Road rages imposes a serious problem in modern society. Today, we’re used to fast things, cars, internet speeds, deliveries. Instant gratification almost.
So sitting behind the wheel of your car, unable to move, miles away from where you’re supposed to have already been about 10 minutes ago, well, it really is just the worst.
I consider myself a patient person in most aspects, but there is just something about road rage that really boils my blood, and raises my stress level through the roof.
Our days are busy enough, with enough to deal with, we honestly can’t afford to be stressed out over one more thing. It’s bad for our heart, our health, and our composure.
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Let’s be honest
The truth is, we all know of someone who is easily agitated by even the simplest of things while around the wheels. Perhaps, some of us have been through this on more than one occasion. It could have been a situation where the driver in front of you took a few more seconds than expected to react to the green lights and due to your agitation, you escalated it into an endless row of honking.
Other times, your stress level might even rise before you step into the car. It doesn’t have to just be about waiting. Maybe you’re rushing out of the door, and your remote car starter that malfunctions when you find yourself overreacting. Maybe you’ve come back from lunch to find that someone has backed into your car and haven’t left you a note with their insurance on it. Which means you’ll have to sort through your trusty dashcam footage later to get the information.
From these instances, we can see that rage is not always limited to the road and can change your mood in an instant. However, you don’t have to let it. With a few simple tips and tricks to keep in mind, you’ll see that you have more power within you to control your anxiety, rage, and stress, than you could have imagine.
How to Prevent Road Rage
Here is a brief but comprehensive and practical guideline on how to best prevent road rage from taking over:
1. Ensure you get enough sleep
Lack of quality sleep, either from poor sleep quality, or not getting enough hours of ZZZs a night, is one of the biggest contributing factors to road rage. Research shows that an individual who is not getting sufficient sleep is at a higher risk of experiencing driving anger than one who is getting sufficient and quality sleep.
Without enough sleep, you are more vulnerable to feelings of: annoyance, anger and resentment. Anything that the road throws at you is likely to make you lose your cool.
It is very difficult to approach various commuting situations with a level, clear head, if you haven’t gotten some shut eye. Perhaps you know the feeling of leaving your house in the mornings feeling vibrant but become super annoyed by the time you arrive to the office.
Or can relate to the feeling of grogginess in the afternoon, trying to fight the urge for of the 3 o’clock slump. Don’t even think about talking to you at this time, you’re in no mood to be dealt with.
If this is something you can relate to, make it a plan to lay off the caffeine earlier in the day, get in regular exercise, and free up some time in your evening, so that you have no excuse not to get a solid 6-8 hours of sleep your body needs.
2. Fit in some morning exercise
Some people are more prone to road rage than others but that is no excuse.
Some people are more expressive and in tune with their emotions, which is great in times of happiness, but possibly problematic when you’re feeling angry.
One of the best ways to both wake up, and expel some of your energy is to make a habit of fitting in an exercise routine in the morning. Whether you prefer moderate or high-intensity workouts, it’s up to you.
If you can, it will do wonders for your zen, and your health, if you can find the time to spare at least thirty minutes in your morning hours to do some jogging, yoga, or even stretching. Having a home gym is one of the best ways to ensure you never miss a workout opportunity, no matter what time it is.
As an additional booster, it is known that exercise releases endorphins. So bring on the traffic, you’ll already be in a good mood.
3. Take deep breaths
It’s incredible how slowing one’s breathing can help to relax their mind in the midst of disturbing events happening around them. Be the master of your own mindset and fight the urge of letting your surroundings effect you.
Usually when we are stressed, angry or tense, it is natural to hold our breathes, which is one of the worst things we could be doing for ourselves.
Remember to breathe.
By taking even just a few seconds to concentrate on your breathing, you will refocus your mind from what is happening outside (being stuck in traffic), to something more calming and relaxing. Not to mention, your body needs oxygen to function, and by taking slow, deep breathes, you’ll also work to slow your heart rate down easing the strain on it.
4. Turn on some music
The type of music you listen to will have a significant impact on how you react to the events around you. In the same way that many people listen to classical music when they want to study, or faster tempo music to get their energy levels up at the gym or before going out for the evening, music tends to have a direct impact on your mood.
This means, when you want to calm yourself down, try to find some music, either on the radio, or a music station that is soothing. Better yet, don’t wait until something negative is happening, start your drive with some music you like to put yourself in a good mood for the whole journey.
Just think of it this way, if there happens to be traffic, it just means you’ll have time to listen to a couple more songs you like. You’ll be shocked by the magic this will have on your daily commuting life.
5. Find time for a nutritious breakfast
You know what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don’t start off your day hangry.
Jumping from the shower and straight to your car on an empty stomach is a recipe for road rage. Your body needs fuel to get you through the day, both physically and emotionally. Skipping breakfast only means you’re starting your day with low blood sugar and an eye for trouble.
Take your time to eat a healthy breakfast, even quick simple energy boosting foods can get you going in the morning. Take a minute to kiss your family goodbye rather than rushing out without even seeing them. It’s a perfect way to start your day and you’re more likely to not let a few reckless drivers on the road to take that away from you.