Yep, you can beat the Road Rage!
Most of us live in cities that are overcrowded regardless of the extensive road infrastructure that is in place. We are forced to spend hours at a time in severe road traffics on our way from or to work and study institutions. Some individuals try to make use of this time by listening to audio books or even meditating. Yes, some of us are so sensitive to traffic congestion that only meditation can help us avoid a rage outburst.
Moreover, if we are exposed to these negative experiences for a prolonged period of time, our overall mental health can take a serious beating. We might start experiencing troubles in falling asleep at night and our daily life can become much more stressful due to increased arguments with family and friends because of a short temper that we acquire as a result of emotional and mental tension.
The suggestions below will help you control an anger episode when you are stuck on a congested road.
- Get to know your triggers
A trigger can be verbal or visual; it is responsible for causing a sudden release of adrenaline into the bloodstream. This, in turn, causes the change of mood and a fighting urge. Did another driver cut into your lane and that made you angry? That is your trigger. An impatient driver is honking his horn behind you and makes you want to get out of your car and fight? That is your trigger. Once you know what your triggers are, try and avoid them. Consider taking another route, one that is free in your commute time.
- Try and avoid confrontations by taking a 10-second break
Before you do anything, stop yourself for several seconds no matter how strong the urge is to do something. Take deep breaths and focus on something good. A good technique is to slowly breathe in while you count to four and then breathe out counting to four again. Keep doing this until you feel your muscles relaxing.
- Analyze the situation
Think about when these triggers started setting you off. Did it a start after a particularly bad incident? Have you lost a loved one? Did your long-term relationship just end? If you succeed in finding a reason why these triggers irritate you then you will be able to go about fixing the problem on a much deeper level. According to a study conducted by University of Leicester in 2007, traumatic experiences leave us with anger and frustration that lays dormant until triggered.
Depending on the severity of the negative experience and our overall psychological health, these triggers can vary and even a fan sticker of a rival football team on a neighboring car can set us off. If you are easily frustrated this way, consider seeing a psychologist to work on hidden problems to achieve a more stable and healthier mental state.
Also, some individuals like to discuss their problems while commuting. This is particularly true for couples. Avoiding negative thoughts while driving can help you maintain a more controlled overall behavior while driving.