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7 months ago +2 6 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 2
The most common anxious thought?

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.

7 months ago +3 6 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 3
The most common anxious thought?

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 6 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 2
Hello

Hello,

I clicked on this thread called New Life to introduce myself because of the title. I am all about rebirth, newness, and striving daily to become a better version of myself. I have dealt with depression in the past, primarily situational, and once I could conquer or sort out various stressors in my life, the depression would subside. How severe the depression was and how long it lingered was dependent on the magnitude of the stressor. I am thankful that I do not struggle with chronic depression because, as one of the members in this thread said, it is a daily battle to keep things together. I think the tools on this site provide a great start to working through depression and other mental conditions we struggle with.

Since the pandemic, I have struggled with anxiety. I shock myself every time I say that because I've never experienced anxiety in this way before. I've never felt panicky or walked around with a sense of "fight or flight," but I do now. It is awful feeling so out of control. Somehow, day by day, I manage to work through it. I've completed the first two modules in the Anxiety sequence, and to my surprise, what I am learning is helping to reduce my level of anxiety. Since starting my education, I have not felt overwhelmed or even close to it. I keep asking myself, is this real? Is what I'm reading really helping me, and how? As I look side-eyed, LOL. I'm not sure, but I will keep going because it feels good not to feel overwhelmed with negative thoughts, especially when you're not a negative thinker. ( If anybody understands what I'm talking about.)

I wish you all the best and hope you find at least an introduction to the answers you came here for. Sometimes, just getting started can bring about the change you've been looking for.


7 months ago +1 6 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1
Panic - anxiety - fear

Hey all,

I was doing okay, and then the anxious thoughts flooded my mind. Honestly, it's not so much of a thought as it is a feeling, mainly triggered by my work schedule and having to drive to work. It seems to be cyclical. I deep breathe, I change/ reframe my thoughts, and do my best to relax, but sometimes the fear gets ahead of me, and the overwhelm comes. I keep talking to myself and God, relying on His strength to help me stay composed and not panic.

I don't like being in the car, I don't like driving, and I don't like when other people drive me around. When the anxiety is high, I almost feel claustrophobic. I feel restricted. In those moments, I am truly trying to talk myself down. No one knows it. I am calm as a clam on the outside but feel as though I'm coming unglued on the inside. I do my best to hold it all together, to stay rational, and to drive safely.

There have been times when I felt my limbs (arms) were going to turn into jelly and go limp. This sensation happened over ten years ago before I started feeling anxious about driving, but as I'm going through this program, I'm asking myself if it could have been anxiety, and I didn't know it. There have also been times more recently when I feel disoriented on the road, especially while the car is at a standstill, where I feel like my car is moving forward, but it's not. This terrifies me because I feel like I will hit the car in front of me even though my foot is hard-pressing the break. As I have been reading the material, I understand why people want to avoid these fearful situations because of the fear of being out of control. I totally get it!

Ashley, or anyone else for that matter, have you ever heard of anyone feeling this way or describing these symptoms? How do I cope? How do I conquer this? I keep pushing myself because I refuse to be a victim of this. I have to overcome, so off to the reading material I go.

7 months ago +1 6 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1
The most common anxious thought?

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 6 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
How to deal with what ifs

I just made my way through the third module in the anxiety section. I think asking myself questions will be an excellent place to start, as I have to drive to work for the next three days. I'm praying for a good weekend without panic and consuming thoughts. I will start challenging my thoughts and see if I can calm myself using the questions or identifying the answers. I'll come back next week to share how it goes.