How To Reduce Stress While Driving?
When you’re operating a two-ton machine of potential death and destruction such as a car, a bit of stress is understandable – and even necessary. In light doses, stress sharpens your mind, keeps you alert and on your toes, qualities which are desirable in a motorist. However, when you get overloaded with stress, you start actually becoming less focused, more forgetful, and generally agitated. In other words, you become a worse driver.
Scientific studies have proven that overstressed motorists run a much greater risk of being involved in a car accident that kills or injures them or another person on the road. Therefore, it is important that you learn how to manage stress on the road – it could save your life! You can start by trying these tension tamers:
- Start out calm. Don’t ever get behind the wheel when you’re angry or exhausted. Always clear your mind of problems before starting your vehicle. This way, you’ll be more focused on the road and hazards ahead, not on your thoughts.
- Always be prepared for the unexpected. This means watching the road and your surroundings for potential accidents. Put the phone, food, toothbrush – any and every distraction – away.
- Keep a cool head because getting mad gets you nowhere. Instead of treating other drivers like they’re out to get you, understand that people sometimes have bad days or make honest mistakes. Maybe you too made a bonehead move on the road … once.
- Try whatever works to relieve your stress. Whether it’s taking deep breaths, listening to feel-good music, or practicing muscle relaxation techniques, do whatever you need to do to feel better physically and emotionally.
- Avoid angry, aggressive drivers. Even if they’re being huge jerks, don’t confront them and possibly escalate the situation, because who knows what they might be capable of? Just let them pass, ignore their rude stares/gestures, and forget about them. If the mad motorist won’t relent and becomes seriously threatening, drive to a police station or crowded public place.
When you make it a point to have a pleasant driving experience, you most often do. Put these strategies into action to keep your emotions in check, and you’ll find that you’ve become not only a safer driver, but also a much happier one.