Dr. Tamar Chansky - What can I do about my fear of driving over bridges?

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So, lots of adults have fears about driving, and some have a specific fear about driving over bridges, as with any anxiety problem, what you want to do, is get to heart of the matter, get to your core fear, find out what it is, and then look at it and evaluate it, and see, is it really realistic, so you may have a fear of the bridge not being safe, or you don't like looking at the water because you get a dizzy feeling.

Well what you need to do is to realize that yeah, the engineers who built the bridges have the same feeling that you do. They don't want the bridge to fail either, and there's a whole network of people responsible for making sure the bridge is safe. If you have a fear about looking over at the water, well what you can do is, you can keep your site line straight a head, until you practice little by little, may be when you're not the driver looking at the water and seeing, Oh, may be I can manage that, it feels a little uncomfortable seeing it, but I'm okay so you want to dose yourself to that experience, another thing to do is to change the tone about bridges.

You're feeling that they are a very negative thing, and they're very frightening. But you want to look at the other side of it. Why do you want to overcome your fear of bridges. What's on literally, the other side of that for you? What are the places that you can go? What are the things that you can do if you're able to get over bridges.

Finally what you need to do is practice. Don't start on the bridge, but start in your imagination, take your good, positive and accurate thoughts that you had generated from correcting your negative worry thoughts and think those as you're picturing yourself confidently driving over a bridge.

Choose different bridges, you can look at pictures of them to make it more realistic but you want to practice thinking more accurately, staying in the present. Just say, I can be afraid but I can still do this. What I'm afraid of is not happening now, I need to stay in the present, and do your some really good deep breathing as you are looking at that picture.

Breathing helps send the all clear signal to your anxiety system and your body and so if you're doing that good breathing, then that's going to help along with your accurate thoughts to help turn off the anxiety switch because driving over a bridge is really no different than driving in other situations.