Road Rage

Are you the sort of person that gets hot under the collar when someone cuts you up?

Do you wish you could set a good example to your children when driving but find you are always getting cross?

In this article I will look at some of the things you can do.

What makes you angry when driving?

  • Someone not paying attention at the lights?
  • Someone cutting you up?
  • Someone making a mistake?

If someone endangers your life while you are driving it is quite reasonable to be cross isn’t it?

When you are cross however what happens to your concentration? Are you going to be as focused on your driving?

Does getting cross allow you to arrive at your destination calm, fit and healthy?

If not why do people get so cross and how can it be avoided? There has to be a benefit to getting cross.

Anger can be a motivator. When we are angry we are more likely to want to change something. Unfortunately the red mist that comes over us tends to stop us thinking straight. We go into flight or fight mode and some parts of our higher thinking brain get turned off. It is therefore often better to use the motivation anger generates in us once we have calmed down again.

When we embark on a journey we don’t set out to stop all the bad drivers in the world. Our function is normally to have a pleasant journey and to arrive safe and sound.

I was recently giving a talk on stress busting and road rage was being discussed. After the session one of the delegates said to me, “Jon, its funny. I just don’t get cross when driving. I am a motorcyclist. I go out with the assumption that everyone is out to kill me. I know I am hard to see so I make sure I don’t go into a danger zone until I have eye contact of the driver. I also assume all roads have diesel spilt on them and are slippery. When facing these issues someone cutting me up or making a mistake is insignificant”.

Here a change of perspective makes a great difference. Questions you can ask yourself might be

  • Did that driver do that to me personally or was I just unlucky?
  • If I had not been driving would he still have been driving like a madman?
  • I have just had a near miss with a lunatic. Do I want to dwell on that or be happy it was a miss and focus on making the rest of my journey safe?

Clearly there are times when the red mist hits us before we have had time to be rational and think.

If this is the case my recommendation to you is to find a quiet moment and then

  • Close your eyes for a few seconds and focus on your breathing then think of the situation where you were unhappy with your response.
  • Then try and feel how you would want to feel in that situation in the future.
  • While you are doing that then run through seeing yourself feeling calm and acting the way you want to.
  • Then clear your mind and run the new pattern in your mind again.
  • Keep clearing your mind and running it again.
  • Perhaps do this a couple of times over the next few days and then you will be more likely to automatically do it if that situation arises.

You have the power to be the person you want to be. If this subject interests you and you can’t make progress or you have any other issue please call me on 01857 600708 and I will see what can be done to help you.

Have fun and drive safely.