Road rage will forever be a frightening aspect of being on the roads, regardless of your background and where you are, you have to accept that not everyone will be the best driver. Instead of flipping the bird to every car or taxi on the road that cuts you off and getting arthritis in one finger, try turning the other cheek and do not let the offence bother you.
Raging is not only dangerous for everyone on the road at that time, even the far reaching consequences for your health are not worth the 5 minute rant you wish to give the driver that pulls up next to you after the offence. We spoke to a health and well-being professional to seek advice on how to manage road rage. Have a look below and help become the change you want to see on the road.
Breathe: Breathing exercises can help you cleanse your body of stagnant air and stale energy, getting your blood more oxygenated and, of course, releasing tension. Focusing on your breathing brings your attention inward and makes frustrations seem more removed, without taking your focus too far away from the road.
Listen: Listen to music or audio books. Music can subtly colour your experiences, adding an exciting soundtrack to your commute. Audio books can supply you with a mild distraction that can make your drive enjoyable enough that you may find annoying drivers and bumper-to-bumper traffic less frustrating.
Relax: When you’re frustrated, you store the tension in your body. Easy techniques will help you learn to quickly release the tension you’re carrying, even as you sit in the car, which will help you feel more physically and emotionally relaxed.
Play: Use cognitive-behavioural interventions like ‘counting idiots’. Basically, if you accept that a certain amount of people are going to make fools of themselves on the road, and decide to make a game out of counting them, you can cut down on the stress you feel in response to their rude manoeuvres.
Plan: Often, when we’re frustrated on the road, it’s because we’re in a hurry and can’t get there quickly enough because of traffic. Organizing your schedule so you can leave earlier, and planning for traffic, can leave you feeling more relaxed because it really won’t matter as much if the trip takes a few extra minutes.
In the end it’s on you, your behaviour towards other drivers will often dictate the way in which a possibly dangerous scenario ends. Deal with your road rage the way you would with a small child who broke something, stay calm and level headed, keep your cool, who knows your calmness may be the cause of others doing the same! Be safe out there!