How Can Therapy Help Nervous Student Drivers?

Across many countries, driving is a symbol of freedom and status. It is a skill coveted by many—male and female, young and old. Some even get their student licenses as soon as the law allows them. But more than the prestige, driving offers practicality. It helps you get to your destination faster, avoid traffic, and provide an alternative to public transport. Alongside these, there is also a myriad of benefits to being able to drive a car. 

While most people are excited to get behind the wheel, other student drivers feel nervous. Although this feeling is normal, it can sometimes develop into irrational fear. A driving phobia is characterized by extraordinary distress even at the mere prospect of driving. If you are a student driver, remember that initial fear is okay. It’s normal to feel nervous when driving since you become responsible for your safety, as well as others on the road. 

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However, keep in mind that there is always a way to overcome your fright. If your apprehension does not fade over time, don’t panic. Your driving instructors may not be able to help you with your phobia, but that’s alright. They are not experts in this field after all. In this case, you will need to approach a therapist. As licensed mental health professionals, they have the expertise to guide you through your fears. Through therapy, you can understand your doubts about driving. More importantly, your therapist will recommend a specific course of treatment that is tailor-fit to your needs. 

Read on to learn more about how therapy can help nervous student drivers.

Find The Root Cause Of Your Fear

You cannot fully grasp your fear without knowing its root cause. You also cannot cope with your worries if you don’t know the real reason. So, one of the first things you will do with your therapists is talk about your fears. Take the time to discuss your agitation with them. They may ask you to recall when the phobia started to bud and when it began to worsen. Your therapist will also likely ask you to list the people, objects, or places that trigger your fear.

Ask yourself why you are afraid to get on the driver’s seat. There are many reasons why a person feels nervous about driving. A few examples of these fears may include:

      • Previous Negative Experiences

Perhaps, you were involved in a previous automobile accident. The memories from that experience may leave you with trauma. However, negative encounters are not limited to road accidents. It may be traveling through a bad storm or getting lost along the way. You may also be a victim of road rage. Recall all negative memories that you associate with driving, and discuss them with your therapist.

      • Driving Alone

Another cause of fear may be dreading being alone in the car due to several factors. One may be because you are a terrible navigator. If so, the fear can intensify if you are asked to drive through an unfamiliar city. You may also be apprehensive about traversing long distances alone or feel trapped when you are alone in your car. 

      • Losing Control

Many individuals cite the fear of losing control as one of their apprehensions. Driving can be intimidating not just because you’re in charge of the wheel. There are fellow drivers, pedestrians, animals, and other road users around you. While you can have control of yourself, you cannot always control your surroundings. It can be more terrifying if you are on a busy street. Because there are many possible distractions around you, it can rattle your focus.

After identifying the root cause of your fear, ask yourself why you need to overcome it. Is it because you crave personal autonomy? Or perhaps, you want to be the designated driver when you’re out with friends? Maybe your parents are getting old, and you want to take control of the family car. Whatever your intention is, clearly define it. Then use it as motivation to overcome your fear. When you feel any discomposure, look back on the reason why you want to drive.

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Find Calming Techniques

Now that you’ve established what’s causing your fear, it’s time to find coping mechanisms. Your therapist can show you some techniques to quell your anxieties when it’s time to get behind the wheel. They may recommend many methods, including breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, or even playing a certain playlist of calming music. It can also be a combination of different tactics. Try all of their suggestions, then stick to what works best for you.

But before deciding on a course of treatment, you and your therapist will usually discuss your goals. These include both short-term and long-term targets. When setting up your objectives, remember to make them realistic. Don’t put any unnecessary pressure on yourself. Instead, always be kind to yourself. Remember that therapy is not a one-time treatment that can make your phobia disappear overnight. As long as you’re taking the steps, you will get closer to your goal no matter how slowly.

Get On Track

Many psychiatrists attest to the positive effect of exposure therapy. This method encourages drivers to be more comfortable and confident with driving. The goal of this therapy is to confront your fears. Your exposure to driving will be gradual and involve the presence of your therapist or another mental health professional. Through exposure therapy, you will progressively adjust to the sensations of driving. Over time, you will become calmer and more in control of the steering wheel.

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The Bottom Line

As a student driver, feeling nervous about driving can hinder your progress. It can affect your scores when taking the exam for a license. If you fail to pass the test, it can also lower your self-esteem. But despite the setbacks, it is possible to overcome your fear and be a confident and responsible driver. 

Speaking with a mental health professional can help provide clarity on your emotions. Through therapy and focused effort, you will surely attain your driver’s license in time.

How Therapy Can Help Drivers With OCD 

Driving is both a privilege and a responsibility. It is a skill not everyone knows or learns. So, many people fear harming others because of their carelessness. Their thoughts of unintentionally harming an innocent bystander can consume them to the point of developing a disorder. 

