While driving and being in a car is a regular activity for most of us, some people find it difficult to keep their calm when in passenger seat of the car. If you’re one of them, being driven somewhere by your family member or a friend can be an unnerving experience.
In purely psychological terms, this passenger nervousness or fear is given the name of maxophobia’. You might feel this strange fear every time you’re in the car as a passenger, regardless of whether the person in charge of the steering is a good driver or not.
Now that cars are an object of daily use, for getting to work or just driving to the grocery store, you might have to confront this unusual fear every other day if not worse. Focusing on what’s going on inside the vehicle becomes a tough job in such circumstances.
You are totally unaware of what your parents, friends or siblings are talking about as strong anxiousness and near panic sets in. The worst part- most people keep asking you to calm down and pose baseless reassurances.
Why do I feel scared as a car passenger?
There can be a number of justified reasons behind this fear. Generally, amaxophobia is seen in car accident survivors or people who nearly lost their lives while in the passenger seat. The trauma induced due to past experiences can be a major reason for this fear to exist in the first place.
Naturally controlling or hyperactive nature:
If you feel extreme anxiety and fear when someone else is in control of the steering wheel but can drive normally by yourself- it is possible that you’re naturally controlling and do not trust people with handling tasks easily. Even though you don’t count yourself to be a high maintenance person, it’s possible that this trait is specific to driving.
Result of anxiety and high stress level
Many people suffering from passenger fear have previously been diagnosed with GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder), Panic issues or just extremely high stress level. Recount the past months and think if you’ve been really stressed and unable to get some relaxation- because this just might be the reason you fear being a car passenger.
How to get rid of this fear?
It might feel impossible to drain out this fear but in reality, it isn’t difficult to genuinely improve if you are truly willing and patient enough. This mental battle has a bright, positive end that awaits you. Have a look at these proven methods to get rid of the passenger fear:
Instant Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation methods at times work even better than psychiatric medications. These methods include taking deeper and longer breaths, trying to concentrate on the topic of conversation in the car, decompressing and diverting your mind towards something serene and peaceful.
These techniques may not fetch you amazing results in chaotic situations, but they do their share of help. If you can be patient enough to continue practicing these, they definitely work wonders long term.
Tune out the world
Music is indeed a kind of therapy. If you’re highly anticipated about an unavoidable long car ride, try the above mentioned relaxation methods on the spot and once you feel a little calmer than before, plug in your ear chords and play a slow, melancholic song that you know makes things better, close your eyes and mentally tell yourself, “I am strong enough to do this.”
Do not feel awkward or intimidated by people in the car and what they will think about this because loving and caring for yourself tops the list. If music is something that helps.
Seek Professional Help
In a situation where nothing seems to work and your fear keeps getting worse each passing day, it is necessary to consult a medical professional. They help you identify the precise symptoms and provide professional counselling which goes a long way in bettering your mental health and eradicating unnecessary fears.
Know that fear is controllable
When you’re in the car and it begins moving, it might seem like the fear will soon overtake your senses. Remember that no matter how tough it may seem, fear is always under your mind’s control.
What I mean by this is- you can potentially convince yourself into overcoming this fear which can soon turn into a phobia, or already has. Considering this advice for a time may bring some huge positive changes in your situation.
Human mind is an extremely powerful entity that can not only manipulate others, it can manipulate itself into overcoming a tough problem. It’s not unlike suddenly getting over the fear that came along after watching a horror movie, simply because you faded that memory away. Although on a horribly larger scale, a phobia can be overcome by some self-counselling too.
Hypnosis is a simple way to help fix your nervousness as a car passenger.
Just download a specially written hypnosis track, play it to yourself and notice the difference it makes!