The Driving Anxiety Coach

The Driving Anxiety Coach

Empowering anxious and nervous drivers to go wherever, whenever they want to.

Operating as usual

22/12/2023

Wishing all clients past, present and future a peaceful Christmas and an amazing 2024! 🎄🙏🚙

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21/12/2023

It won’t be easy and it definitely isn’t comfortable but neither is allowing your avoidance to control your life.
Little by little.
Face the fear. Rest. Repeat.

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Dazzled by Headlights? This May Help 05/12/2023

Many of my clients comment on how much more nervous they are when driving at night.

It’s worth spending ten minutes watching this video to help with reducing the glare that adds the barriers that stop you wanting to drive after dark. (Which in December in the UK is tricky).

https://youtu.be/r3PguFCu0no?si=jpbngabkqUxr9Oxs

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Dazzled by Headlights? This May Help Many people find driving at night difficult, not only because it's dark but because the headlights from other vehicles can be dazzling. In this video I expla...

29/11/2023

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!

One of my clients recently admitted they felt disappointed that they still felt spikes of anxiety when they drove even though they’ve been working at this for a few weeks.

The fact is, we need anxiety and we need stress. Without it the human race would not have survived. The Sabre Toothed Tigers would have eaten us long ago. The good news..! there are no more Sabre Toothed Tigers. The bad news… We still jump into Fight and Flight response at our perception of danger. This is a perfectly normal, but these days it’s other things that trigger this.

👩‍🏫Fact: We are only biologically programmed to fear two things: loud noises and fear of falling. (This is not a fear of heights).

All other fears and phobias have been learned. We may have learned them through transference from a parent or another influential person in our life. Or, we may have had a negative experience, and our subconscious brain starts to overreact to ‘keep you safe’. Phobias are more pronounced than fears. They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation. On the basis you are reading this it is likely to be an exaggerated fear of driving. If not altogether, then on a particular type of road or area.

Subconscious mind always wants to keep us safe.

There is good news, but it won’t be easy. The subconscious brain will do it’s best to ‘keep us safe’ so we need to demonstrate to the subconscious mind that we are OK. No one state will remain the same for long. So, when you’re feeling the anxiety and discomfort rising, know that this WILL pass.

➡️All states change.

Imagine listening to a comedian telling a joke, you may well laugh and if it’s really funny and well delivered you may laugh for what you feel to be quite a while. But the laughter subsides, and our state resumes to something more stable again. Should you hear the same joke again, while you still consider it funny, it won’t have the same impact on you, and if it you heard it several times, its impact totally subsides. But a new joke would have you laughing again… for a while anyway.

So, it stands to reason that when in a heightened state of stress, anxiety and panic, while it is a far less desirable state than laughter, it too will pass! Granted it is not a comfortable state to be in, and our natural default is to avoid this state or stay in it for a little time as possible. However, just like hearing the same joke over and over will wear thin, so too will the wave of anxiety and high stress if we can just accept that being uncomfortable is something that we need to become comfortable with. Sounds like a paradox doesn’t it. But what we resit will persist.

👌Stress in small doses is necessary.

Notice I’m using the phrase ‘high stress’. Stress is normal and we do need to have a level of stress to remain present and in control when we are driving. People perform well under low level periodical stress. Research has proved that people who were told that feeling a reasonable level of stress is helpful performed over 30% better in an exam those who were not. Stress in small doses is a necessary state to keep us safe and help through our day-to-day activities.

🎞️Reframing

It’s when stress or anxiety is present for longer periods of time, or it spikes disproportionately that we have an issue. Baby steps will help us gently desensitise. A useful coping strategy that can help is to reframe the anxiety to a challenge, curiosity or excitement. When we get comfortable with being uncomfortable, we can start to manage the situation more effectively.

🚿Cold shower

Another example in facing discomfort is taking a cold shower. There is ample research these days on the benefits for mental and physical health of showering or immersing ourselves in cold water. Fact: This is NOT comfortable! I speak with first-hand experience as this is something I do regularly. I used to hate turning my tap to cold at the end of my shower. I would tense up and brace myself for the 30 seconds I tried to stay under the flow of the cold water. However, I soon learned to stop resisting the discomfort and breathe into it and accept it. The discomfort is still there but it’s so much easier to cope with when you accept it. I got comfortable with being uncomfortable as it’s only for a short period of time.

I also recently attended an open water swimming event where I swam in eight-degree water for half an hour. It was the adrenaline that fuelled me through the event. It was very uncomfortable, but I accepted it as my challenge. The body fights the discomfort in the first few moments, but after a while I settled into it. The elation at the end of the challenge was amazing. (Can I just add this is not a suggestion you all start jumping into cold water this winter. I have been doing this for several years and have habituated to this over a few years. Start with the cold showers).

✋What we resist, persists

Resist the discomfort, it will go on for longer. Accept the discomfort as a challenge and we will start to habituate to our situation and then we steadily desensitise.

