Don’t let traffic and inconsiderate drivers ruin your day (or worse). Stress can be a big problem when you are driving. It can lead to frustration, anger and road rage. Here are a few ways to stay calm and in control when driving.
- Counting. Hard to believe something so simple can be so effective, but this age-old remedy does help defuse stress.
- Turn on some tunes. Everyone knows that music can directly influence your mood. Most people listen to music in the car, so it makes sense to use music to improve your mood while driving. The key is finding the right music for you.
- Redefine the situation. Rather than thinking of the traffic snarl as an obstacle to getting where you want to be, tell yourself it’s a welcome respite from work or a great opportunity to listen to your favorite radio show.
- Avoid angry reactions. Don’t expect to eliminate every negative feeling. If you feel a flash of annoyance when a driver cuts you off, that’s okay - just move on to the next moment. This helps stop yourself from fuming over the other driver’s behavior, so a split-second of irritation doesn’t turn into full-blown road rage.
- Inhale, exhale, repeat. When you start gripping the steering wheel like a vise, take some deep breaths. This is not only a proven technique to help you relax, it’s also simple enough to do behind the wheel.