How to let go of road rage

There have been many times when we’ve been in situations where a “stupid driver” has cut us off, tailgated continuously, honked his horn incessantly or pulled alongside, yelling at us. These situations can cause anger and can even lead to road rage if not addressed. These are the things you can do if you feel the need to strike back.

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Prepare for it

Road rage is most common in dense traffic, crowded streets, and in unclean surroundings. Road rage can be reduced by being prepared. This is how to prevent road rage.

Keep your surroundings serene. Keep your car clean, tidy, and in good condition. A car that is dirty, cluttered, or starts acting up can worsen your anger reaction to driving.

Provocative bumper stickers, license plates and other signs should be removed. While they may look cute, others might find them offensive.

Cool interiors are the best. You might prefer to have interiors with a soothing effect, such as blue or green if you are prone to driving flare-ups. While yellow and red are attractive, they don’t work well if you’re feeling down.

Keep your children entertained. Make sure your pets (or small children) are properly secured. You should provide enough toys and other playthings for them to entertain themselves during the trip.

Keep soothing music close at hand. Relaxing music can help you relax when you feel like losing your cool.

Listen to radio updates on road conditions, construction projects and pile-ups, so you can find alternate routes.

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Avoid rush hour. You can plan your time so that you don’t rush to make an appointment.

Pay attention to your driving habits. Don’t allow anyone to cause you trouble.

If you set the tone for calmness when you are provoked, it will be easier to control your emotions when you are on the brink of road rage.

Do not fall for it

When you are provoked in the street, it’s normal to feel angry. Road rage is when your anger goes unchecked and you succumb to the temptation of responding in kind. These are some suggestions if you feel you might be losing it.

Psych yourself. You can convince yourself that it’s not worth being a “jerk” like the other guy. You can make excuses for the behavior of the other driver, but remember that it is not personal.

Deep, slow, long breaths are the best. Focusing on your breathing will help you relax and redirect your attention to other things.

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That tape is now yours. Now is the time for you to listen to the soothing music that you brought with. If it helps, you can sing or whistle along.

Focus on the positive. Talk to your passenger about any topic that you feel will distract from the problem. Consider your children if you are driving with them. Imagine how traumatized they could be by an unpleasant scene.

Stop. Stop at a gas station, diner or other place if nothing works. Simmer down. Call a friend if you feel it will help. Only once you have regained control of your emotions, get back in the car.

Don’t let your anger or reckless driving turn into a fight. Let the other guy go. This is the best way to let go your road rage. This is the best way to reach your destination safely and soundly.

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