We have now come to a point in humanity where no one sleeps anymore. We no longer live in a 24/7 life, but we live a 72/7 life or maybe even longer. If you need proof, then take a look at the highways. I am pretty sure that there are still people out driving either from work or job number three. With all this time spent working and being awake, you can expect that the people on that highway with you might be a little crankier than they usually are. They might be a lot more aggressive, territorial, or quite simply just a lot meaner. This is what we typically call road rage.
You can see it all the time, drivers switching lanes for no reason, turns without signal lights, speeding, not allowing you to switch lanes. These are all things that can happen on the road along your daily drive. If we think about it, road rage might be a symptom of an even bigger mental health issue or anger issues.
Road rage used to be an issue mostly faced by men. Now, women too can experience road rage, although not as aggressive as with the men. Studies show that women can also drive as equally as aggressively, rudely, and dangerously as men. Some people who are mildly-tempered have been known to admit to tending to lose their control when behind the wheel.
For some people who experience road rage, it is necessary to have control or possession of their lane. For some people, it can be caused by unchecked anger. So, when those two things collide, road rage is bound to happen. As mental health professionals would define it, certain behaviors will become problematic once they have consequences. So let us say that we get into a road rage accident and it leads to confrontation, this will have serious consequences such as getting arrested, having your license suspended or revoked, or damaging your car. There have been incidents of road rage where people have been stabbed, shot, or run down.
This anger that you cannot control when behind the wheel may become harmful to you. This is not only unhealthy for your mind as it will cause you unnecessary stress, but it can also be unhealthy for you physically, as mentioned earlier.
So, what can you do to avoid road rage? The solution might be simple to say, but when you are behind the wheel, and you already feel frustrated about the world, it can be not easy to do. The first thing you need to do is to focus on your driving. Much like in everything in this world, it will not be healthy for you mentally to constantly watch other people and how they do things. What you need to do is to focus on yourself and whether or not you are driving safely and calmly.
Next, you have to remind yourself that whatever happens out in the open road is not a personal attack on you. When you start to think negatively about the person driving next to you or maybe in front of you, what mental health professional’s advice is to interrupt your thoughts. You have to ask yourself, “will it be worth it?” and “what consequences will take effect once I act on my anger?” This helps you to rationalize and think a lot more logically. Most of all, it saves you from any more potential confrontation and dangers.
If you are someone who experiences road rage, it is best to seek professional help. You need to learn how to control your behavior, especially when in the midst of extreme emotions. What you should always remember is that you should never give in to your impulses. If ever road rage has become a chronic issue for you, it is most likely that this is caused by an even bigger anger management issue, which may step from other mental issues that may have been caused by traumatic pasts.
The important thing to note here is that road rage prevention is the best way for you to start healing. Perspective plays a very important role in road rage prevention. You have to remember that you are you and the other driver is the other driver. What you should be doing is focusing on yourself and getting to where you need to be. If you do need help, there is no shame in seeking help. We all need a little help, sometimes with things that we can no longer control or take.
So, reach out to your friends and family, tell them about the problem, and eventually, you will be in a much healthier place, driving safely and calmly. It is also better to talk to a specialist if the issue is uncontrollable or difficult to cope with.