Road Rage: How to Stay Calm and Reduce Anger when Driving
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Road Rage: How to Stay Calm and Reduce Anger when Driving

Road rage is a serious issue, which affects many drivers, learning how to stay calm and centered when driving can make car journeys a more positive experience.

It can be easy to get angry when driving, especially if you think other drivers around you are being inconsiderate or incompetent. However, road rage can be serious, leading to an increased heart rate and even violence. Staying calm at the wheel is essential if you want to get from A to B in a good frame of mind, unhampered by the goings on of other vehicles.

# Aim to be calm

Plan in advance to take car journeys in your stride. Understand there will always be the odd driver who behaves badly, and who doesn't know the rules of the road. They may inadvertently pull out in-front of you, drive so close to your bumper that your cars almost touch, or throw litter out their car window which lands on your windscreen. Such drivers are a nuisance, but they are a fact of life. Learn to accept you may encounter them when out for a drive, instead of being outraged and surprised when they appear.

# Visualization

Visualize yourself behaving calmly when driving. See yourself handling situations without any hassle, and without getting annoyed and frustrated. Take a scenario you tend to encounter regularly when driving that bothers you, and imagine what it would be like to let the experience happen without getting mad.

Then, go over how you usually behave when another driver upsets you. Do you shout? Swear? Wave your fists? Snap at passengers in your car? Now see how different the experience is than when you visualized yourself not getting road rage.

When you imagined yourself behaving like you usually do your heart probably raced, your muscles became tight and your face was strained. It's likely that your blood pressure got higher and that you experienced feelings of extreme stress and anger.

In comparison, when you saw yourself staying calm and centered, you probably had a fairly even heartbeat which didn't increase in speed. You are likely to have coped far more easily, and with less stress than you usually do.

Practice this exercise regularly so that you train your brain to remember how pleasurable it is to stay calm, even when other drivers annoy or upset you.

# Environment

Make your car a calming environment to be in. Throw out rubbish and keep the interior tidy and organized, so that old parking tickets and litter from snacks don't hamper your view and upset you emotionally.

Consider using a scent in your car, which helps you to relax. Garages, supermarkets and motor repair shops usually sell air fresheners in calming scents for this purpose.

# Don't drive when angry

If you're someone who tends to grab their car keys and drive away in a hurry after an argument, change your behavior by sitting in your car a few minutes before starting the engine to give yourself time to gather your emotions. Likewise, if you tend to leave the house or office in a rush, which makes you begin each car journey in a state of anxiety, try and change things. Leave more time to commute so you don't ever need to rush. This way slow drivers in-front of you won't make you mad.

It's possible to stay calm and reduce the likelihood of anger when driving by never getting behind the wheel when rushed or over emotional, and by learning how to let other drivers faults go, without letting them take over your state of wellbeing.

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Comments (2)

There are quite a few cases of shooting incidents here about road rage driving and almost all are dead on the spot and the perpetrators are jailed for life. Thanks for these great advices, a must read!... like/tweet/buzz!

Ranked #4 in Driving & Traffic

Yes, road rage is a big problem in some areas. Thanks Ron

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