Friday, 14 December 2018

How to handle public transport when you have Anxiety

How to handle public transport when you have Anxiety

I don't know about you, but the idea of traveling on a bus or in a taxi horrifies me. I can't deal with sitting next to complete strangers, awkwardly catching peoples eyes, asking myself things like, are they watching at me, are they laughing at me, are they judging my clothes, are they staring at my hair, can they recognize how afraid I am, It's constant. I'd rather walk for miles then have to deal with this, but that's not always possible, so I have to endure it. Usually, I'm stuck in traffic and have no choice but to wait and survive this hell on earth journey, which is made a thousand times worse when it's overcrowded I become so claustrophobic, particularly when I've got somebody near enough sitting on top of me. Oh my gosh just thinking about it horrifies me. Its also a germ factory, everyone coughing, sneezing, touching everything it affects my inner germaphobe, and makes me feel sick, out discreetly comes the hand sanitizer. 🤢🤢




From the moment I see the bus approaching, I frantically count the money which has become all clammy in my hand because I'm so nervous. I'll practice exactly how I'm going to order my ticket at least ten times in my head, However, when it comes to actually paying, my words become jumbled or I'll end up dropping all the money all over the floor which causes instant, unwanted attention.


How to travel on a bus or a taxi when you have social anxiety


Aside from riding the bus, there's also the terrifying taxi journeys think about it, you're stuck in a car with an absolute stranger and having to try and make conversation with somebody that I know nothing about is extremely hard to do. I have to try and make small talk, and when the conversation drys up I immediately believe it's my fault, and I've said something ridiculous or embarrassing. The number of times I've sat and looked like I'm texting somebody when in reality, I'm typing away at my notes writing loads of rubbish just to make myself look busy.

There are so many things I feel when riding public transport, all the worried thoughts and not to mention the physical symptoms of anxiety as well such as these.

  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • feeling sick
  • Shaking
  • Needing to wee

Having to deal with persistent worrying and physical symptoms makes me want to avoid public transport altogether. However, over the years I've had to try and find ways to calm myself down and try to manage it the best I can. The tips below, are ones I personally use and they do make the whole ordeal a little easier. Take a look.


 Listen to music



Take your earphones and listen to your favorite music, block out all the sounds around you. Of course, you can't do this in a taxi because you may seem a little rude especially if the driver is talking to you and your completely ignoring them. But you could keep an earphone in one ear so you can listen to the music and the driver just in case the conversation dries up.

Distraction



Reading a book or magazine can help, become engrossed in some amazing news story or catch up with all the celebrity gossip, It will help you focus on something else entirely. You could play a game in your head like count the car colors (I play this all the time with my six-year-old, It may sound a little childish but trust me it does help me focus on other things.) You could play a game on your phone, but make sure to turn the volume down though, you don't want everyone to notice and directly stare at you, or ring a friend. 

Deep breathing. 



Take some long deep breaths, look out the window at the scenery, imagine something peaceful and calming.


Write it down. 





Take a pen and pad with you, and when your anxious write down everything you're feeling, it's a good distraction and helps you focus on you rather than everyone around you. 

Play with something in your pocket 



Having something to play with helps me control my fidgeting and is a great pastime something like a fidget spinner I use this one Here.

It was just the other day, I had an unfortunate incident on a goddam bus I was just about to get off and what could possibly happen to me? I chose to trip on something sticking up, I laughed it off and before I knew it my phone was in my hand and I was pretending to take a phone call to save embarrassment, then when the bus drove away I put it back in my pocket why do I do this?

How do you deal with the hell that is public transport? 








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