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Road Rage At The Holidays - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Road rage is a national concern with over 45,000 Americans admitting to driving too aggressively. With the holidays right around the corner, stress levels are climbing while patience in traffic is declining.

There are several points to keep in mind when you’re on this road during the holidays:

Road Rage Builds: We do know that road rage is the result of a progression of frustrations throughout the day that culminates in an incident on the road.

Immediate Gratification: Especially with the holidays, we want speed and we want it now--quick purchases, fast service, and a speedy getaway. Time urgency concerns explode during the holidays since we have more to do than we have time to do it in -- a perfect environment for creating road rage.

Holiday Party Circuit: Road rage brews in a mixture of sleep deprivation, too much sugar, and a whole lot of alcohol. With the holidays upon us, many of us are hitting the party circuit and we are just drinking and eating things we shouldn't consume, and as a result, we don't sleep well and we hit the roads tired, irritable, and grumpy.

Here are my tips to avoid road rage this holiday season:

Get Comfortable: Make your car comfortable by regulating the temperature, wearing comfortable clothes and having the seat adjusted for your body.

Distract with Music and Breathe Deeply: It is impossible to be upset if you are listening to great music. Take seven or eight slow breaths per minute from the diaphragm and stop stressing out.

Develop Empathy for Other Drivers: When someone is rude on the road, don't assume you know why. Comfort yourself with a positive explanation.

Take Responsibility: We all like to credit events and other people for our reactions rather than remembering that we have control over what goes through our heads.

Limit that Alcohol: Although everyone likes to party, the sugar surge enhances every emotion. Limit your alcohol and sugar during the holidays and get enough sleep. Remember that the holidays are a time of connecting with others, not a time for losing your temper.

Bad For Your Health: Road rage is lethal for your health. Since rage is a central symptom of Type A, it can extremely harmful over time. Road rage floods the body with harmful stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. The body is in perpetual hyper-vigilant mode and you’ll have an especially hard time calming down and controlling yourself. Try some relaxation techniques or just taking some time off to cool down.

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