Are you experiencing a lot of driving stress at the moment? Maybe the daily commute to work is a bit too much, and you’re looking for ways to alleviate it. Or you are about to move across the country and are worried about making a long drive to your new home on your own.
No matter what the case might be, you’re aware that there is a problem in your life, and this acknowledgment is a crucial first step. Here is how to best overcome driving stress and bouts of road rage to make any trip, no matter how long or short it may be, a less stressful experience.
What Causes Driving Stress and How It Affects Drivers
There are many different causes of this problem that you should know about. Some of them we have been aware of from the mid 20th century, while others have been researched only recently.
Driving at rush hour and in areas where traffic is very congested is among the main problems for any driver. Being forced to brake suddenly, inconsiderate parking, lack of signaling on the road and getting cut by other drivers are some of the other causes. Recent studies have also shown that a daily car commute can have a lot of harmful effects both on a driver’s mental and physical health.
How to Reduce Stress on the Road
There are different ways to tackle and reduce this kind of stress even before you actually leave your home. Read on if you’re looking for tools and techniques that can help you in avoiding these problems.
Tips on How to Deal with Different Situations
In case you’re concerned about merging onto the highway during rush hour, as most people are, the key is to remain calm and treat this typically stressful episode as a regular part of your day. If you have the time, go for a drive on the highway when the traffic is not so congested – it will help you get used to it and benefit you in the long run.
If you’re getting stressed because of an annoying passenger who’s acting like a backseat driver, the best advice is to ignore them. By not responding, you’ll let them know that it’s not the right time for unwanted advice. Hopefully, they will get the hint.
Road work is one of the leading causes of stressful situations on the street. This is especially the case if you’re already late and didn’t plan ahead. Don’t avoid your usual route as another road can take longer and prove to be more stressful. Checking the traffic and leaving your home earlier to give yourself extra time to drive is the best way to go about this situation.
Avoid Asking the Wrong Questions
It’s important for you to focus on the practical ways to solve your problems, and to not ask yourself the wrong questions that can be hard to answer. There are two ways to cope with the annoying road situation. Focusing on the problem and how to solve it or prevent it from happening on time should be your priority. On the other hand, focusing on how to come to terms with your emotions after the traffic problem should be the following solution.
Dealing with Panic on the Road
It is not uncommon to have a panic attack while driving, and that’s when the anxiety can get out of hand. Your mind is flooded with too many thoughts, it’s very hard to concentrate, and the situation can be very dangerous.
If you’re afraid of putting yourself and others on the street in danger, park nearby and take a break. A slow-breathing technique can help calm you down, and normalize your heart rate, as well. You’ll avoid any dangerous situations and having to exchange car insurance information. You should try breathing in for seven seconds, holding for four, and then exhaling for seven seconds.
Cancel out Everything and Turn off Your Phone While Driving
We all feel drawn to our mobile phones and can’t resist checking why the device is buzzing and ringing. This is one of the main reasons why you should turn off your phone while driving, or at the very least, set it on “do not disturb.” Trying to talk or type messages on your phone while at the wheel can be both stressful and very dangerous for yourself and other people.
Plan Ahead to Avoid a Stressful Situation
One of the best ways to avoid anything stressful from happening would be to always plan ahead. Before you even leave your home, whether you’re moving to another state or just commuting to work, take the time to check the weather and traffic conditions. This should be at the top of your priorities if you’re moving in bad weather. There are many traffic and map apps out there, such as Google Maps, that you can use to stay up to date on any obstacles or hazards, like roadwork or natural disasters.
Know That Your Stress Can Affect Other Drivers
Remember that maintaining safety in traffic is a collective effort, which means keeping in mind that you can also cause stress to other drivers. Even if you’ve driven for years, always follow the rules of the road. Be aware of other drivers, respect them just like you’d expect to be respected, and remember that mistakes can happen to anyone. This is the main reason why you shouldn’t let other drivers get to you, and try to stay calm at all times.
How It Affects You and Others Around You
Some research data shows that the more you drive, the more it leads to less patience and tolerance towards other people. This will affect how you act towards other people in your life, be it your friends and family members, another driver or your colleagues at work. Coming late to work, lower productivity, feeling unhappy on the days that you had to drive are all important reasons why you should tackle this issue right away.
Leave It to Professionals to Avoid the Hustle
If you’re moving long-distance, be it to another country or a different state, it may be for the best to hire a professional auto shipping company to transport your car to your new home. It’s not just a far more convenient solution than driving for miles on your own – it’s also a much safer and a nerve-saving option. You don’t have to pay for the enclosed trailer option if you’re moving on a budget, as an open trailer is the more affordable option to finance. In case you’re adamant about saving up on your move, you can also choose the best time of the year to relocate for a cheaper relocation.