This psychiatric disorder falls under a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD. This specific OCD is called hit-and-run OCD. If you are constantly questioning yourself or driving with anxiety, it may be time to seek professional help. Acknowledging your problem is the first step to healing.

What Is OCD?

OCD is a psychiatric disorder that causes repetitive, unwanted thoughts. It can manifest by doing compulsive, repetitive actions to drive those intrusive thoughts away. Many people can suffer from distressing thoughts, but for people with OCD, it can get in the way of their everyday functions. 

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Drivers who suffer from hit-and-run OCD may specifically have distressing thoughts about running over a pedestrian. Their thoughts can manifest through

      • constantly checking their rearview mirror,
      • fearing to hit or run over a pedestrian unknowingly,
      • developing anxiety driving over speed bumps, and
      • avoiding driving altogether.

Hit-and-run OCD can dangerously impact a driver’s life, consuming them with these unwanted thoughts. Because of that, people suffering from hit-and-run OCD may try to avoid driving as often as possible and check the news obsessively over car accidents.

It may lead you to believe that you unknowingly hit a pedestrian or an animal. These thoughts may cloud your judgment and make you believe things that are not true. People with OCD have lower levels of serotonin and dopamine, which can likely cause them more anxiety since their neurobiology is wired differently than the average person.

What Can Cause Hit-And-Run OCD?

OCD can be caused by genetic predisposition and neurobiological factors. Many studies are researching the causes of OCD, but not much is known. However, family history is the most likely cause of the disorder. One out of every four patients with OCD has a family member also diagnosed with OCD.

What Are Common Misconceptions About OCD?

Because intrusive thoughts are harmful, many people may feel like these are their legitimate subconscious desires. But your intrusive thoughts do not define who you are. These thoughts are repetitive, unwanted, and redundant. 

OCD is not all about obsessive thoughts about hygiene and cleanliness, as mainstream media may portray. It is not caused by stress or childhood upbringing either because your neurobiology characterizes OCD.

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Many people may tell you to stop obsessing about running over pedestrians unintentionally or to calm down while driving. But OCD is not as simple as that. It is defined by unwanted thoughts that constantly cloud your judgment. Telling someone with OCD to stop having negative thoughts is insensitive, as these thoughts occur unwillingly.

How Common Is Hit-And-Run OCD? 

Hit-and-run OCD can affect anyone of any race. But Black Americans are less likely to receive treatment. In the US, people of color are least likely to be diagnosed with this disorder properly. While many will exhibit the same symptoms, people of color are least likely to receive adequate treatment.

OCD can occur at any age, from childhood to adulthood. But hit-and-run OCD is most diagnosed in adulthood because driving is a responsibility generally for older people.

How Can Therapy Help?

Speaking to a proper mental health professional can give you better access to the treatment you need. In many cases, this driving anxiety can be misdiagnosed as a panic disorder or another psychiatric disorder. Your therapist will guide you to an accurate diagnosis.

Refraining from your compulsions can be extremely difficult for people with OCD, as this was used previously to cope with their obsessive thoughts. It might give them momentary relief. But in the long term, it will not completely heal them from OCD. 

This problem may seem bigger than yourself, but it’s a hurdle that anyone can overcome once you receive proper treatment. Trying not to think about your intrusive thoughts will not help, but you have to face your fears yourself, too. Your therapist’s goal is to ease you off your anxiety and help you get back on the road again.

The world is filled with uncertainties, and the challenge in life is getting past your doubts and moving forward.

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There have been many studies, but medication alone is not enough to help clients with OCD. Many may suffer from anxiety and will be reasonably prescribed anti-anxiety medications alongside therapy. But no pill can erase OCD thoughts. This is why therapy is very prominent in these kinds of treatments. 

How Can You Address Or Prevent OCD?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT involves exposing yourself to your triggers and refraining from giving in to your compulsions. Your therapist may give you a script to repeat to yourself over and over again. They may also help you while driving by reading the script with you to practice resisting your compulsions.

Exposure Response Prevention or ERP method is believed to work best for hit-and-run OCD because it addresses your discomfort and uncertainty. This is something you must engage with to heal yourself from negative thoughts. 

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This specific type of CBT allows you to grasp and understand your feelings of uncertainty fully. Your therapist may vary your exposure depending on the severity of your symptoms. They may also ask you about your recent experiences with driving when you start having anxiety. 

Conclusion 

For your driving practice, it is best to seek help from a mental health professional. Your therapist will provide you with a treatment plan for you to heal from hit-and-run OCD. You don’t want to suffer constantly when driving your car. Driving is a life skill that many people learn. You don’t want your head to be clouded with intrusive thoughts and potentially harm anyone.

