There’s no denying that it takes a special skill and immense grace to drive around in Nigeria and remain sane. For some, it comes innate while others have to master the artful skill of dodging and weaving through belligerent danfo drivers and the infamous keke na pep rough riders. If the mere thought of these aforementioned road users is less than appealing to you, we’ve got some super easy ways you can reduce your anxiety and enjoy your daily commute on our Nigerian roads! Keep reading to find out more.
For you to overcome anxiety associated with driving you must first understand that this is a gradual process. However, it is also good to understand that a tiny bit of anxiety associated with driving is not such a bad thing. Without controlled anxiety, everyone would drive recklessly. All the same, reducing this fear is a major challenge, but there are definitely things you can start practicing to do to reduce this fear.
Face you fear head on
Of course, this is easier said than done. For some, their fear of driving is so extreme that they are totally unable to even enter a car, let alone drive a car. If your fear is not as bad and you are able to muster up the courage, it is advisable to never turn down the opportunity to drive. Despite the anxiety associated with driving, continue to push yourself and get behind the wheel when possible. For many, this is easier said than done. If your fear is so pronounced you can’t even get into a car, then it may not be possible. But for those that can get the courage to drive, never avoid driving. The more you do this, the less anxious you will become over time.
Be mindful of others
While you’re driving, it’s best to be focused but also attentive of your surroundings. Make a conscious effort to take note of signs of tension and stress. The more frequently you do this, the easier it will become for you to be able to calm yourself when anxiety arises. When you feel yourself getting tensed up or your mind wanders to thoughts of danger, try to calm yourself down and take control of your emotions. The more you do this, the more you’ll see improvements in your driving and managing your anxiety.
Eliminate anxiety inducing situations
Did you know that the way you drive could also be a factor to you anxiety? Be mindful of your driving and maintain a safe speed at all times. Practice safe driving techniques and defensive driving. Make sure you are not contributing to your anxiety by driving recklessly.
Drive in safe/slow areas
It’s easy to underestimate how beneficial it is to drive in an anxiety free environment. If possible, avoid driving through routes with heavy traffic or congestion. Almost impossible in Lagos but still give it a shot.
Do you have any tips that have helped you to deal with anxiety while driving? We’d love to hear them!