Reducing Fear Of Driving With Proper Breathing

Reducing Fear Of Driving With Proper Breathing



Those that experience anxiety, fear, or​ panic while driving often report an​ inability to​ breathe normally. They may have a​ feeling of​ being unable to​ take a​ deep breath, as​ if​ they’re throat or​ chest were closing in. They may find themselves gasping and​ gulping for​ air or​ with fears of​ having a​ heart attack or​ lung disorder. Fears of​ losing control may present themselves stemming from the inability to​ control one’s own breathing. All of​ these situations are common​ with the panic that ensues from a​ fear of​ driving and​ cause discomfort and​ more advanced symptoms, but none are physically dangerous. The goal in​ learning to​ breathe properly is​ not to​ prevent suffocation​ or​ any physical problem, which won’t occur anyway, but to​ prevent the uncomfortable sensations that result from breathing in​ this​ manner. Fortunately, these breathing difficulties can be remedied using simple techniques.
The act of​ over breathing, or​ hyperventilating, results in​ the body taking in​ far too much carbon​ dioxide than is​ needed. Take a​ look at​ just some of​ the symptoms caused by hyperventilation​ and​ see if​ they look at​ all familiar:
• Racing heart
• Heartburn
• Dizziness
• Vision​ disturbances
• Numbness or​ tingling in​ extremities
• Difficulty in​ swallowing
• Muscular shaking
• Chest pain
• Sensations of​ chocking
• Sweating
you​ may be surprised to​ know that all of​ the above sensations of​ anxiety experienced when driving can be attributed to​ how you​ breathe. Learning to​ breathe in​ a​ new way can reduce or​ eliminate a​ wide range of​ complaints associated with the fear of​ driving. Hyperventilation​ is​ not always as​ obvious as​ we are lead to​ believe by the television, where a​ person​ is​ gasping for​ air and​ having a​ paper bag over the mouth (to slow the rate of​ exhaled carbon​ dioxide). Hyperventilation​ is​ much more subtle and​ the person​ experiencing it​ is​ often unaware they are over breathing. Only a​ small change in​ the mix of​ oxygen to​ carbon​ dioxide can cause pronounced symptoms and​ additional anxiety. Holding the breath also results in​ the same list of​ symptoms.
One of​ the most widely taught methods of​ proper breathing is​ controlled, diaphragmatic breathing. it​ has been widely known that people with general anxiety, or​ those subjected to​ a​ phobia tend to​ breathe from their chest (thoracic) and​ not their stomach (diaphragmatic). It’s easy to​ tell where you​ are breathing from, simply place one hand​ on​ your​ navel and​ the other on​ your​ chest, right over the breastbone. We're going to​ use your​ hands will tell you​ what muscles you​ are using to​ breathe. as​ you​ breathe, pay attention​ to​ which hand​ is​ rising and​ falling. if​ it’s mostly the hand​ on​ your​ chest, you​ aren’t breathing from your​ diaphragm and​ need to​ work on​ teaching your​ body to​ breathe properly. if​ it’s only the hand​ on​ your​ belly moving, then you’re breathing well. this​ check should be used again​ when you​ feel anxious to​ ensure you​ maintain​ your​ breathing pattern. if​ you​ are skeptical about the correct way to​ breathe, simply look at​ the way a​ baby or​ dog breathes. They breathe in​ a​ relaxed manner with their bellies moving up and​ down, their chest stays still.
if​ you​ need to​ correct your​ breathe, below is​ a​ basic exercise that should be done as​ often as​ possible to​ retrain​ yourself. With enough work you’ll actually move your​ unconscious breathe from the upper lung to​ the lower lung. this​ experience greatly reduces anxiety and​ the physical symptoms of​ tension.
1) Again, place one hand​ on​ your​ navel, and​ the other on​ your​ chest, right over the breastbone.
2) Exhale completely. Drop your​ shoulders and​ relax your​ muscles, as​ you​ do so pay particular attention​ to​ the muscles of​ your​ face and​ upper body.
3) Pause for​ three seconds.
4) Inhale SLOWLY through your​ nose by pushing your​ stomach out, not your​ chest. Visualize yourself breathing in​ and​ out through your​ navel. your​ chest hand​ should stay relatively stationary, while your​ lower hand​ rises and​ falls.
There is​ also a​ more advanced breathing technique that can help you​ in​ the midst of​ an​ anxiety or​ panic attack that actually plays a​ role in​ eliminating the fearful feelings. The Driving Fear program does an​ excellent job of​ teaching the strategy to​ assist those that suffer from anxiety, panic, or​ phobias related to​ the fear of​ driving or​ specific driving situations such as​ highway driving or​ driving over bridges.




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