OCD can be terrifying, and it can negatively impact your work and social functions. In many ways, it can ruin your relations with others if you do not seek proper treatment. Like every psychiatric disorder, there is always a path toward healing. And you can start by acknowledging that you have a problem to address and receive therapy for.

 

Seeking Counseling After An Automobile Accident

The world has changed so much in the past few years. Humankind now enjoys the comfort offered by various advances in technology. Things that used to be luxuries are now within reach for most.  Many houses now have an air-conditioning system, a television, or any other home appliances. Cellphones keep people connected to anyone from any part of the world. The internet contains every information known to man.

Technology has also contributed to the world’s transportation system. The different modes of transportation –buses, cars, planes, and trains– offer the convenience of quickly moving from one place to another. On an individual level, cars are probably the most reliable.

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Having a car dramatically improves your life. You can go where you want or need to, at little or short notice. There is a little hassle, and you can bring your family or friends with you anytime you like. That is why many people think that cars equate freedom. But driving a car is a huge responsibility.

Yearly statistics show that more than 38,000 deaths recorded in the United States were due to automobile accidents. Almost five million people get injured on the road and need serious medical attention. These alarming figures only increase as the years pass and are possibly indicative of a problem. Common causes of car accidents include distracted, impaired, or inexperienced drivers. Driving is dangerous. All of your attention should be on the road and the wheel once you hit the road.

Why You Should See A Counselor After Your Car Accident

Unfortunately, road accidents now occur daily. There will always be at least one accident that causes a traffic jam while driving your kids to school or going to work. It could be anything: a driver with a flat tire, one who did not check their car’s brake, or one who drove too fast or too slow.

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If you have ever been in a car accident, you would know it is not easy to forget. Accidents are different for everyone. But no matter how big or small, accidents leave almost everyone with some trauma. Numerous lives have been lost due to vehicular accidents, but even those who survive find their lives upended.

Trauma is a natural response of the brain when something bad happens, such as natural disasters, wars, or accidents. It is characterized by shock, a constant state of anxiety, inability to focus, and even guilt. Sometimes, physical symptoms also manifest in trauma victims. These include stomach discomfort, chest pains, and shortness of breath.

A traumatic event can trigger dynamic behavioral, emotional, and social changes in an individual. Victims of trauma are at high risk of developing a psychological disorder like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. It is crucial for people who survived automobile accidents to seek mental health treatment immediately.

How Counseling Will Help You Fully Heal

Unresolved trauma can become burdensome if not talked about or given proper attention. Counseling is an effective approach in helping people vent out their concerns while at the same time finding ways to resolve them.

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Road accidents are undoubtedly distressing. Many car accident survivors seldom want to ride in a car again. Those who were drivers during the traumatic event never want to touch the steering wheel ever again. They also experience recurring nightmares, as if they can never escape reliving the tragic moment. That is a sad reality. When the emotional distress becomes overwhelming and starts affecting your daily routine, it is best to seek a professional’s help.

Counselors are well-rounded and trained to listen to anyone’s worries actively. They aid in identifying the root cause of your nightmares. Whether or not you are aware of your car accident, they will guide and work you through to overcome your concern. After various sessions, you can return to society without fear or anxiety. Your counseling sessions are a safe space for you and your feelings.

During counseling, you should expect different methods and techniques to be used to help you recover. The primary focus of counseling is to manage and alleviate any accident-related stress that you have. Your counselor may also advise you to join support groups so that you do not feel alone. They may also recommend getting plenty of exercises, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and sleeping regularly.

If you need more help, do not hesitate to let your counselor know about it. They can refer you to a specialist, a psychologist, or whichever specialist you might need.

Trauma healing is a long, winding path but is very worth it. If you have been in a vehicular accident or know someone, remember to take care of your psychological well-being. You need to recover physically and mentally, especially if you want to drive again. 

How Counseling Can Address Hoarding Disorder

If you are a car enthusiast, you will likely have comprehensive knowledge about your favorite car brands and models. You might also have developed a pretty meticulous way of categorizing automobiles according to their technical specifications and other features.

For you, shifting gears requires a personal touch. You perceive an intimate relationship between you and your car. And you couldn’t get enough of it. At some point, you will find yourself wanting to add more to your collection.

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Being overly excited about these mean machines is typical. Car enthusiasts commonly collect these luxurious items as a hobby. However, this might be the beginnings of hoarding, which adds clutter to your home and is neither normal nor healthy. 

There is a fine line between hoarding and collecting. For example, car collectors have the intention to display or use their cars. However, individuals with a hoarding disorder may be unnecessarily keeping and purchasing cars that no longer have any monetary or visual worth.

Hoarding behavior may also get in the way of social and personal life. For example, cars that do not get timely maintenance may eventually become a health risk. A hoarder might ignore this and continue keeping the car while not getting it checked. Such behavior is destructive and can cause harm to you and the people around you. Read this article to know how counseling can help address hoarding disorder.

