The summer sun is high in the sky, everyone is loading up shopping carts with school supplies, and patience is running a bit thin on the highway. While many people don’t think that they have a problem with road rage, the proof is in the way you act on the highway. What is your first impulse after another car cuts you off? What about if you miss an exit because you cannot get over? Chances are, you exhibit some classic signs of road rage while on the road. Thankfully, road rage is a controllable thing that you can avoid with a few simple exercises.
Get Enough Sleep and Breakfast
If you are tired or hungry, your mood immediately suffers. If you know that you become angry or frustrated more easily if you skip out on sleep or a morning meal, make a special effort on days where you know you will be doing a lot of driving. 7-9 hours a night is the average recommended amount of sleep. Forgot your breakfast at home? Stop for a quick drive-thru meal on the way in, if you find your tummy grumbling making you grumpy.
Do you frequently wake up late and try to get to work on time by speeding, tailgating, and racing to the office? Do you always budget exactly the amount of time your GPS app says and nothing more? You are much more likely to have a problem with road rage. Always add 10-15 minutes to your travel time, particularly if you are going to a congested area, and you will have time to sit in short periods of traffic. Road rage is often borne out of frustration from being late, so if you put yourself in a position to be early instead, you can take a moment to relax.
Turn Down the Music
Listening to loud music and tuning out your surroundings is a recipe for becoming a target of road rage, as you won’t be properly paying attention to others around you on the road! Listen to calming music or whatever music you prefer at a normal volume. If you find yourself getting lost in the music and missing a road sign or forgetting that you were in a turn lane, it’s time to turn it down or off altogether.
Take a Deep Breath
If you ever find yourself clutching the steering wheel and breathing heavily with frustration, take a moment to breathe and relax. If you are on a long road trip, it might be time for a rest stop. A few moments of fresh air off the road will ease your mood and get you back where you’re headed.
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