How To Overcome Anger And Road Rage
Recently it was reported that a 41-year-old driver was shot because he pulled into the exact change lane and a driver was angry with him for his slowness? Yikes it is terrible to read about this and so sad the desperation and daily blow ups that occur. This can happen a lot when someone drives slowly in left lane, sees a tailgater or watches someone else steal a parking space.
Why else do we have road rage reactions? Seeing someone ignore a traffic sign, excessive honking, watching someone on their cell phone who is oblivious to traffic patterns and excessive speeding are other reasons. We even feel anger growing inside of us as we see others being aggressive on the highway. What does that tell us?
The truth is that when people are doing these activities, they are already themselves in need of an anger management strategy, but it’s a chain reaction then where observers around them get enraged as well by having to be subject to these behaviors. Is there a way to gain more control over our reactions that are the common cause of road rage? Can we stay calm if someone is making an obscene gesture on the highway? Why do we take things so personally when they are from a stranger?
As a therapist, I find that seeing the highway as a time to view one’s mind with humor and to practice compassion and patience is a very good habit to get into. I’ll try to think about the fact that people are struggling with fears of being late, family tensions or job issues and this contributes to poor and inattentive driving. I try to give someone a break. Don’t take it personally or think someone is out to get you.
Gaining perspective is very important and I also remember that I won’t be thinking about this situation an hour from now and it is going to pass. It is not permanent; you won’t see these people again and it is temporary. You may ride this road daily to work but you don’t even see the same people.
I’ll breathe in slowly and exhale twice as slowly. This helps to calm the mind and is a good tool for stress control and staying centered. Relaxing music is calming and also using audio tapes on books or self-help lessons are great ways to use the driving time for self-growth.
There is no point in getting into a state while driving where you are sweating, have stomach cramps, look glaringly at others or have your heart racing. Just bring yourself back to your own breathing and how this situation isn’t worth stressing over.
Road rage can be helped with anger management skills, techniques and tips so that your day is not carrying these dark feelings but you instead learn skills that keep you balanced and can make you a more harmonious person in all situations.
It is so worthwhile to cultivate because if you master this, you also master other situations such as a friend being late, a child picking on his younger brother or a significant other raising his or her voice. This is a true skill you can carry with you everywhere.
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