In these uncertain times when stress levels are spiking, all your anxiety comes along for the ride. Sometimes the smallest thing can have you shouting out the window at other drivers or worse silently fuming. At a stoplight practice some slow, conscious breathing to lower your blood pressure. Breathe in through your nose and sigh the anger out. Let your breath drop in deeply, almost as if it had weight and release. It’s a delicious practice that automatically lowers blood pressure.
Here’s a few other suggestions on how to tame anger behind the wheel in these uncertain times:
1. Don’t make assumptions about the other driver. Most likely their actions weren’t personal or even intentional.
2. If someone is driving poorly, remind yourself that you’ve probably made the same mistake or worse.
3. If someone is crowding you or trying to cut into your lane – Back off and wave them in. Take some control and “Kill them with kindness”.
4. Retaliation can be tempting but concentrate on your own safety. You can always write down the offenders license number, especially if its a commercial vehicle and call their office (using your hands free device, of course or after you’ve pulled over.)
5. Whenever we get triggered into anger it’s probably because we felt fearful of our safety. If you haven’t been hurt, find ways to let it go. Get away from the situation, take a walk, get to a yoga class and work the fight-or-flight hormones out of your system.
This post was originally written in 2009 after publishing my book, Drivetime Yoga. I hope the tips work for you. There are several other blog posts full of suggestions for driving ease like this one on how to deal with scary drivers.