☺️New perspective

My client who explained they were disappointed their anxiety and discomfort had not ‘gone away’ by now, has a new perspective. They had forgotten that some of the smaller journeys that were initially challenging, are far less uncomfortable now as they had already habituated and without realising desensitised to them. They are still pushing themselves to bigger and more challenging journeys, this is why they are still feeling the anxiety. I reminded them to look back at their journal. Use their coping strategies and congratulate themselves on each and every achievement that has been made. Rest and move to the next level. You can do the same!

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14/11/2023

Fear of driving doesn’t have to define the way you live. You can take back control.








10/11/2023

You don’t have to do this alone. Sometimes you just need a helping hand to guide and support you.

That’s what I’m here for.

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31/10/2023

This is what my client was rewarded with as part of their on road session.
Effort equals reward 🌈❤️👏👏👏

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30/10/2023

I am so delighted with the approach this client is taking.
They have totally changed their mindset.

We haven’t even gone out on the road together. We simply meet via video call on my distance coaching package.

Great effort and great reframing of the situation they find themselves in.
Their world is getting bigger again.

It’s hard. But the easy option of avoidance will be way harder in the long run.













27/10/2023

We instinctively avoid discomfort but the only way through this is to get uncomfortable and then slowly get used to it (or desensitise gradually).

Avoidance may mean feeling comfortable now, but the long term payback may carry greater consequences.

You don’t have to suffer alone though. Help us out there.









26/10/2023

Just a quick reminder for those working hard to overcome their driving anxiety, you are way ahead of those who are still avoiding.
Baby steps, patience, persistence, practice! Repeat.
It isn’t comfortable, but keep going! You’ve got this 💪🚗🛣️












19/10/2023








27/09/2023

🚗 This client has made amazing progress recently and has worked extremely hard to get to where they are. However, they suffered a setback in their life and this triggered some regression with their driving.

🚗 Please let me explain that regression is part of the recovery process.

🚗 Clients often feel they have gone back to square one when this is more often than not absolutely not the case.

🚗 The fact is it’s only a temporary situation and clients often move forward and through this much quicker than when they first started. (But they do need to put the work in).

🚗 Never lose faith. Set backs are normal. Use the tools and keep moving through.

❤️ Massive congratulations to this client for pushing their comfort zone after a stressful time. 🙏👏👏👏











Photos from The Driving Anxiety Coach's post 20/09/2023

🚗We are never truly ready to do anything that scares us.

🚗Small step goal setting is proven to help us achieve our goals one step at a time. Then reflect and look back at just how far we have come.

08/09/2023

😰Avoiding bridges, dual carriageways or motorways? It doesn’t have to be that way.

🚗Avoidance is not the answer. It won’t be easy but which is worse? I’ll leave that answer with you.

🤨If you’re curious as to how you can take back control, sign up to my newsletter

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07/09/2023

I recently spent some time presenting to a group of local Driving Instructors helping them to understand more about the causes of vehophobia / Driving Anxiety and how to help their own clients.











17/08/2023

A well balanced day that started with an exercise class 🏋️‍♂️, followed by sitting with a wonderful client along a stretch of motorway they didn’t think was achievable a few weeks ago 🚙. 💪.
Then an afternoon of blog writing 👩‍💻.












16/08/2023

Hello everyone!

🚗 I’m The Driving Anxiety Coach. I’m an Advanced Approved Driving Instructor who specialises in Vehophobia.
What is Vehophobia? 🙋‍♀️🙋🏽‍♀️🙋‍♂️This is the fear of driving.

🚗 I work with anyone who already drives but avoids driving on particular types of roads, ie Motorways, Dual Carriageways’, faster roads, bridges, down-hill to name but a few.
🚗 Sometimes the fear stems from a traumatic incident or it can be an unrelated panic attack that manifested itself while driving.
🚗 Either way, at best it’s inconvenient and at worse it’s totally debilitating.
🚗 If left un-checked it can escalate.

So how can I help?
🚗 I use a client centred approach by setting goals and intensions and tracking clients progress by keeping a driving journal.

Together with a multi-level approach integrating Exposure therapy,
combined with physical and mental coping strategies such as anxiety re-appraisal techniques, reframing your thoughts and fears and breathwork.

🚗 Over time, I can give clients the tools and empower anxious and nervous drivers to be able to drive anywhere and everywhere they choose.
If you can relate this or know anyone else who can, then get in touch.

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21/07/2023

🚗I’d like to say this is all in a days work, but the effort comes from within the client. (And this client has worked very hard indeed!)

🚙They haven’t driven on a motorway for a very long time as their fear was too great. Getting back on it was a pipe dream… until today.

🚗Avoiding driving on the motorway costs this client a fortune in fuel and time taking the very long way round to almost everywhere they need to go. Time they could be spending with their children.

🚙We got another step closer today to realising their dream to have a less stressful life and spend more time with the people they love. ❤️









20/07/2023

You know who you are! ❤️

📔 This is why journaling the drives that trigger you gives you the opportunity to reflect on how far you have actually come. 👏

🚗 Even if you’re only at the beginning of challenging yourself you are still ahead of those who do nothing about it.











