Open post

Facing a little of my own anxiety, but doing it anyway.

At the end of March I went back to my beloved open water swimming for the first time since contracting Covid. It felt wonderful to be back in the water. I’ve missed it so much.

What has this got to do with driving? Well, nothing except I can honestly say I felt more anxious than I thought I would getting into the cold water after nearly 3 weeks since my last swim, solo and after being ill and quite shattered with Omicrap!

None of my swim buddies were free so I chose to go to a lake that is life guarded and I always have a tow float. I spoke with the lifeguard and explained my situation. He fully understood and advised I shouldn’t go further than the fountain, 100m in. It was a little foggy so he wanted me in his sight.

Easing in I felt my heart beating stronger than usual so practiced as I preach and steadied my breathing with slow deep belly breaths. Then, straight from the advice from Mel Robbins, I said out loud ‘5-4-3-2-1, I’m excited!!’ (This helps to trick the brain into feeling excited instead of anxious. It's called Reframing.) Then I was swimming gently.

I focused on the next escape rout and then the next. In the end I managed the 400m I’d wanted to do but in bite size baby steps knowing I had someone watching me and I could get out sooner if I really had to. Doing the 200m length in one go, then back would have been too much on that day, but achieving the same distance in broken down steps was very achievable and left me wanting to do more again next week.

Though I’m used to doing more, it’s ok to take a step back, re-gather yourself and celebrate the achievement of the day. Log it, and move on.

Driving is no different. There will be good days when you can achieve a lot and others when you can’t. Just do something 🙏👍

It’s surprising how quickly you can reduce driving anxiety by taking one step at a time and regularly repeating the same exercise. I have helped many people do the same.
If you would like help with your driving, give me a call on 07889 186100 or email

Open post


Have you ever jumped from an aeroplane? I did a tandem jump many years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. The thought of jumping from a plane 12,000 feet up in the air was overwhelming. My stress levels were high, my heart was racing, and I was sweating. Then I was introduced to my instructor, Mike. He was calm and very experienced so I knew I was in safe hands.

The briefing took us through one step by step instructions. Then it dawned on me… all I had to do was follow each individual instruction, one step at a time. Get on the plane, tick. Clip to my instructor, tick. Shuffle to the door, tick. Sit on the edge… Stress levels were somewhat high at this point I won’t lie! Cross my hands over my chest and allow my instructor to push us off. Try not to swear – Fail. When free-falling, make like a banana. – tick. Put me feet on his when landing then on touch down, run – all done! I was given bite-size instructions and achieved it.

My instructor had done over 500 jumps. I was mentally exhausted. He congratulated me and headed off to meet his next customer. To him this was just another day at the office. It wasn’t always like this for him but with constant exposure he simply habituated to it. Research shows that by just the third jump sky-divers stress hormones are no higher than it would be in a long queue in a supermarket. I haven’t put this to the test as my skydive was a tick off the bucket list and I’m happy with that.

It’s surprising how quickly you can reduce driving anxiety by taking one step at a time and regularly repeating the same exercise. I have helped many people do the same.

If you want to skydive, I suggest turning to Google. If you would like help with your driving, give me a call on 07889 186100 or email

Open post

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

Scroll to top