Do You Turn Red Behind The Wheel?
You see it every day, people in their cars, honking, repeatedly flashing their high beams, yelling and gesturing obscenities, not allowing others to change lanes, tailgating, and swerving so recklessly that you think you could get killed. Most drivers have experienced some form of road rage including you!
Need to cool down fast? Here are a few tips:
- Problem Solve. If your daily commute is full of traffic congestion and leaving you frustrated, DO SOMETHING about it. Change your route. Give yourself plenty of time so you’re not rushed or pressured. Or get used to the status quo, because it isn’t going to change unless you do.
- Listen to something. What kind music, audiobooks, or podcasts help you when you’re feeling out of sorts? Play them. If you don’t know, explore some of your interests. You can even download a comedic podcast. It is impossible to be angry while laughing.
- Breathe. Deeply from your diaphragm through your nose. Picture your breath coming up from your 'gut.' Purse your lips and exhale, pushing the air out as you go. The act of pushing it out will release some irritation.
- Relax. Slowly repeat a calming word or phrase such as 'relax,’ 'take it easy,’ or ‘this too shall pass.’ Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply.
- Use your head. When you're angry, your thinking becomes exaggerated and dramatic. Think what you’re really getting out of being or acting angry. Is anything changing? Is the traffic moving faster? Is it going to make that rude driver better? You’re just making yourself more angry!
- This is not about YOU! Don’t take it personally. The world is not out to get you, you’re just going through an inevitable irritation that goes with daily city life. Accepting it will save more energy than fighting it. You got this!
If you find that these tips aren’t helping, or that you’re having trouble controlling anger in your life off the road too, therapy is good way to explore and tackle these issues. Consult your doctor today.
Dr. Khadeja Mousa - PsyD
Dr. Khadeja Mousa earned her masters and doctorate degrees from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, USA. She is a USA licensed clinical psychologist. Before moving to the UAE Dr. Mousa worked in Kuwait as an assistant director at Fawzia Sultan Rehabilitation Institute. She has worked in a variety of settings with both children and adults. Her expertise is in insight oriented therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. She works with a broad range of issues ranging from general adjustment issues to clinical diagnosis (such as mood disorders and personality disorders). Dr. Mousa provides treatment planning,risk assessment and psychotherapy services. Dr. Mousa is bicultural and has been committed to multicultural issues in psychology. She worked with clients belonging to diverse communities.