Driving Anxiety

Stress Behind the Wheel: Driving Anxiety

driving-anxiety

My wife (we’re separated, but still married) has fear of spiders. Well … all kinds of bugs to be honest. Yet she has no fear of flying, cars, guns, knives … and all of the really dangerous stuff you can imagine. I never understood the psychology behind her fears of those tiny harmless critters (to the contrary, they’re very helpful to us and the environment), but I do understand the driving phobia and related driving anxiety.I used to have it since I was a teenager until I had to own my first car at the age of 28 when I moved to a smaller town where there’s no reliable public transit. It started with an accident I had when I was driving my dad’s car that took place at the entrance of our house after a long drive home from out of town.
It was so bad that I couldn’t drive even when a friend needed to be taken to the hospital, I had to call for help and wait.I mentioned having to own my first car around 10 years after my accident. I overcame my driving anxiety with the help of really good friends who supported me through the whole thing. I had to learn driving allover though. Those 3 friends of mine allowed me to train on their own cars, although they knew about my fear of driving. I owe it to them.The funny thing is that after a year of having my new license I was driving on a freeway with one of those friends when we barely avoided being crushed by a speeding careless truck driver, the car fish-tailed for a what felt like a minute before it came to a full stop right before we hit the side fence and fall of the road. Couple of seconds later I was checking my mirrors and blind spot before I pull out to the road again, only this time my friend is the one who had a panic attack and it took me 5 minutes to calm him down before we could pull out again :-).

Helpful Tips to Eliminate Your Fear of Driving a Car

Driving fear solutionWhen I had the fear of driving I didn’t even know that I had it. I just couldn’t get behind the wheel. Later I learned that there is a condition called driving anxiety and that many people have this kind of phobia. I was lucky I came over it easily, probably because I didn’t even know it is a condition. Imagine how this kind of fear will affect the quality of life of someone who has to drive every day to drop the kids at school, then off to work, then back to pick up the kids and go home, then for grocery shopping on the weekend, then to drop his wife at the mall and come back after a whole day of shopping to pick up the family and the cargo they collected using my credit card ….. grrrrr!Anyway … here are a few tips to help over come the driving anxiety, or any anxiety in this matter:
1. Slow and deep breathing: When you notice any of the anxiety signs showing on you, like sweating, nervousness, maybe some stomach pain and nausea, start inhaling deeply from your belly not from your chest, and allow the air to go out of your nose slowly. Keep repeating that slowly and calmly.You know, there is a meditation technique that’s all about breathing, and the beginners start with just that. It helps relax and clear your thoughts so that you can focus on the driving itself and ignore the fear. It also helps stabilize your heart beating rate, which counteracts anxiety.

2. Have a company

As I mentioned above in how I did it, I had friends with me who let me train on their cars, and two of them were going with me as passengers for a while after I got my own car. They did that, whether purposefully or just for fun, to help me gain confidence. And I can tell you it worked.

Later when I had to start driving alone I was a little hesitant, and sometimes I would rather walk than drive, but it all subsided until it’s all gone. I told you the incident when I was the confident one while my supporter friend lost it.

3. Listen to something

When I had my first car it was before the CDs and mp3 players, and definitely before the i-life that came later. So I was using the radio or the cassette to keep some background noise, just like the one I used to have at home when I wake up in the morning and tell the time from what program is running in the radio. This helps take your attention away from the anxiety. Also if you have a favorite song or music it helps relax you, which is again the counterpart of anxiety.

4. Baby steps

You don’t have to start off driving on the freeway for an hour and a half the first time you drive after overcoming your fear of driving. Start with driving around the block, then to the mall or the school, then to your friend who lives 5 miles away, then after you master driving daily for a couple of weeks in the city take a friend on a your first freeway trip. It doesn’t have to be a long one either, maybe 5-10 minutes of driving at first, and after a while start taking it further.

More help from professionals

What worked with me is that I went through the cure without knowing that it is a cure for a condition I didn’t know I had. It just happened to me. This strategy might now work with someone who’s aware of the condition and/or have tried the above strategy and had no success with it.In that case a professional help from a psychiatrist could be the next step. Or you can read more about the issue and try to find your triggers and block them.

