There are endless reasons why you may get stressed out while driving. Whether it be that you’re running late for an appointment, you’re caring for a sick family member, or you’re going through a turbulent time in your life, regardless, stress impacts us in a multitude of ways (both physical and psychological).
Additionally, the act of driving itself can cause enormous amounts of stress. When you’re feeling extra stressed, it’s a good idea to take inventory of your driving habits to see if there are areas you can improve.
Below, we’ve put together three techniques to help you manage stress while driving.
#1 - Be present and focused on the road.
Often, we become stressed when we have too much on our minds. This is especially true while driving. When you’re behind the wheel, you must consider quite a lot in order to maintain safe driving habits.
One of the best things you can do to ease the tension you feel on the road is to maintain a present focus on what you are doing. Keep your eyes as well as your thoughts on driving. Try to avoid thinking about what you have to do later or what could go wrong as you drive.
#2 - Don’t avoid what makes you nervous.
Often, when we don’t like performing a certain task, it is because we are either unfamiliar with it or we believe we aren’t any good at it. The only way to get better at something is to practice doing it.
In this sense, it’s in your best interest to face your stressors about driving. When you confront the anxieties you experience while on the road, you have much better chances of being able to overcome them later on because each time you do this, you gain experience, which helps provide the confidence you need to avoid getting stressed out while driving.
#3 - Remember to breathe.
Taking long, conscious, deep breaths can significantly reduce the stress you feel. If you begin to get overwhelmed behind the wheel, try taking several conscious deep breaths.
Doing so can dramatically decrease your physiological stress responses.
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