Most of us suffer from the odd aversion to heights, flying or spiders. But if there is one thing that is giving you acute anxiety you do need to seek help and don’t let it fester.
I have noticed that a fear of motorway driving has crept up on me over a period of years and I now have consistent panic attacks when I get to fast roads – the volume and speed of traffic overwhelms me.
“A hundred years ago we weren’t dealing with this deluge of information on a daily basis,” explains hypnotherapist Fiona Austin. “I call it the time vampire, where we are bombarded with phones and beeps and interuptions which all accumulate stress. Anxiety is basically yourself kicking back.”
Fiona tells me to allow that feeling of anxiety as it’s rooted in self preservation. But she asks me how it would feel if I weren’t anxious – what I would wear, how I would approach my car and asks me to be specific. Once I describe that to her in detail she assigns me a toolkit which I should use each time I drive for the next few weeks, after which it should become a healthy habit.
My kit consists of: creating a positive space in my car punctuated by a favourite object that signifies safety (a childhood toy of my son’s for example as it’s associated with happy memories), to take my dog with me on trips (as she consistently both makes me happy and calm) and to put on a Jane playlist ie all my favourite Beyonce belters – joy! Then to take a deep breath and smile as the act of laughing affects your chemical reactions for the better.
I’ve been doing this consistently and within two journeys feel much more in control. Love Jane x