Driving is the best way to get around the city, but it can be stressful sometimes due to some reasons –unexpected traffic jams, thousands of potholes on your way, road construction, reckless teenage drivers on the roads and so on. If you arrive at your workplace stressed out already, chances are things may get worse for you. If you sit behind the wheel every day then controlling your emotions and temper is what you need.
According to studies, drivers tend to lose their concentration on the roads when they are feeling stressed or annoyed. This gets extremely dangerous not only for the drivers and their passengers but others as well.
If sitting in the driver’s seat has become a daunting or stressful job for you, there’s nothing to worry about. Follow these seven simple steps to get rid of the driving stress for good. After all, you just cannot let traffic or any driving stressor to get the best of you.
1. Give more time to your journey by leaving early
The fear of getting late is one of the major causes of stressful driving. This makes the drive not only uncomfortable but also extremely risky. To make sure you do not get stressed out thinking about arriving late at your destination, leave at least fifteen minutes earlier than usual. You must also keep a close eye on the traffic and weather conditions before getting in the car.
It is better to install travel apps on your phone as it may help you avoid a blocked road. This way you would not have to drive unnecessarily fast, and there would be no pressure of time ticking by. Moreover, this will render you in a better position to deal with any and all kinds of unexpected obstacles on your way.
2. Know your routes
Just because you have been taking the same route to your office or gym since forever does not mean it is the only way. There could be other ways that are more convenient to take. All you have to do is check for the possibilities on a map.
However, if you are driving to a place you have never been to before, you must not entirely rely on your car’s GPS system. Plan your journey and make sure you know approximately how long it would take to get there.
3. Create a pleasant environment
Driving when there is trash on the floor, dust drawings on the exterior and mud on the windows can take your stress to new levels. Your car covered in dust and dirt can make your journey uncomfortable even before you get started because; let’s face it; no one wants to drive a car that badly needs a wash. Simply put, remove as many sources of a stressful drive – dirt, dust, grime, and trash as quickly as possible.
To make the environment inside the cabin more pleasant, play your favorite music as it will automatically enlighten your mood. Moreover, relaxing music will make your driving safer and more enjoyable.
4. Get relaxed before you get in the car
Most of the time, your driving mood depends on what you were doing before you hit the road. Driving right after getting into a fight with your spouse, neighbor or even a colleague would make your drive highly stressful and dangerous as your mind would still be thinking about the situation you were just involved in.
To make your daily rides soothing, take a few minutes to let go the frustration and anger before you climb into your car. Do whatever helps you free your mind and release the stress. It could be breathing exercises or a quick meditation. Remember, you should always get in the car in a good mood.
5. Keep the kids busy
Driving while the kids are crying, fighting or kicking each other in the backseats can be quite stressful. If your kids accompany you in most of your daily commutes, you must keep them occupied. Make sure they are not bored or hungry. Bring their toys, books, food, and anything that helps. If you fail to do so, what you might go through during your journey will be more than challenging and excruciating. Not to forget, their non-stop yelling and crying would distract your mind, which is the last thing you want.
6. Think positive
What do you usually do when some driver cuts you off? It’s not surprising that most of us are quite sensitive about it.
If you get mad about it or floor the gas pedal to “teach that stupid driver a lesson,” you need to work on controlling your thoughts. Do not let other people affect your mood. Negative ideas and overthinking while driving automatically leads to stress. So, train your mind and start thinking positively, at least while driving.
If a guy cuts you off, you do not chase him, honk madly or swear at him. Control your thoughts, and you will see how driving not only becomes comfortable but a relaxing experience.
7. Maintain distance from speedy drivers
If you notice someone driving aggressively, try your best to maintain extra distance from their car. To some, seeing someone rocketing through lanes is quite tempting. However, it is not always a wise idea to join in, especially during rush hours. If you do so, you might end up losing control.
If, on the other hand, you are not a fan of speeding and find someone driving recklessly near you, do not panic or react by hitting the brakes hard or swerving all of a sudden as this increases the chances of you crashing into other cars. Instead, you must slow down gradually and change your lane.
Driving your latest shiny, sleek Sedan or SUV can become stressful and challenging, but it does not have to be like this all the time. You can learn to take control of your emotions, and thoughts as this can help you stay focused and calm not only while driving but also in lots of other situations too. Try these simple tricks, and your driving experience will be stress-free.