Fear of Driving for the First Time

If this is your first time driving then the fear is normal and is predictable. It’s the fear of the unknown. You can overcome this fear with driving in an empty parking lot. Driving off the road will help you avoid a lot of hazards and distractions so that you can focus on controling the vehicle. The second time you’re behind the wheel will feel totally different and you’ll be eager to do it.

Here is a video that says it all.

I am a living proof, you can do it

After I overcome my fear of driving I reached a point when I enjoyed driving to the point that when I get stressed from work, life, or whatever reason my relief was in taking the car and driving aimlessly until I relax then I turn around and go home.

My driving wasn’t 100% accident free though. I had my share, but they were all minor accidents that didn’t leave any damage to the car nor to myself. Confidence is the key, once you get it work on keeping it by driving as frequently as possible until it becomes a second nature to you. You’ll be surprised at how you’ll act when in a situation when you have to act fast to avoid a collision.

Also remember that you’re not driving alone. You’re sharing the road with other experienced drivers, less experienced ones, and some careless drivers who might as well drive under influence. Drive safely and resist becoming over confident. It’s arrogance that leads to dropping your guards and consequently accidents.

Your comments

Your contribution is much appreciated, especially when you put your deepest thought and nicest words in it 🙂

Using Coupons to Save on Day to Day Expenses

Have you ever watched extreme couponing on TV when the nice lady shows up at the cashier with tons of groceries and after she uses the coupons she ends up paying six bucks? I need to shop with that that lady :-).

It’s not a randome thing she’s doing by clipping coupons from magazines or printing them from the web. There is a science and strategy behind her method.

For example, there are stores that don’t allow more than one promotion (coupons, coupon + discount, store discount + manufacturer discount, … etc) on the same item. This limits the method to certain store chains. She lists those stores and shows you where to get the coupons from.

Another example, another extreme couponer says she checks shopping carts for receipts left by previous shoppers. She’s not looking for personal stuff, rather she’s looking for a discount promised for the next time they shop in the same store and she uses them. Lesson learned: it’s a good habit to double check your receipt.

A third example is store points. Some stores have expiration dates on the points collected. So if you have not collected enough points to redeem for purhcases you lose your balance. It is cheap and mean, and it’s their way to lose their customers to other stores that have no expiration on their loyalty rewards.

At one point of time I didn’t have any cash flow for months while my debt was increasing, still I managed to get hundreds worth of groceries and household items paying with my reward points with two major stores.

This stuff is powerful. I know it first hand. Not claiming to be a power or extreme couponer like those ladies, but when I had my back to the wall I used coupons and reward points to survive for months.

Life is tugh, and large business are somehow responsible for the economic collapse we are facing right now. It’s just fair to use their programs to survive until we figure out how to fix it.

You can download the power couponing guide here.

And the extreme couponing guide is here.

 

How To Get A Good Deal On A Car

 

Beat Car Dealers In Their Own Game

It’s a game. Everyone needs to master how to get a good deal on a car before even thinking about buying one. Buying a new car is like a mental battle between you and the dealership. Most of the time the dealers win. Sadly you, the buyer, end up paying more than what you should pay for your purchase.

Why do dealers win? What do they have that you don’t have? I mean you are the one who has the money. If you just say “no” and leave they are not going to hunt you down!

What the dealers have over you is some knowledge, and tons of experience. You might buy a car every 5-10 years. They sell cars every day. This is what they have and you don’t have.

If you want to win the battle with an auto dealership you need an insider to fight on your side. It’s not impossible, not even close.

Now for my plan to get the best deal on a car.

How to get a good deal on a car

Read this first

There are some stuff that you need to research before you go to the dealer. They are as important for you as having your cloths on. Going to the dealership without these pieces of information (preferably printed or written on a piece of paper) is a big no.




Please read this article first, then come back to see how to use this information

Write them down on a piece of paper and take it with you. The dealer will tell you your credit score (that he decided to give you). When you tell him “no, this is my official credit score, where did you get this number from?” you’re putting the first nail in their game superiority coven.