Understanding and Diagnosing Hoarding Disorder

Individuals who experience excessive hoarding have a strong urge not to discard items.  They usually have a strong inclination to keep things; throwing anything causes them psychological distress. As a result, a hoarder has way too many possessions. These are usually items they refused to throw out of their homes or workplaces. A counselor can help understand and diagnose this kind of hoarding behavior.

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Symptoms of Hoarding Behavior

Counseling can help you determine the symptoms of excessively acquiring worthless possessions. Some symptoms of hoarding behavior are:

  • Extreme difficulty in discarding or giving away items, regardless of their actual worth
  • Piles of possessions in living space even when you cannot use them
  • A perceived need to save every single item 
  • Psychological distress related to separation from their possessions

The Severity of Hoarding Symptoms

Your counselor may ask you a series of questions during the session. These can determine your behavioral patterns and assess the severity of your symptoms. They may ask about the following:

  • Trouble discarding what others would easily get rid of
  • Difficulty with using rooms and spaces in your home
  • Effects of hoarding and cluttering on your daily functioning
  • Frequency of purchasing things without actually using them
  • The distress you feel from your symptoms
  • Effects of hoarding on your social interactions in school, work, or family relationships

Your counselor may also ask permission to conduct interviews with your friends and family. This is necessary to examine your level of functioning. Additionally, it could help diagnose other disorders associated with this behavior.

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Causes of Hoarding Behavior

A counselor can help you dig deeper into the roots of your hoarding behavior. For instance, they can look into genetic influences triggering this problem. Some of the common causes of hoarding behavior include:

  • Effect of brain damage or injury
  • Experiencing a traumatic life event
  • Having a family member with the same disorder

Prepare yourself for the counseling sessions. For example, note how long you have been experiencing the symptoms. This will help your counselor sort out your personal beliefs about your behavior. 

Also, include a detailed description of your personal history and medical information. This way, your counselor can rule out other factors affecting your hoarding patterns.

Providing Treatment and Coping Strategies

Individuals with hoarding disorder may be reluctant to address their negative and maladaptive behavior. This is because most of them do not recognize its impact on their lives. When their possessions are forcefully taken away, they may become extremely frustrated and angry. This is why treatment should always involve family members or close friends.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the primary therapy used in managing hoarding symptoms. It is the most common type of psychotherapy for treating hoarding behavior. During the counseling session, your therapist may:

  • Help you define the thought processes and beliefs related to hoarding
  • Improve your coping skills to resist the urge to hoard
  • Ask you to declutter your home and organize your possessions
  • Teach you decision-making strategies to inspire motivational change

Your counselor can also teach you coping strategies. It is always helpful to follow your treatment plan. It’s okay to fail on your first try. The goal is to improve yourself next time. Other coping strategies you can use to improve your lifestyle include:

  • Keeping up with your personal hygiene
  • Accepting help and assistance from others
  • Eating healthily and exercise regularly

Being fascinated with cars is great. Your enthusiasm for automobiles can also help you develop a more personal relationship with these machines. Being enthralled by cars lets you initiate conversations even with random strangers.  

You might also be helpful to drivers and riders stuck on the road with your information. Despite being usually about showroom-quality cars, there might be something helpful for other people. Hoarding knowledge about cars will never be an actual problem. 

However, if the hoarding behavior becomes destructive to your personal life, you should immediately seek assistance. Counseling can provide you a deeper understanding of the root causes of your behavior. It can also determine an appropriate diagnosis. 

Your counselor can give you a detailed treatment plan for your condition and help you learn effective coping strategies. In the end, fighting your hoarding disorder will not be easy, but attending a counseling session may lead to your new beginning.

Dealing With Anxiety: Frequently Asked Questions

 

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Anxiety involves feelings such as fear, concern, and fearfulness. Anxiety is commonly experienced in emotional, cognitive, and physical stages. For example, when you feel anxious, you may experience unpleasant or disrupting thoughts.

To an emotional degree, you may feel afraid or off-tangent. It is also usual to have extreme anxiety via somatic sensations, like shaking, shortness of breath, or sweating. These symptoms are typical for individuals who are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Those with panic disorder are naturally familiar with the challenges of dealing with anxiety. It could feel like the anxiety is overpowering or entirely out of a person’s control.

Can anxiety cause a tremendous pull in one’s life? Luckily, there are some basic steps that you can practice so you can deal with your anxiety. One of the most effective steps is the breathing technique.

  • Start by making yourself comfortable in a seated position.
  • With your eyes closed, slowly breathe in through the nose, and then follow through with a deep exhalation.
  • Continue this process, inhaling and then exhaling deeply, allowing the breath to serve as your guide to the present moment.
  • While you’re breathing, you can use the mantra ‘be present.’ With every inhalation, think ‘be’ and with every exhalation, concentrate on the word ‘present.’

