More and more people are turning to hypnotherapy to deal with their driving anxiety. Ask your friends, family and colleagues and no doubt you’ll discover that more people use hypnotherapy than you might think.
Anxiety-related issues are the most common thing that people approach me with, looking for help. Negative thoughts encroach on our minds with increasing frequency these days. Driving anxiety, in particular, is on the rise and I’m seeing a big increase in people seeking help through hypnotherapy.
In this blog I’ll explain how hypnotherapy can help you face your fears. Hypnosis sessions are great for this. I’m also going to tell you how self-hypnosis works, and how my expertly-developed Subconsciously app can help cure your fears in your own home.
Driving anxiety can ruin your life.
Recently, I wrote a blog detailing how driving anxiety is ruining people’s lives. The fear of driving is often caused by bad experiences on the road. But it can be an almost instinctive fear, which some people get even when learning to drive. It can also come seemingly from nowhere.
As one client told me, “I used to be so confident on the road – then one day I just had this overwhelming feeling that I was going to crash into the car in front of me.”
That driver had to stop the car and take a bus. He was too scared to get back behind the wheel. Read on and I’ll tell you how hypnotherapy helped him overcome his fears.
Losing control at the wheel and crashing into somebody is one of the common fears. Causing injury or death to yourself, your passengers or other motorists can become a paralysing anxiety.
Of course, the fear of another car smashing into you also causes great fear. People often tell me what triggers their driving anxiety. These include driving alone, at night, or with their children in the car.
As I explained in the previous blog, a huge percentage of drivers (39%) experience driving anxiety. If only more of those drivers tried hypnotherapy, they would realise that hypnosis is the best way to restore your confidence behind the wheel.
I’ll explain why.
Can hypnotherapy help with driving anxiety?
Hypnotherapy takes you out of your everyday conscious experience of the world around you. It takes you into a different space. A space in which any of your waking anxieties can be erased. A place where those fears can be replaced by positive suggestions.
Your subconscious mind is a fascinating thing. If we had a normal conversation about driving and I tried to convince you that your fears were unfounded and that the next time you got into your car you’d feel fine. Do you think that would work? The answer is no.
You’ve had these kinds of conversations already with your loved ones. They’ve tried to convince you that it’s all in your head. But that’s not enough to stop those intrusive thoughts.
Hypnotherapy works differently because during hypnosis your mind is in a highly suggestible space. Somewhere between waking and sleeping, your brain is awake to the power of suggestion. Think of it as reprogramming your software. When you undergo hypnosis you hit the reset button.
A blank slate
Your mind becomes a blank slate for new positive ideas to be written on – like the code of a computer. The words you’ll hear while in this state – whether I’m speaking to you in a chair in my treatment room, or through your headphones while listening to my Subconsciously app – will remain at the front of your mind.
A bad experience can be let go. Liberating you from that nagging fear. The beeping horns, traffic jams, impatient drivers, motorways, bridges – whatever your triggers are – can be completely rewritten. After hypnosis, they will no longer be triggers. At worst, minor irritations, at best simple everyday occurrences.
As I’ve explained in another blog about anxiety, the brain holds and influences many of your unwanted thoughts. Your amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex combine to make us think things are a threat, even if they’re really not.
It’s an evolutionary thing, a byproduct of a prehistoric time when we humans faced constant threats. Back then, when we could be killed by wild beasts while hunting the plains, our brains evolved to give us the sense of what to do when in danger. It’s called fight or flight.
Fight or flight
In the modern world, fight or flight mode can be unhelpful. Because everyday things, like driving a car, giving a speech, going to a dinner party, going on a date, can all seem like dangers or fears.
We can go into fight or flight mode when we can’t stop worrying about our children or whether we left the iron on at home. The physiological responses can be very unpleasant. You can feel like you can’t breathe properly. Your brain can’t switch off from feeling terrified or hypervigilant.
There are techniques to deal with the immediate effects. These are important to follow if you’re driving, as they can help you in an emergency. But for the long-term, we need to remove the anxieties completely.
By tapping into your subconscious mind, through hypnotherapy or through self-hypnosis, you can pull out the roots of anxiety and discard them.
Read on to discover how other people have cured their driving phobia and how you too can overcome your fear of driving.
How have people cured their driving anxiety with hypnotherapy?
Remember the driver I mentioned earlier? The guy who was so gripped by the fear of crashing that he had to pull over and take the bus? Here’s how he overcame his driving anxiety.
“At first I didn’t know what was going on. My heart was beating faster than I’d ever felt it before and I had a cold sweat on the palms of my hands.”
For weeks afterwards, he felt so afraid of the thought of getting back in the car he started using public transport or simply walking.
