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Trying to change habits

Community Member

I’m just trying to change habits that have not been good, I particularly get anxiety when Im driving in unfamiliar places and in stressful situations, it would be good to develop some strategies to feel better!

3 Replies 3

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello there, 

Thank you for posting on the forums, you're definitely not alone in what you're experiencing and I'm sure that there are others who can relate to what you're feeling. But I'm really sorry to hear that you're struggling, it sounds like you're getting some pretty intense anxiety. 

There are a few strategies that you could try. Different things work for different people, some of these may not be your thing and that is more than okay, but here are some suggestions you may like to try for when things feel really overwhelming or difficult: 

  • If you're open to it, you could try some grounding techniques: they can be helpful in bringing you back to the present and out of your racing mind (there is some info on Blue Knot https://www.blueknot.org.au/Survivors/Self-care/grounding about different grounding techniques which you may find useful to do)
  • Speaking with your GP or a psychologist: often sharing these feelings and talking to someone about them can provide some relief, the clinician may also be able to support you in reducing your anxiety 
  • It may be helpful to write down some of the most common anxious thoughts that you are having so that you can challenge them and see them in a different perspective, this may help remove some of the power that your anxiety has over you
  • Scheduling "worry time": allocating a specific time period of the day (e.g. 10 minutes at 5.45pm) to go through your concerns/worries. This may involve writing things out, running over things on your mind, planning how you can work around/through them. This means at other times, you'll need to try to "postpone" your worry, acknowledge the anxiety but say to yourself that you can come back to that worry and address it later.
  • Similar to the above, journaling or writing allows you to dump all your thoughts/worries onto a page (handwritten/typed whatever you prefer) and can help organise your thoughts and get them out of your system so that you can see your thoughts from a different perspective
  • "Vaulting" your feelings/anxieties: acknowledge the presence of your anxiety, but try to put those worries aside, are the worries really helping you? You may want to visualise storing them away in a box, put them away for now, return to them another time. It may help to develop a bit of a mantra e.g. “Now is the time to set aside ruminations. I am trying to focus on other things. Put it away for now, leave it for another time.”
  • Listening/doing meditations or progressive muscle relaxation (PMR).
  • Some people also find a stress ball, fidget toy or other distractions helpful. 

These are just some suggestions but I hope you are able to find something that helps you, it is good to make a list of options that you think you may find helpful so that you have a few different things to choose from.


Please do not hesitate to reach out when you feel up to it. We are here to listen.

Take care.

Community Member


I also get a lot of anxiety and one thing that helps me is to just break the spiral or chain of thoughts and just count to 3 or 10 or whatever number you want even if you do it really quickly. This kicks in for me now almost like an instinctual response because it doesn't take as much energy/effort as the grounding techniques occasionally can and (if nothing else) stops you from panicking for just that second, which is sometimes enough to start self regulating I guess. Feel free to disregard this but I hope you find something that helps!

Community Member
I have driving anxiety also, I'm 39 and still get it but have some strangles that help. I get depersonalisation from the anxiety which makes its hard. My thing is sunglasses, they make me feel safe, having a windows down and google maps going. I also will chew sour lollies or drink soda water while driving to try and break anxious feelings. I hope you find something that helps!