Of all the patient and very tolerant people that I know of, there is one unifying factor that stresses them out more than anything else and that is ‘road-rage’ or in nicer terms, driving stress. I am sure the majority of us can attest to the stress and frustration that driving can bring especially when having to deal with other drivers who share the same road. Being late for a meeting, unexpected traffic jams, inconsiderate drivers, poor visibility in the rain coupled with stress in our everyday life all seem like a recipe for disaster. Sometimes disaster does strike in the form of swearing, blaring the horn, gesticulating with one’s fingers and worst still retaliating with reckless driving. Many a time in retrospect, we do regret acting in such a manner but in the heat of the moment a lot of us just can’t seem to help ourselves. What can you do you might be wondering? Well, I am going to share with you a couple of tips you could use the next time you find yourself getting riled up at the wheel!
Tips To Reduce Stress While Driving
- Focus On Your Breathing
This is actually key if you want to be able to bring your stress or ‘road-rage’ under control. Often, people do not realize they are stressed out or angry. It is easy to get lost in the moment of anger and act on your emotions. One method of creating more awareness is to begin with focusing on your breathing. Becoming aware of your physical body is a good place to start and what better way than to focus on something you can control, such as your breath. The next time you find yourself getting angry or stressed, turn your attention to your breathing. A side note here, pay attention to whether you are breathing from up in your chest or down in your belly. You want to feel your belly move as opposed to your chest. Chest breathing occurs when we are stressed and is in fact not a natural way to breathe. Remember that belly breathing!
- Create Mental Awareness
Once you are comfortable with focusing on your breathing, you can then begin to pay attention to your thoughts. If another driver annoys you, start noticing the negative thoughts that are crossing your mind. Too often, we get carried away by the emotions that ensue straight after such thoughts cross our mind. The trick here is to catch yourself before you react in a negative manner. Paying attention to your thoughts for a couple of minutes a day would be a good place to start. Notice what situations aggravate or stress you out and what sort of thoughts and emotions come up for you.
- Putting Yourself In The Shoes of Others
Perhaps the other driver who didn’t give way to you honestly did not see you or was in a terrible hurry to visit someone in hospital? Understandably not an excuse to be an inconsiderate driver but trying to see where people are coming from or simply putting yourself in the shoes of others can help change your frame of mind about the stressful situation.
- Changing Your Perception Of The ‘Stress’
In life, we can either change the stressful situation by avoiding it and if we can’t, then all we can do is to change our perception of it. Scenario: You happen to be stuck in a traffic jam and have to be somewhere at a certain time. You could either begin by stressing out over a situation that is totally out of your control (the traffic jam) or accept that the situation is such. Perhaps now is the best time to listen to that CD you have always wanted to listen to or time to practice that belly breathing.
By following these few simple tips, one can greatly reduce stress in our daily lives and that includes stress while driving! To further reduce that stress ensure that you are adequately protected with a suitable insurance policy that fits your driving habits and personal needs. Here at DirectAsia.com, we have car insurance options to suit your every need. We offer regular car insurance policies, ‘high-risk’ driver policies and a policy for people who do not drive much in a year under our ‘Low Mileage’ policy. For more information, please check out DirectAsia.com.
Any other tips to share on relieving driving stress? Please leave a comment below!