And when they give you the car price (again based on their own preference) and you tell him that “from the manufacturer I know that this car costs that much”, you’re now controlling the game.

But keep reading because it’s not over yet.

The action plan to ge ta good deal on a car

Attack … Control

The plan is to control the game. They’re used to people saying they’re just looking even if they need the car now. Then they take you through the dealership and you end up buying a car and wondering if you got ripped off.

Now to win the game you got to play your own game. You are in control. “I want the car, give it to me or else … I’ll go shopping for my car somewhere else”. Of course you’re not gonna say that, but your attitude will.

You walk in the dealership and you’ll immediately be approached by a salesman. Make it clear that you are shopping for a new car and ask the salesman to assist you. The next thing is that you’ll immediately ask for the specific car that you are their to buy. Use something like this: what colors (features, or whatever) do you carry for xyz (and name your car make and model).

Let the salesman take you to the car of your choice, or whatever they have close to it. Don’t wait for him to control the conversation. Knowing what you want is your weapon. And if they don’t have it they will try to sell you what they have because you made it clear that you are their to buy (90% of their customers say that they are just looking). 

Knowing specifically what you want and making it clear at the beginning of the conversation gives iyou an exit if things don’t go well: “this is not the car I wanted in the first place”.

Ask for a test drive and let the sales man get the keys from inside. Offer your drivers license to the salesman to leave a copy inside and ask him to bring it back with the keys. By doing this you are ruining all of his plans on taking any kind of control, because if you don’t he will get the keys from the inside, then ask you for the drivers license to make a copy while you are test driving the car. Then to get it back you have to follow his lead.

Check the hood stuff while the car is running, make sure what you see is exactly what you saw in the pictures you collected during your research. If you see something different ask the salesman “what is this part, and why other cars of the same model don’t have it?” or something like this according to the situation. This kind of questions helps you maintain control.

Take a drive around the block with the salesman in the passenger seat. Start negotiating the price in your way back to the lot. Keep the salesman busy looking for answers, if he says he has to check with the management for the price then open another discussion about the car. What you have done so far is that you made him believe that you are buying this car today. This is a powerful psychological trick; give hope. He will be really disappointed if you show any sign of dissatisfaction and will do anything to give you the deal you want.

Once you are back to the dealership lot if you haven’t talked about the price yet ask him to get you the price and tell him that you’ll wait in the lobby. When he comes back with the price don’t read it out loud. Just take out your pin and write down next to it the price you’ll accept.

You can go down as far as you want with this number as long as you know you are within the price range you’ve got from the quotes site. Too low price will make them feel that you have been pretending all the time that you are an expert and this is when they will regain confidence and control over the sales process. You don’t want that to happen.

The sales man might come back with a half-way deal. Don’t take it. Again write down the final number you are willing to pay, and this time you’ll put the exact number you know is fair for you to pay based on your research. Make sure the salesman understand that this is your final offer, and you’ll have to go otherwise.

Now start negotiating the trade in of your vehicle (that you already know it’s value from KBB). If you don’t like the offer take it out of the deal and sell it yourself.

Now it’s the financing time. You already have a reference point from your stop at the bank, or your credit union, or from the links above. You drive the conversation. Say that you’ve got 8.5% from xyz bank, and the dealer offers you 11%, you’ll say “I’ve got 8.5%,can you beat that?” Most of the time they can. If not, 8.5% is better than 11%. It is important for the dealer to give you the financing because he will pocket at least 1% of the 8.5%.

Never let the dealer add anything to the deal. All accessories can be purchased separately for a fraction of the the price, and without adding up to the financing interest, if you just wait until you drive your car around the block and come back to the same place from the parts department. Service plans are also meant to make you pay more on the long run than your car deserves in the form of more frequent services than the car needs, and financing the plan with the car.

