Getting lost. It’s probably one of mankind’s oldest phobias. We associate being lost with danger, abandonment and helplessness. They even named a TV show after it.
Modern technology has greatly reduced the chances of getting lost, or at least STAYING that way very long. Yet it’s still a common form of driving phobia. Some people will absolutely not drive through unfamiliar territory, especially at night. Like agoraphobia, the fear of getting lost can feel like being metaphorically chained to your comfort zone.
Getting truly lost in a car on a road in the 21st century is pretty unlikely. The problem isn’t so much getting lost, it’s your REACTION to it. Use the 7 tips in this article to help short-circuit a panic attack if you do get lost. It’s actually easier than you think.
Here Are 7 Ideas to Help You Stay Calm if You Get Lost While Driving
- Take a moment: Remember that old Monty Python song, “Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s revolving… ?” Stop for a moment. Remember you’re standing on a planet that’s been photographed, scanned, and catalogued for decades. You may not know where you are, but the chances are high that finding out quickly is within your grasp.
- Use your phone’s GPS: The next obvious step is to use the GPS tracking in your cell phone to figure out where you are. You should have some kind of mapping application you can consult. Your “map app” will immediately pinpoint your location.
- Use a map: Don’t have a cell phone? Check the glove box for an old-style paper map. It’s less important to figure out exactly where you are than to feel in control of the situation. Just know that you will soon be back on familiar ground.
- Take charge: Imagine that you’re a grown up who’s found a lost child. What would you do to get him or her back to their mommy? What if you were that child? Who would you call?
- Call for backup: If you’re really freaking out, call someone you trust and talk with them for a bit. Ask them if they know the area and if they can point you in the right direction. Even if they don’t know, just hearing a familiar voice can help calm you down.
- Back-track your trail: Another option when you don’t know where you are is simply turn around and go back the way you came. Drive back along your trail until you see something you recognize
- Ask for help: Unless you’re doing some serious off-roading, there are probably people somewhere around. Asking for directions when you’re lost is still a perfectly OK thing to do!
No one enjoys getting lost while driving, but it’s really nothing to be afraid of. It happens to the best of us, even with all our modern whiz gadgets. Being lost isn’t really your enemy; your FEAR of being lost is the real problem. You’re probably holding the tools to get yourself unlost in your hands right now.