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Exposure Therapy reduces stress and anxiety

Stress effects everyone to one degree or another. In fact, we need a certain level of stress to keep us functioning. But overloading on stress is detrimental to our wellbeing.

For those who suffer with Vehophobia (a fear of driving), this will affect so many angles of your life. You may well have some form of stress and anxiety coping strategies. Typically controlling your breathing, listening to calm music, yoga, mindfulness etc. But the only way you are going to truly be able to take back control is to ‘face your fear’ and let’s face it, even that phrase can be enough to trigger your anxiety levels to spike.

But what if I told you that by doing exactly this, in baby-steps, you can be back in control of your own life rather than the anxiety controlling you. How would it feel to be able to do the school run, take your partner to the train station, say yes to meeting your friends 30 miles away without that anxious feeling overwhelming you…

Just as we build strength by stressing our muscles, we can condition ourselves for bravery by facing the anxiety. We possess a kind of ‘stress immune system’, so facing fears repeatedly without serious harm can inoculate us against stress and make it more manageable.

Here’s a sciency bit: Researchers placed mice in a large empty box to simulate an open field where a predator could swoop down on them, the mice initially lost control of their bowels with their stress hormones spiking as they froze in terror. When they did move, they slinked alongside the wall. However, when they were placed in the box day after day, they soon became habituated to the stress. Eventually, they became brave enough to go over to the middle of the box to investigate a new toy when one was placed there. Their body is still releasing stress hormones, but the stress became manageable.

So by dealing with driving anxiety we approach it with a multiple-level approach of stress relieving coping strategies, together with gently pushing boundaries and reflecting on how you feel. If the toy in the box for you is the motorway, the bridge or a short school run. It IS achievable. You just need to get started.

So do it now and give me a call on 07889 186100 or email

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