14/07/2023

Sweaty palms can at times be a problem for many of us when driving, but even more so for drivers struggling with anxiety.

I was looking for a steering wheel cover for my new car and came across this elastic and absorbent materiel one on the web. Inexpensive at under £10.00.

Not had chance to put it to the test yet but willing to give it a go.
In terms of helping with mindfulness it’s another texture to focus on too.

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13/07/2023

Another amazing achievement from a client who has embraced reframing their anxiety. We also worked on opening up their view ahead and smoothing out the drive. This helped with calming the client down and gives them something else to focus on.

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04/07/2023

Does ‘Fake it till you make it’ work for driving anxiety?
It certainly can while gentle exposure to the roads that trigger you, gently desensitises your anxiety.

Want to know more?

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The Driving Anxiety Coach Empowering anxious and nervous drivers to go wherever, whenever they want to.

20/06/2023

The Paradox of Resistance: When What You Resist Persists

🤔 Have you ever noticed that the more you resist something, the more it seems to persist in your life? It's a curious phenomenon that often leaves us frustrated and wondering why our efforts to eradicate or avoid certain things only seem to make them stronger. Ironically "What you resist persists." In this blog, we will explore the underlying psychology behind this paradox and discover how embracing acceptance and shifting our mindset can lead to more rewarding outcomes.

🏋️‍♀️ The Nature of Resistance

Resistance is a natural response when we encounter something we perceive as negative or undesirable. (The reason you are reading this is because of your fear of driving, if not all together then in certain circumstances or on certain types of roads.) It stems from our instinctive need for control and self-preservation. We resist change, uncomfortable emotions, difficult circumstances, or anything that challenges our established beliefs or routines. It's a defence mechanism that arises from a fear.

🫣 The Paradox Unveiled

Ironically, the very act of resisting and avoiding what makes you uncomfortable can perpetuate the persistence of what we are resisting. Here's how it happens:

🚘 Amplification: When we resist something, we tend to give it more attention and energy than it deserves. Our focus becomes fixated on the object of our resistance, making it seem more significant and powerful than it actually is. We inadvertently amplify its presence in our lives, and we become hypersensitive to how we feel when we do push ourselves and step into the uncomfortable.

🚗 Energy reinforcement: Our resistance and avoidance is often fuelled by strong emotions such as anger, frustration, anxiety or fear. These emotions carry a powerful energy that can inadvertently fuel the persistence of what we resist. The more we invest our energy in fighting against it, the more it gains momentum.

🤨 Cognitive reinforcement: Our thoughts play a crucial role in shaping our experiences. When we resist something, we engage in a constant mental battle against it. Our thoughts become consumed by the very thing we wish to eliminate, inadvertently reinforcing its presence in our lives.

🙏 The Path to Acceptance

To break free from the paradox of resistance and avoidance we must shift our perspective and embrace acceptance. Here are a few steps to guide you along the way:

🙋Awareness: Start by becoming aware of what you're resisting and avoiding and the impact it has on your life. Pay attention to the emotions, thoughts, and behaviours that arise when you encounter the avoidance.

🧭 Acknowledge and explore: Instead of immediately resisting, take a moment to acknowledge and explore your feelings. Understand why you are resisting and what it represents for you. Is your perception of driving down a particular type of road worse than the ex*****on of it. This process of self-reflection can help you gain clarity and insight. (Journaling can help assist you in this area.)

🖼️ Reframe your focus: Instead of fixating on avoidance, consciously shift your focus to what you desire and the positive aspects of your life. Redirecting your attention and energy towards what you want to cultivate will gradually diminish the influence of what you're resisting. How much longer is it taking you to get to work when you avoid the motorway. How is this effecting your employment prospects or other people in your household. What does it mean to you to be able to step up and not feel so anxious about that journey.

🧘‍♂️ Practice mindfulness and resetting your Vagus Nerve.

📔 Start journaling how you feel about your journeys and set your goals, big and small.

👏 Celebrate each win no matter how small.

👍 Accept regression is part of the course.

🙅🏽‍♀️ NEVER give up.

The Driving Anxiety Coach Empowering anxious and nervous drivers to go wherever, whenever they want to.

24/05/2023

This is my reply to a client who messaged me to let me that they had been successful in driving onto a dual carriageway via a slip road that they had had issues with the week before.
I was so delighted to read their account of what they did and how they coped with it.
I’m so proud of this client. They have achieved so much when they really didn’t think they could! 🙏👏👏👏❤️











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Videos (show all)

Your fear of driving doesn’t need to define you. #TheDrivingAnxietyCoach
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😰Avoiding bridges, dual carriageways or motorways? It doesn’t have to be that way. 🚗Avoidance is not the answer. It won’...
Hello everyone! 🚗 I’m The Driving Anxiety Coach. I’m an Advanced Approved Driving Instructor who specialises in Vehophob...
#mentalhealthawareness#DrivingAnxiety #letstalkSign up for help and updates ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️https://subscribepage.io/tCi5hRhtt...
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It was in you all the time. Sometimes just need some help to find it again. #TheDrivingAnxietyCoach #vehophobia #Driving...

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