The use of motor vehicles makes our lives easier in a variety of ways. It is a privilege to be able to jump in a car and simply go where we need and want to go. However, many of us also find driving to be a stressful event in our lives. As we make our way through throngs of people we may label “bad drivers” or we navigate thick traffic, we may find ourselves losing control of our emotions. There are many ways to cope with road rage and staying calm while driving, so that we do not allow a modern miracle to become a source for health problems and a trigger for accidents.
Many drivers understand that staying on the defensive while driving can help alleviate accidents. What makes defensive driving so effective is that it encourages drivers to remain mindful and aware. A good mindfulness practice does wonders toward dealing with road rage and encouraging people to stay calm while driving. But, being mindful does not mean zoning out. In fact, it means the opposite; mindfulness encompasses the act of being fully present in the moment.
A helpful aspect of mindfulness practice is proper breathing. Getting enough oxygen to our brains helps us to remain calm and creative in the face of stressful situations. The best way to deal with road rage is by staying calm while driving and taking deep, lung-filling breaths helps with that. Most of us normally take shallow breaths while breathing, so it would benefit us to learn to breathe better. When we inhale, our abdomens should expand and we should focus upon filling our lungs with as much air as they can hold. Then, we exhale slowly and with control, allowing the breath to bring us into the full awareness of our bodies and surroundings.
Learning this type of breathing is something that can dramatically improve how we deal with the stress of road rage. We cannot control how other people drive or how much traffic we run into on our way to appointments, but we can control how we respond to those events. By practicing techniques that are simple and life-affirming, we reduce the effects of road rage and we stay calm while driving. This helps keep our blood pressures down and, hopefully, allows us to become the safe drivers we wish to see in the world.