Eventually he got in contact with a driving instructor and attempted some refresher lessons, but despite having the reassurance of a professional teacher, he couldn’t let go of the fear – it was stopping him from physically being able to drive the car safely and normally.
The instructor recommended my hypnotherapy practice, City Hypnosis, and the guy – who had been driving for 30 years with no problems until this incident – came to see me.
Within a few sessions we had got to the root of the issue. He’d always approached driving just like the rest of his life, taking it in his stride, never really thinking too deeply, just going on instinct, automatically.
The incident he’d experienced that day was a classic case of overthinking and obsessing. Once the idea had got into his head that he could crash into the car in front, it wouldn’t leave his brain. Nothing he did could clear this idea from his mind – except hypnotherapy.
A new person
He said the hypnosis felt like being submerged beneath gentle, soothing, warm water. He said in that state of mind he felt both calm but mildly euphoric. When he emerged from this peaceful place he felt a new person.
While he was in that mental space, the words and suggestions I had given him around driving were extremely positive. Any fear of his own or other drivers’ actions were allayed because he was in complete control. He was the confident, alert, unfazed driver he used to be.
The next time he got behind the wheel, all of that hypnotherapy programming paid off.
“I couldn’t even remember the sensations of fear and anxiety that had crippled me before. It was as if it had happened to a different person, not me!”
A clinical psychologist Traci Stein describes the effects of hypnosis as, “a tool to enhance someone’s attention to a therapist’s voice and decrease attention to outside thoughts.”
“Patients are highly focused and more receptive to positive suggestions because they are viewing the situation from the perspective of a detached observer.”
Another of my clients had been traumatised by a minor collision caused by another driver on a motorway. Although she had managed to avert any serious harm, she just couldn’t shake the fear that she could have died.
Hypnosis helped her to reconfigure her negative thoughts around driving into positive ones.
“I realised I had been holding onto fears for a reason,” she told me after her hypnotherapy sessions.
“My unthinking mind had been frightening me as a survival mechanism. It was telling me not to get back in my car, because I might die. While this may have been a logical fear, it was irrational and improbable.”
“Hypnotherapy helped cure my driving anxiety. At first it took me to my ‘happy place’ where I felt most relaxed, on a beach. And in that totally tranquil state, Aaron’s voice and words accessed that irrational fear and blew it away into fairy dust.”
“I felt cocooned”
Another client whose driving phobia was cured through hypnotherapy explained that while in a trance she could hear my voice, but very distantly.
“It felt like I was cocooned and Aaron’s voice was both clear and persuasive, but almost in another room. In this trance-like state, the positive affirmations washed over me and I physically and mentally felt all of my anxieties around driving melting away.”
After a session with a client who had developed driving phobia after having young children described the process of hypnosis she got from me.
“I could hear Aaron walking me through getting in my car, starting the engine and pulling away. It all sounded like a serene dream in which I was totally empowered with this remarkable confidence.”
“He talked me through a drive – while I was sitting there on the chair of his treatment room under hypnosis. All of the triggers that would normally send me into a panic, for example somebody stepping out into the road, were not a problem anymore.”
While it doesn’t work for everybody, statistics show that six sessions of hypnotherapy has a success rate of 93%. Research by Harvard University, called the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, rates an individual’s likelihood of being responsive to hypnosis treatment.
If you feel like hypnotherapy is the way forward for you, here’s how you can get started, and even do self-hypnosis at home using my Subconsciously app.
How to get started with hypnotherapy for your driving anxiety.
The NHS recommends finding hypnotherapists who are on the Professional Standards Authority’s Accredited Register.
You could also search the National Council for Hypnotherapy database.
You can, of course, book an appointment with me at City Hypnosis. If you want to have a preliminary call that’s absolutely fine. We can discuss whether you feel I’m a good fit for your needs.
Once you’ve done some research, you can read up on self-hypnosis apps that help you develop the technique. There are many out there. The one I have spent some time expertly developing is a great entry point to self-hypnosis. It’s called Subconsciously and it is here to help you achieve your goals.
When I developed Subconsciously, I decided to create a wide-ranging suite of programmes to help my clients deal with a whole variety of issues in their own homes and in their own time.
Driving anxiety was an important focus. Why? Because getting over your driving anxiety can literally save lives. Not to mention how empowered you’ll feel. You’ll find more than one hypnosis programme on Subconsciously specifically focused on curing your driving anxiety.
Self-hypnosis through the Subconsciously app works in the same way as traditional hypnotherapy. It’s my voice, my words, and it puts you in a deeply relaxed state of mind, just as if you were in my office chair.
When you come out of your Subconsciously sessions you’re likely to feel refreshed, positive, and ready to drive again without fear or anxiety.
Take a look at the website, download the app today, and subscribe to conquer your driving fears.