==> Click here to get all car dealers scams exposed to you before you buy your next car

Car Buyer Tips

2 Things To Do And 5 Things You Must Avoid In Order To Get A Good Deal on a Car

Car buyer tips are flooding the world wide web. Every body seems to have tips for car buyers based on personal experience. Despite the fact that most of those car buyer tips sites are mainly for getting you to buy or subscribe to something, those tips are all from people who have the experience to write about the issue. Think about it this way: most of the adults in North America have cars, and every one of those car owners has a personal experience to share.

In this post I’ll sort some of the basic tips for car buyers. These tips are general and cover the very basic knowledge that every body should know. If you need further help you can read any of my other related topics.

Know What You Want

 
 
Before you go to the dealership or the car auction you’d better know exactly what you want. Use the Internet and do your research. Go to the manufacturer sites and check for the features each car provides. Then get price quotes from trusted websites. Compare models based on what makes more sense to you; like safety rating, acceleration, mileage, emissions … whatever that concerns you about your vehicle. When you go shopping for your car be as specific as one certain car in mind. This is a great advantage when you deal with the salesmen in the auto dealership.

Click here to know how

 

Do your research

You must know the following pieces of information before you go to the dealership (have them written on a piece of paper if you need to):

1.Your credit score, or
2.the lowest financing rate you can get from the bank,
3.how long you will need the car (financing vs lease),
4.how much is the trade in value of your old car (if you have one), and
5.as mentioned above; how much is the car that you want.

Your credit score, or the lowest financing rate you can get from the bank or your credit union is going to be your reference point to negotiate financing your new car with the dealership. How long you’ll need the car will help you decide whether to go for financing your purchase or accepting a lease. And the trade in value of your car and the price range for the new car will help you negotiate a good deal on the whole trade in/purchase process.

 

Don’t Do This

 

5 things to avoid when buying a car from a dealer


  1. Don’t buy accessories or service plans from the
    dealership at the time of signing the contract. You’ll have them
    financed as well, which means more money out of your pocket.
  2. Don’t buy a new car just around the time of
    releasing the new year’s models. Your car will lose a lot in value once
    the new models are released.
  3. Don’t go car shopping at the beginning of the
    month, always do the opposite when dealers could be short in a few
    sales to meet the monthly cap.
  4. Don’t fall for the “no hassle” signs, unless you
    are planning to pay in cash up front. Only then it will be a good deal.
    If you finance it you’ll pay more than if you buy from any other dealer.
  5. Never give a written commitment until you see all
    the numbers in the contract that you’ll sign.

 

What to do at gun point

The first thing that came to my mind when I was asked this question is that I froze. And quite possibly I’ll freeze at gun point as well if I was alone, but as a parent almost all the time accompanied with my daughter I might just through myself on her for protection. But how effective is that? And how is she going to do at the age of 8 without me if the attacker decides to shoot? And how is my body going to keep the bullets away from her at a close distance?

An even worse question for me would be: what to do when a your kid is at a gun point? Knowing me I would just comply with the attackers and give them all what they want to buy my daughter’s safety.

Money and valuables don’t represent any real value to me. However, this situation is not going to pass without a scar in my daughter’s mind. As a parent it is my responsibility to ensure my daughter’s growth is on the right track, whether it is psychological, physical, cognitive … etc.

I started searching around the Internet for answers. I found some videos but they don’t really teach anything. They only show some Krav Maga experts doing some stuff. I even searched for Krav Maga classes near me. Too expensive, but my daughter’s well being is priceless. But still I kept searching.

I have some military training and some Karate under my belt, but I know it’s worthless now given the fact that I am not young and fast anymore, besides my fragile bones, arthritis, and many other diseases that make me a weakling rather than a self defender. Besides, I know first hand that all of what I learned in the military school has little application in a street fight when you are unarmed and attacked by an armed gang.

So I continued to search for something I could learn that doesn’t involve using hurting my bones in the process of learning how to defend myself and my family.

I listened to this presentation by Frank Bell. It sounded like the man is ready my thoughts and just saying them back to me. I decided to give it a try. I placed my order and will come back to write more about what I found inside to let you know whether it is worth your investment or not. But it costs less than one Krav Maga lesson in a local place.

You can have a look at the presentation yourself by clicking here.