By Nigel Hilton
Big or small, car accidents are scary stuff. They remind us of what could have been and just how lucky we are to walk away with nothing more than a few scratches – but sometimes, the reminder keeps us from getting back behind the wheel at all. Accidents affect us psychologically and what used to feel like a safe and comfortable zone is now a risky, dangerous, and traumatic way of transporting yourself from A to B.
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Fear grows as we give in to it and have the potential to grow monstrously huge with time; the more you accept it, the more likely it is to find a home in your mind. Here are a few empowering tips on how to overcome it after an accident, and confidently get behind the wheel once again.
Talk about it with others
It’s common knowledge that the more you share something, the less you allow it to expand in your head – yet, it’s easier said than done. It might seem strange that sharing your story repeatedly should be able to take your mind off it, but the wisdom still stands: talking about it decreases those insensible and intrusive thoughts of fear.
You need to pick your conversation partner with care, though, and someone who is particularly prone to negative thinking should be your least favorite choice. A good friend, for example, who can listen and reinforce your confidence by noting that you’re still here today is an excellent option.
Write down your experience
Talk about how the accident happened and write the details down as well; most people find it helpful to write a narrative to deal with their emotions. If you almost threw a cyclist off his bike, had to make a massive turn to avoid the cat in the middle of the road, or had a larger accident with an eighteen wheeler wreck, write it down and put everything in chronological order.
The problem with fear and trauma is that our memory tends to fade with time, which again leads our mind to fill in the gaps. It will make the experience seem a lot scarier than it was, making you numb at the mere thought of ever driving again.
Don’t let your confused mind lead you in the wrong direction, and make sure you visit the site of the accident so that you’re not feeding the anxiety beast. Read more about the benefits of writing experiences down in this article.
Bring a friend with you
The first time you get behind the steering wheel again, you should try not to do it on your own. If you’re feeling at ease and not as stressed about it as you thought you’d be, it might be sufficient to do a few test drives on your own. Laying up at night, on the other hand, and dealing with frightening thoughts is a clear sign that you should have a bit of friendly support by your side.
You never know when something unexpected is to happen, and it’s going to boost your confidence a lot to have a calm and steady person next to you in the car. With time, you won’t just be a calm and happy driver – but you’ll be a lot more careful on the roads as well.