6 Tips To Get Your Road Rage Under Control

By Janice Larsen
Updated April 9, 2015
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6 Tips To Get Your Road Rage Under ControlMany people spend hours every day driving to and from work, on highways and streets, which are increasingly overcrowded with cars. Traffic jams and gridlock lead to frustration, stress and anger. Road rage is driving-related anger and hostility, and it usually is directed at other drivers. This can range from aggressively tailgating another car, to making obscene gestures, to physically assaulting another driver.

Road rage is most common among young men, but more than half of all drivers admit to having acted with some form of road rage themselves at some time. If you find yourself getting angry and upset when you drive, here are some tips to keep it under control.

1.) Give Yourself Plenty Of Time.

When you are running late and under time pressure, it can increase your tension, cause you to exceed the speed limit, and make you angry with slower drivers. Plan to give yourself a bit more time, and it can make everything less stressful. Set your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier in the morning, and have things like your briefcase and lunch ready the night before. This will help to minimize your hectic rush in the morning, leaving you more calm.

2.) Try To Release Some Tension.

If you find yourself clenching your teeth or holding the steering wheel in a white-knuckled grip, you are far too tense. Try to loosen up a bit. Ease your hold on the wheel, try to consciously relax your muscles, and take some deep breaths. If you can, stopping somewhere that you can get out of the car is a great thing. Just standing up and stretching for a minute can do a lot to reduce stress.

3.) Get Enough Sleep.

When people are overly tired, they tend to be more emotional and less able to cope easily with the annoyances of life. Unfortunately, many people stay up too late, and regularly get inadequate sleep during the workweek. This can heighten frustration and anger on the road. Put these sleep-deprived people together on a rush hour highway, and it's a recipe for road rage.

4.) Avoid Aggressive Music.

Music can have a big influence on your mood. If you listen to loud music in your car, with heavy pumping bass and angry lyrics, it can put you in a heightened, angry mood to start with. If you listen to smooth jazz, on the other hand, you'll feel more quiet and relaxed. Try classical, light pop, or even a comedy station.

5.) Don't Take It Personally.

That slow person who just pulled out in front of you didn't do it just to annoy you. The aggressive jerk tailgating you isn't specifically targeting you either. Don't think of bad drivers on the road as out to get you. They are simply driving the way they normally do, and you just happen to be there at the moment.

6.) Imagine Your Mother Is With You.

If your mom were in the car, would you launch into an obscenity-laced tirade against the person who just cut you off, or give them the finger? Most people act more calm and civilized when their mom is around. Just imagine her sitting in the seat next to you, and try to act like you would if she was really there.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.