Breathing exercises are effective relaxation strategies that can help calm the mind and body of anxiety while focusing on the present.

The physical indications of anxiety and panic, such as chest pain, fast heartbeat, and trembling, are typically more evident than comprehending just what is causing your anxiety. Still, you have to find out what’s troubling you for you to get to the root of your problem. To get to the bottom of your problem, take time to explore your emotions and thoughts.

Journaling is also a useful means of getting in touch with your anxiety triggers. If your feelings feel like they’re keeping you awake at night, keep your journal or notes beside your bed. Write down everything that’s worrying you. Confiding in a trusted friend or family member could be another way to understand and be familiar with your anxious feelings. Make it a routine to express and be familiar with your fears and anxieties.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I overcome anxiety? 

Try doing these to reduce your anxiety symptoms:

  • Maintain a well-balanced diet.
  • Spend time by yourself.
  • Avoid too much caffeine and alcohol.
  • Sleep at least eight to ten hours a day.
  • Exercise every day for improved emotional and physical health.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Try your best.

What triggers anxiety?

A major event or an accumulation of minor stressful life events may cause excessive anxiety. Examples of these events include financial issues, work-related stress, or the death of a loved one. Additionally, individuals with particular personalities are also more inclined to developing anxiety disorders more compared to others.

Is anxiety a mental illness? 

When anxiety disrupts everyday routines, then you are most likely developing an anxiety disorder. These are serious and actual medical illnesses, as real as physical conditions like diabetes or heart problems. 

What are the six forms of anxiety disorders?

The 6 major types of anxiety disorder are panic disorder, specific phobia, separation anxiety, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

How are you diagnosed with anxiety? 

To be diagnosed with anxiety, your doctor performs a thorough physical examination, investigates your symptoms, and orders specific blood tests. All these help the doctor identify if there is another condition that might be causing your anxious symptoms. The doctor also asks about all the medications that you are currently taking. 

Can anxiety be cured completely?

Anxiety disorders cannot be completely cured. It is considered chronic, and it can take several forms. The long-term view will depend on the level of an individual’s condition. Many of those with phobias, OCD, and panic disorders make tremendous improvements during the early weeks or months of formal treatment. 

Does anxiety worsen with age? 

Anxiety does not essentially worsen with age, but the number of individuals that suffer from the condition change through time. Anxiety becomes more prevalent with age and is mostly seen in the middle-aged group.

At what age does anxiety peak?

Adults between 30 and 44 years old are the top candidates for having anxiety, with approximately 20% of individuals within this age group claiming to suffer from a certain anxiety disorder in the past 12 months.

Does anxiety shorten your life? 

Despite experiencing it at low levels, psychological suffering is associated with a higher risk of mortality, as documented in new studies. This suffering is a gauge of psychological well-being that considers symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

What can anxiety do to your body? 

Anxiety often elicits your flight or fight response, causing a surge of hormones and chemicals to be released into the body. Subsequently, this increases your brain’s heart and pulse rate to acquire more oxygen and prepares you to react correctly to a dangerous situation.

How does anxiety physically feel?

For a brief time, anxiety speeds up your heart and pulse rate, focusing the blood flow to your nervous system, where it is most necessary. This physical reaction is getting your ready to face a dangerous situation. If it becomes too extreme, however, you may begin feeling dizzy and lightheaded.

How long can anxieties last? 

Anxiety typically peaks within ten minutes but seldom lingers for more than thirty minutes. During this short period, though, you could experience fear so extreme that you will feel as if you will die or completely lose control. 

Can anxiety go away by itself?

Mild anxiety may disappear by itself or after a situation that has caused the anxiety has ended. Chronic anxiety, however, often stays and might even worsen. 

Is anxiety all in your head? 

The statement that anxiety is all in your head may be true. This is because each of us experiences some form of anxiety at different time intervals. It is your brain’s means of preparing you to face or avoid danger or overcome stressful events.

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Conclusion

A lot of people are accustomed to having some anxiety once in a while. However, longstanding anxiety can be an indication of a diagnosable anxiety disorder.

When anxiety impact’s a person’s work or school performance, his personal relationships, and the other aspects of his life, there is a possibility that these anxiety symptoms actually suggest a mental health illness.

If you believe you are having panic and anxiety symptoms, contact your doctor or another mental health provider specializing in panic or anxiety disorders. They are capable of addressing any concerns you may have, give details on diagnosis, and talk about your treatment options.

 

 

How Cars Affect Your Mental Health 

Driving your own four wheels is undeniably convenient. Cars allow hassle-free traveling from place to place and at the same time enable you to bring friends and families with you. But have you thought of the other ways how cars affect your life aside from being a handy means of transportation? 

