Wellness \ Mind & Body

3 Ways to Stop Road Rage

"RAZ: My name's Raz and I work a 9 to 5 job in IT, down near the airport, and I deal with rush hour traffic every day.

I really don't understand it, I'm really a nice guy, everybody likes me, I think but the traffic just gets to me.

Over the last few years traffic has gotten worse and worse. People just keep moving into the city and it just crowds the streets up.

My commute time used to be 20 minutes, then it went up to 25, now it's like 30 minutes. And it's just mindboggling. It just gets more crowded every day.

It's like I'm a wild animal in a cage. I just can't do anything about it. So I honk the horn, I grip the steering wheel, I'll yell, I'll wave my finger around 'em, I'll tailgate, anything I can do go get them to speed up or just get out of my way especially if they block, block me out when I'm trying to change lanes.

Sometimes when I get on the road especially on the expressway when it's wall to wall traffic and I feel stuck, I can just feel my whole face getting hot, and my breathing, I'm not breathing, and I start to go into this panic attack mode.

So, obviously driving really stresses me out. What do you think can I do about that?

DR. ANGELA: The road rage that Razz experiences is increasingly common these days. It not only puts everyone involved in serious danger but also can affect your physical and emotional health. The stress associated with hostility has been found to lead to heart disease just like high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, or obesity. Here are some suggestions:

Try to leave for your destination with plenty of time to get there. Having to rush around and feeling like you're trying to beat the clock just adds to the stress of driving in heavy traffic.

Assess what makes you feel more relaxed while you're driving. If talk radio gets you agitated, try listening to music or to a book on CD. You can help yourself by figuring what it is that helps you feel more at ease and less on edge while driving.

Discover the source of your anger. If you're angry at someone you could be venting it at other drivers. It may be that you feel ""safe"" in your car and believe that you are immune to injury. Remember, you're putting yourself and your passengers in danger if you can't stay in control. Find out what's really making you angry and seek better ways to manage those feelings.

If you get easily worked up behind the wheel like Razz, remember that getting your anger under control will not only make your driving time more pleasant but could very well save your life. "


This entry last modified on: February 6, 2013 5:20 PM

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About the Video

Dealing with traffic jams and rude drivers can turn a daily commute into a stress nightmare. Contain your road rage with these three stress relief tips.

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