HIT THE BRAKES ON ROAD RAGE
Little bumps in the road—traffic, tailgating, getting lost—can make us feel ready to, well, blow a gasket. Use these ideas to make yourself rage-resistant no matter where the road takes you.
1 KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING
Before you leave, print out directions from Google Maps.That way you’ll still be able to find your destination if you hit a dead zone or your phone loses power (or drops into a rest stop toilet!). Familiarize yourself with the directions instead of blindly following the GPS, or consider getting a map— remember those?!
2 CHANGE THE CHANNEL
Screamy talk radio programs “can activate your nervous system’s fightor-flight response, which lowers your threshold for anger,” says San Francisco–based psychologist Robert Nemerovski, Psy.D. Stick to calmer news stations, mindexpanding podcasts (like
The Moth, Radiolab, and
StuffYou Should Know), and happy-making music (make a chill-out playlist).
3 DON’T HONK
It’s a tempting way to vent frustration, but according to the AAA Foundation forTraffic Safety, it may goad other drivers into acting more aggressive. “Road rage overrides the areas of the brain that handle impulse control and judgment,” says Nemerovski. He suggests repeating a mantra to yourself like Forget it. Drive on.