Driving in a metropolis like Lagos can be very tasking on our state of mind. Too often you see drivers screaming at each other. When you can’t control your anger, you may get into fist-fights or drive recklessly endangering yourself and others. This is not a good thing because rage can be termed as short madness which may lead to uncontrollable acts of violence and the result will be regret. Keeping a good state of mind is paramount when driving, so I picked some useful techniques to help you deal with this.
1.) Don’t Personalize Other People’s Bad Driving
Often when other people drive badly, it’s not their fault. They might be stressed, angry, distressed, upset… before they got in their car to drive. To feel calmer after you experience their poor driving, you can take-on the attitude of “Their bad driving is not their fault nor anyone’s. I’m not going to heighten the problem by feeling road rage. I choose my emotions and I choose to remain calm.”
2.) Be A Compassionate And Empathetic Driver
Ask yourself why the driver is distracted, not concentrating, or driving erratically. Is he or she going to a funeral? Leaving the hospital after a loved one has died? Perhaps attending to an emergency?
There are countless reasons why people might be driving badly. If we shift our viewpoint from:
“They are driving badly because they are idiots, and idiots make me angry!” to “I don’t know why they are driving badly. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and stay calm because I don’t know what situation they are in. They might not be idiots – they might be distressed, devastated, grieving…I might also drive like them if I was in their shoes.”
By changing your negative viewpoint to one of compassion and empathy you can lessen feelings of anger to calm a potentially hostile situation.
3.) Visualize Feeling At Peace While Driving, And Say Positive Affirmations
Imagine (visualize) feeling at peace and staying calm while driving. Say positive affirmations to help you stay calm. Do these throughout the day both while you are driving and not driving.
Affirmations can include:
- I am getting calmer while driving.
- I can stay peaceful when I encounter bad drivers.
- I can choose my emotions and I choose to feel calm when I am around bad drivers.
4.) Don’t Expect Other Drivers To Always Be Courteous
If you drive with the expectation that other drivers always have to let you into their lanes when you want to change lanes, you are likely to be let down when they don’t meet your expectations. Not having your expectations met can lead to road rage. Accept that there will be some drivers who are rude, pushy, distracted and so on. You are more likely to be calmer while driving if you have realistic beliefs about how other people drive.
5.) Think Of The Consequences Of Road Rage
Road rage can feel good for a while as you vent your frustration, but the benefits can be vastly outweighed by the possible consequences, such as:
- feeling tense, stressed and angry
- an increase in heart rate
- a rise in blood pressure
- having an argument or fight
- having an accident, and injuring or killing yourself and others
- damaging or destroying your car and others’ cars or property
- getting a criminal record
- going to jail
- all the paperwork that comes with having an accident
- an increase in car insurance costs
When you start to feel road rage coming on, remember the possible consequences, take some deep breaths, and make a conscious effort to stay in control.
6.) Remember The Benefits Of Keeping Calm While Driving
There are many benefits of staying calm while driving. A few of these are that:
- You feel happier, less stressed, more peaceful…to have a more pleasant drive
- People in the car with you will feel happier
- You lessen the risk of having a car accident, injuring yourself and others and destroying your car or other people’s properties
7.) Be A Safe And Courteous Driver
How you drive affects how other drivers’ react. Drive safely and there will be less chance of getting into a fight or argument with another driver. Let people into your lane if they need to change – don’t speed up and not let them in. Use your pointer signal when changing lanes, and change lanes smoothly, not erratically. Don’t tailgate. Stick to the speed limit.
Hope this helps. Please feel free to drop a comment that you think will be beneficial to others. Drive Safe!