Perhaps you haven’t given it much thought, but cars impact your whole well-being and mental health more than you’re aware of. Cars can give you a sense of comfort; however, it could also give you stress. 

Why Do We Buy Cars? 

As we talk about cars and their effect on your mental health, we need to answer the whys, such as, why do we buy cars? Experts say that there are a couple of psychological, societal, and cultural reasons for it.

These reasons ultimately affect how we perceive and value owning a car, including the meanings we attach to it. 

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Cars Give Us Comfort And Prestige

While we have mentioned how cars give us comfort, there’s a much deeper level than that. The comfort that cars provide us is in the level of security. According to some experts, this security level comes with a sense of pride and prestige.

Possessing something expensive makes us feel good because it tells us that we are thriving in this society.  Cars can also be a status symbol, and sometimes acquiring that status gives us pride and a sense of self-identity. 

Car Projects Are A Form Of Art 

Some car enthusiasts take pleasure and satisfaction in taking time and effort to either build or restore their cars, which are called car projects. These car projects are a form of art.

From finding the right pieces to putting them together to improve its overall look, it takes talent, precision, and perseverance. 

In this regard, car projects as a form of art have numerous mental health benefits. The arts stimulate neural connections, improve moods, can be an outlet for better emotion management.

Driving Challenges The Mind 

Another benefit of cars is that driving them enhances our minds. Studies have shown that people who learn how to drive show improvement in their problem-solving skills and muscle coordination.

Your brains are challenged to form new skills as you learn how to juggle between various stimuli all at once until driving becomes an automated activity. 

Apart from this, driving can also help you with emotion regulation. It can help improve your sense of self-control, independence, and freedom to help with anxiety and even depression. And this brings us to another benefit of cars on mental health as a form of therapy. 

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Cars Can Be A Form Of Therapy 

While driving may often be associated with road rage and carelessness, some studies showcase its opposite side.  

Just as traveling in itself is a good stress reliever, driving can be a form of relaxation, too. Getting behind the wheels while cruising at a moderate speed, with a scenic view, can take your mind off of things.

It serves as a buffer for negative emotions. The fresh air outside increases oxygen levels in the blood and can significantly improve mood. 

Also, if you would remember, driving enhances your problem-solving skills. It can be instrumental if you’re facing overwhelming worries that cloud your mind. Driving lets you slowly grapple with your thoughts and cluster them accordingly.

However, take this benefit with precaution. Not all situations with intense emotion are safe triggers for a drive off.

If you are too overwhelmed with anger, anxiety, or depression, it might be best to sit back or do something else. Extreme emotions can be challenging to handle and might hinder the awareness required when driving.    

Another breakthrough finding is the therapeutic benefit of cars among older adults in recalling and discussing memories. 

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Double-Edged Sword Effect Of Cars On Mental Health 

Just like any other thing we enjoy, too much of anything can be harmful. When you rely too much on cars’ prestige and societal symbols, it can eventually negatively impact your mental health.

First of all, you may feel unstable when you put your sole value and worth on material possession. Material possessions like cars wither away over time and lose their value and depreciate.

If you obsess with constantly wanting to have the next big thing, you might end up like a dog chasing its tail. The chase doesn’t stop because there’s no end line, and there will always be a new model.

While it is not necessarily wrong to stay updated with the latest car models or even the latest gadgets, it can be unhealthy in the long run. Although doing so can make you happy, it becomes harmful if it’s the be-all-end-all path to happiness and security.

Secondly, just as car enthusiasm builds community and social connection, it can also form negative ones. This second path of loving cars is similar to how fixation with societal prestige can go down the road. 

Unhealthy relationships built upon envy, lust, and competition can arise from materialistic centered motivations.  

Lastly, it is a given that driving comes with both physical and mental risks. Apart from being at risk of road accidents, driving can be stressful, especially if the conditions are not ideal.

But moreover, a study also found that longer driving time is also associated with poor health-related behaviors. Some of these include smoking, excessive alcohol use, unhealthy eating and sleeping habits, and physical inactivity. 

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Final Thoughts 

Cars can, surprisingly, become a relaxation exercise. Apart from convenience, cars seem to have marked well in society. It has been part of our life goals. Beyond cars’ materialism and status symbols, it’s more important to see it as a starter of creativity, relationships, and relaxation. 

 

 

Feeling Good About Exchanging Sports Cars To Minivans For Your Family

I had been into sports cars ever since I saw the principal arrive at my high school in a Ferrari Testarossa in 1985. He had always exhibited his passion for automobiles for as long as I could remember, but it was his only vehicle that made me want to befriend the principal and hope he’d let me drive it around the lot. Of course, no one would let a teenager—a novice driver—get behind the wheels of such an expensive car, though, so I promised to study hard and get an awesome job. That’s the sole way I would be able to afford a sports car, after all.

