are already finding the program helpful! Yay! That is fast progress. Imagine how great you will feel after working on it for a month! I can't wait to read about your progress. Please keep posting.
Take care,
Ashley

Hey Ashley
I look forward to the day where I feel free driving. Seriously, I'm using my strong will and determination to push through. Thanks for the suggesstion, PMR. I'vew never heard of it, will check it out. I do sing to distract my thoughts. I also talk on the phone (hands free) which is usually a great distraction. That's good to know that fight or flight is less than 20 seconds. It seems so long. Longer drives makes the anxiety worse and my ride to work on a good day is 45 min which is way longer than I'd like to be in the car.
I do love my drives to work on Sunday mornings because I am maybe one of ten cars on the road. It is very calm and relaxing. I spend time in gratitude and thanksgiving. So here's the funny part, when I'm the only one on the road, I'm not anxious. Sunday mornings, I'm not anxious this is how I know it's a mind thing that I must overcome.

I posted as a quote, I hope this is ok.

7 months ago 0 11213 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1

Hi Smilen!

Thanks for your response. As I was reading your responds I kept thinking, I am glad you're cautious. The reality is driving can be dangerous and I much rather have a cautious person on the road rather than a careless person. Being cautious could actually be considered more safe as long as your anxiety does not distract you.

I also liked how you said you deserve to have the freedom to drive. I also think you deserve to enjoy driving and not be in flight or fight mode. How do you think you could use you stubbornness or perseverance to achieve that?

I think it's awesome you are already using great coping strategies like deep breathing and music. I wonder if there are other coping strategies you could use? One suggestion is Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). This a great tool for when you are in fight or flight mode. I wouldn't recommend tensing and releasing all muscle groups while drive but if you can safely tense certain muscles it may help relax your body, which in turn can help relax your mind.

To my understanding fight or flight mode usually lasts less than 20 minutes. How long are your drives on average? Do you find you are able to relax on longer drives?

One last suggestion. It can be hard to avoid thinking about anxiety when you are actively trying not to think anxious thoughts. It's like the pink elephant effect that is mentioned in the program. If you are focused on not being anxious it is hard not to be anxious. Other than listen to music I wonder how else you can redirect your thinking? Could you try to identify things you actually enjoy about driving? Do you like singing in the car? What else can you think about while driving other than trying to control your anxiety?

That is amazing you are already finding the program helpful! Yay! That is fast progress. Imagine how great you will feel after working on it for a month! I can't wait to read about your progress. Please keep posting.

Take care,

Ashley



7 months ago +3 6 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 3

Thanks for responding Ashley!

You hit a lot of nails on the head. Driving has been tricky for me for a long time. I wasn't like most teens, eager to get behind the wheel. I've always been very cautious about driving, taking it very seriously. I never liked driving in unfamiliar territory, so road trips are not on my bucket list. I have a difficult time relaxing in the car.

You asked how I continue to drive if it causes such anxiety. Thank God, I'm stubborn that way. If something says I can't, I push hard to show I can. I tell myself, I deserve to drive, to have my freedom, and to not be bound by limiting force. Some days are much easier than others. Sometimes I feel like I'm in fight or flight mode, deep breathing every mile to arrive safely at my destination. To distract myself, I play music. Upbeat music, relaxing music, gospel music depending on what I'm in the mood for.

I definitely feel more anxiety driving when dealing with other stressful situations in my life.

I must say, reading through the first module, really helped lessen the anxious thoughts last week. I was amazed! I felt almost normal driving for the first time in a while.

7 months ago +2 11213 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 3

Welcome Smilen!

Thank you for posting. I am sorry to read you are struggling with a fear of driving. A fear of driving is actually quite common. You are certainly not alone in that fear. It is amazing you continue to drive despite that fear. How are you able to manage your anxiety when driving? Are some times better than others? Have you noticed any patterns? For example, are you more anxious to drive when stressed in other areas of life? 

It sounds like you are struggling with intrusive thoughts. This is very common in Anxiety and other conditions like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Have you talked to your doctor about how you are feeling? Getting a diagnosis may give you more insight into how to manage these feeling.

Chapter three will be especially helpful to you. Check out the 10 questions to challenge anxious thoughts. Use those questions often. I see they are already added to this discussion. Please have a look and keep a copy on hand.

Thanks again for posting. It has been very quiet around here and I get excited to reply to members! 😅 If you have any thoughts or questions, please share

I hope to read more from you soon!

Take care, 


7 months ago +2 6 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 2

I wasn't sure if I should post because I'm reading responses from years ago, and I'm not sure if this is an active community anymore. Just for the fun of it, I'll share. I have been struggling or battling anxiety since the pandemic. I feel uncomfortable about being in the car, whether it's me driving or someone else. It's worse when someone else is driving.

It's the craziest thing. I've never been in a car accident. I am a great driver, but thoughts of doom overtake my mind, and I think of the worst-case scenario for myself and my family members driving. Because I'm such a strong-willed person and refuse to be a victim, I push through and do it. I keep driving because that might just be it if I ever stop. I have so much going for me and so many things to do in life that I push myself to keep going, but sometimes I get overwhelmed and want to give in.

I have missed many social events because of my fear of driving. I pretend to have other pressing things to do so that no one catches on. I will work my way through this program and see what happens. I believe everything is possible.

14 years ago +1 6 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1
Very interesting post salem!
 
I never thought of it like that.  How did you learn that?  How are you doing with your panic?
 
Grim
14 years ago 0 955 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Salem,
 
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your experience with panic attacks. Separating yourself and your own thoughts from those you experience during a panic attack can be incredibly important in your own journey. These thoughts can often determine the course of your anxiety and panic attacks and by understanding these and their affect, you will be able to reflect on your own well-being.
 
You mentioned in your post that you are still working to understand your panic attacks. What has this experience been like for you? What parts of the program has been particularly relevant for you?
 
Stay close to the boards and let us know how you are doing. We are here for you when you need us!
 
 
Sarah, Health Educator
14 years ago 0 4 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
I myself am still working on geting over panic attacks so I cant claim to have the magic
answer yet, but during a panic attack or fight flight response the mind is actively searching
and scanning like a computer for the perceived problem to prepare the body for action.
when there is no perceived threat out side the body the mind will search inside the body, your
thoughts will be maybe I'm the problem maybey its my heart maybe theres somthing wrong
with me mentaly, oh no Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest, your heart starts pounding oh no
what if this is me, shoot,  no its not you at the moment though in the panic reality it seems
like it could be true but it is not, no one has ever died of a panic attack
   Michael Jackson took so many powerful drugs for so long it was a wonder he even lasted as long
as he did.  I to actully got nervouse and paniced when he died hearing the words cardiac arrest it sounds
scary but the drugs  he was on are now known to be so powerful you actully have to have doctor near
by to wake the person back up so they dont die. I think he also was taking like 40 antidepresents a night and
hardly eating any food. 
   Anyways at the time in the panic reality thoughts can seem troubling but your body and mind are on the
alert searching for danger, if a bear or tiger was going to attack you and was coming right at you, you dont have time
to think, you have to run or do somthing, if there is no perceived threat but your body is still acting like there is,
this is panic disorder but the thing is you cant take these thoughts seriously even thought there backed up with adreniline
and a pounding heart, it has helped me to say this thought is not me its a panic thought, but I am still responsable,  
14 years ago 0 13 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0

THANKS FOR THE REPLY IT REALLY HELPED ME OUT.


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