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Managing your emotions while driving – How to avoid road rage

October is Mental Health Awareness month – a month during which we should all focus even more on our well-being. With today’s hectic lifestyle, often our work is a source of a lot of pressure and workload. Our emotions also affect how we drive. If you’re feeling particularly strained, your emotions can affect how you respond to other drivers, and lead to aggressive or risky driving behaviour.

In a blogpost earlier this year, Discovery highlighted ways that extreme emotions affect you when you drive, and shared tips to address it:

6 tips to manage emotions when you drive

Remember, calming your emotions before you drive does not mean you don’t have to acknowledge or deal with them. It just means that you have to control them for your own safety. Everyone is different, so you need to find what works for you. Here are some suggestions to not allow emotions to affect your driving:

1. Don’t dwell on other drivers’ actions that make you angry. Let it go and focus on staying safe rather than venting. Anger will only make things worse.
2. Be courteous to other drivers. Cutting in, erratic lane changes and speeding, may save you a few seconds. At worst, it will land you and others in hospital.
3. Take deep, slow breaths and count for a few seconds as you inhale and exhale. This can keep you focused, calm and able to handle stressful traffic better.
4. Pull over at a safe location to take a short break and compose yourself. Stop at a shopping centre or petrol station when you feel overwhelmed by emotions such as anger or grief. Calm yourself by closing your eyes, breathing and turning the radio to soothing music or switching it off. It can also help to go for a short walk or to get a drink of water.
5. Focus only on the road and on driving. Try to hold disturbing thoughts and emotions at bay until your journey is over.
6. Leave earlier than necessary to make up for traffic and other hold-ups.

Click here to access the blogpost.

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