The journey towards my end goal turned out to be rockier than I expected. I took out student loans to survive in college, and then I worked hard to pay off my debts in the following years. Despite that, I never gave up on my dream to own a sports car. I worked harder than ever, merely spent my salary on bare necessities, and saved up the rest.

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My efforts became fruitful in 1996 when I finally snag an awesome deal and obtain a Dodge Viper GTS. I loved everything about this sports car, from its 450-HP engine to its impressive bodywork. At the time, I felt like nothing else could make me happier than driving it around the city and watching people gawk at my ride from all sides.

When Change Had To Be Made

I met my future wife, Mary, four years later. I was still head over heels in love with the Viper, but I knew that I was already with the one. We used to do long drives during our weekend dates, and she often reveled at how fast the car could cover a massive distance. Mary liked the sports car so much that she suggested using it as a bridal car on our wedding day instead of renting a limousine. While it was a radical choice, I loved her more for it.

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Mary got pregnant before our first anniversary. We were so thrilled about it, so we started preparing for the baby’s arrival when she was only in the first trimester. I gave up my home office and transformed it into a nursery room by myself, for one. My wife bought baby clothes in neutral colors and asked me to set up a crib, bassinet, and mini dresser, which I gladly did. We even looked for guard rails to erect around the house when our child’s already crawling.

However, once our preparation came to the point when we had to buy a car seat, a realization hit me: it won’t fit in the Viper. Mary was too kind about it and said that we could try finding a small one, but I knew that it would be next to impossible. Besides, the bigger the car seat was, the more it could shield our newborn from impacts. Because of that, I made the tough decision to exchange my sports car for a minivan.

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How To Feel Good With The Change?

Think Of Your Family’s Safety

I honestly considered my wife’s recommendation to look for a small car seat that might fit in my Dodge Viper GTS. If we could find one, I won’t need to sell my vehicle. But I had a moment of clarity and understood that riding it would most likely be unsafe for my new family.

Assuming you still didn’t get what I meant by that, imagine colliding with another car. Sports cars are faster and smaller than many automobiles, so being in one during a collision may ensure that the passengers will get injured. Once you process this idea, you may realize that owning such an automobile is not worth it if you wish to ensure your family’s safety.

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Keep In Mind That You Can Choose Your Minivan

I must admit that I pre-judged minivans before I even bought one. The reason was that I could remember a similar type of vehicle that Mom used to take my siblings and me to school. It was long and wide and — excuse my French — ugly.

But when I reached the dealership, I was surprised by how different minivans are these days. One of the cars that I liked the best was the Lexus LM. Its front half was like that of an SUV, but its back half was no different from that of a van. It was also sleeker than regular minivans; thus, I found myself looking forward to driving it for years.

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Final Thoughts

Letting go of my sports car was not as challenging as I thought it would be. I was doing it for my family, after all. If it was for anything else, I might not have parted with my vehicle.

Assuming you are about to become a parent, too, you should bid goodbye to your sports car now and say hello to a minivan. Good luck!

Protecting Your Automobile During COVID Times

 

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If you’re on quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic, your car is most probably stuck in your garage, untouched. However, just like people, your automobiles also need exercise and will slowly wither if they sit and don’t have much activity for too long. Like how long? That depends. But with the shutdowns and shelter-in-place measures implemented in many states for months now, it may be too long since that car of yours has roared its engine.

The initial sign would often be a dead battery, although some other issues can arise as well. Let’s go through several ways you can prevent car issues and protect your car from the negative effects of COVID times.

Drive Around The Neighborhood

Drive it. That’s the most essential thing you can do to exercise its engine. Don’t just turn on the ignition and rev it up in the garage until your place is filled with smoke. Take a spin around the neighborhood or even a few blocks from your home. Drive it long enough so that you’re able to fully charge its battery, and the rest of the parts and fluids are working. Perhaps 20 or 30 minutes would go a long way. Don’t forget to turn on the music and the air conditioning so that everything in your automobile gets the exercise that it needs.

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If, for whatever reason, you are not able to drive your car around, then turning it on long enough in your driveway would have to do for now. Just make sure that you get to listen to the way the cooling fan is working.

Check Fuel Status

This is the next important thing you should keep track of to ensure that your automobile is healthy during COVID times. Those who utilize gas-powered equipment, own a boat, or other recreational vehicles know that gasoline does have an expiration date. Lawnmowers, for example, need to be run dry when the season ends or else the fuel is wasted. If not, you’ll have to mix in some stabilizer to keep it from getting damaged.

