Is road rage really a state of mind? It can seem pretty physical when your blood is boiling and your heart rate jumps. The Internet is crawling with nightmarish statistics of road rage encounters. Reports indicate that approximately 1500 deaths and injuries are the result of road rage incidents each year. However, the purpose of this post is not to share distressing statistics about the results of road rage. Instead, let’s discuss a proven method to curb your tendency to shout an expletive, raise that unpleasant finger, or slam that abrasive horn.
State of mind. Say it again. State. Of. Mind.
Meaning, you can control what you think and then ultimately what you feel. Simply, alter your perception of roadway encounters. Road rage is the result of jumping to a negative conclusion. If a vehicle cuts in front of you on the highway, instead of immediately reacting with hand gestures or letting your anger take over, reset your brain. A car cut in front of you. What’s their reasoning? Maybe their morning coffee finally set in and they’re making a mad dash for the restroom. That tailgater keeps getting too close for your liking. Maybe they have a screaming child in the back seat throwing a tantrum and Cheerios. This may seem like a ridiculous method but not any more absurd than screaming at someone in another vehicle that can’t even hear you. I promise you, this will work. My husband and I have actually made a game out of “bad drivers.” We develop scenarios and role plays of individuals and their highway antics. We create characters, we create voices, but ultimately we create laughter and eliminate the need to think negatively, be angry, and start the day in a foul mood. Our blood no longer boils and our heart rate remains steady. It really is a state of mind. Perhaps you now can find a way to alter yours.