For cars, it’s quite challenging to know precisely how long your gas can last before it is damaged, probably because there are a lot of factors that affect it, like the weather, what’s the ethanol portion, or when you bought your gas. Additionally, fuel manufacturers, like refineries, are less interested in having discussions about how long these fuels last. But experts do agree that they don’t last years – only months.

How about the time when you filled your tank last? And when will you be filling it again, considering how long – or short – you’ve been driving your car during this global health crisis? Some people may be using their automobiles in regular, although short, basis. However, for others who think that it would be months before they could refill their tanks again, the best advice would be to ask their insurance company to mix in some fuel stabilizer to their tanks.

Other things that car owners should consider during these times include:

Tires. Maintain high pressure for your tires, at the same time keeping in mind that an automobile that has not been moving regularly can get flat spots on their tires. If you don’t notice this while your car is stuck in your garage, you will when you finally drive it. Often, this disappears when the tires have warmed up, but sometimes it doesn’t. So if possible, do drive your car once in a while. If you can’t, then move it back and forth while it’s stuck there.

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Brakes. The brakes are also affected when your car is idle for long periods, depending on where you placed it. This is typical of brakes, as most of their propellers are made from cast iron and rust quickly. Using your brakes while driving cleans them as the brake pads get rid of corrosion this way. If you don’t use your car regularly, you might hear the ‘graunch’ several times as you hit the brakes.

Batteries. Typically, car batteries need to be charged regularly. Driving your car often will do that, as these things do not want to be stored without getting charged. So if, unfortunately, one battery dies, jump-start your car immediately. If your batteries have not been ‘exercising’ regularly, you might consider purchasing a trickle charger.

 

 

 

BMW Car Insights For The Pandemic

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Below are some interesting ideas for car lovers who have been stuck indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic. They need to stay at home and do their part to help contain the virus. So are there things they can do so they won’t miss their cars so much?

Protecting yourself from COVID-19 by staying at home is the most logical and practical move for you and your family, as much as possible. We don’t want you to be lonely and bored during this time of crisis, so the team from BMW has gathered great activities and insights so car lovers like you will be in good company, despite being stuck at home and showing your cooperation to the community.

There are indeed other essential conversations than talking about automobiles and motorcycles. But for us here at BMW, a worldwide popular car brand, the health and safety of our employees, customers, and fans are our prime priority. We are with you throughout this whole crisis, acting accordingly with full confidence and cooperation. We will do now what we have always done for you – giving our best. To keep you company, we have prepared several activities and ideas that you can do while you’re stuck at home.

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Source: autocarindia.com

Watch A Movie From The BMW Page. We know you miss the sound of your eight-cylinder engine or the feel of that turbocharged new model parking in your garage. Here’s something to do so you’ll see your favorite car. Watch movies that BMW has sponsored cars in, like Mission Impossible. Ethan Hunt skillfully drives his car in a way that you will imagine it was you driving it. Or if you haven’t yet seen the classic Ronin, then now is the time to watch it. Perhaps you’ll be interested in adding a classic to your BMW collection after the movie. Other movies such as The Transporter and James Bond movies Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies also sported BMW cars that are worth looking into.

Learn More About Your BMW While You Can’t Drive. Taking problems off of your mind is a good thing, but it doesn’t mean your brain cells need a break too. We can help you with that through our different BMW blogs. These include the definition of the logo, its pronunciation in the different countries of the world where it’s available, the history and the nicknames of BMW, and a lot more. When you’re done reading these blogs, you’re sure no one else knows about it more than you do.

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Get A Hold Of The BMW Virtual Race Track. You may be a bookworm, but there just comes a time when you lose that craving to open pages because you’ve had enough reading. Or maybe you just miss doing something with your BMW. Why don’t you play your favorite virtual race game and choosing the BMW model that you’ve always been dreaming of? Fasten your seat belts, step on that accelerator, and go around that virtual race track to shake off those bored and stuck emotions. Better yet, get your partner or your kid to play against you to make it more challenging.

Pimp Your Phone Wallpaper. As much as we hate to admit it, we are about five times more attached to our phones now than ever before. Why don’t you change that dull wallpaper so when you look at your phone, you’ll feel at least happier than yesterday? Get a cute, classic, or groovy wallpaper from BMW Vision M Next. You can even download the 3-dimensional template and have it printed so you can have your own BMW decoration in layers.

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Listen To Your Car Soundtrack. Driving and music always go hand in hand, just as butter can’t do without bread. Reminisce the wonderful feeling of listening to your favorite songs from your favorite car by playing your car soundtrack in your living room. Imagine yourself listening to cruising songs while you’re on a long drive, the wind touching your face as you open the windows to catch the fresh air outside. At this time, it’s not advisable to keep your car windows open, nor is it safe to drive around as often as you want. So assemble those speakers, turn it up, and feel good while your kind of car music is playing at home.