Delhi again gets battered by road rage: Two major incidents in two days and many minor unreported.
We all react strongly to such episodes but do we ever stop by and contemplate the solutions? Do we try to find out the ways “How not to be a part of road rage?” We seldom do.
We all, at some instance have either been a victim or have initiated road rage. So, before we move forward and look for the ways to be “Better Humans on Road”, let’s find out why we fall in the short fuse trap:
People usually violate others when they are aggressive, have problems holding back their emotions and frustrations. Some, have shockingly gone beyond all human aspects and impulsively killed.
Most people involving imprudently in road rage have a history of related mood or personality disorders that remain untreated. Often people ignore visible symptoms thinking that it is a personality trait, thanks to the dearth of awareness and firm ignorance that prevails in our society.
The stress of city life adds to it- getting late while stuck in a traffic jam, the need to prove oneself in a job and the lack of social support, worsening the existing mental condition.
People who behave badly on roads usually behave badly everywhere- the ones always looking for a fight. This is behavioural.
Family members must be wary for signs like hyperactivity, aggression, restlessness, irritability, lack of impulse control and harm to self or others.
I, as a Psychologist firmly believe that lack of a proper vent for anger as well as the absence of basic information about anger management is to be blamed.
Let’s learn how to channelize Anger while on road:
If you head out for work or leisure, there’s a good chance that you experienced “temper twists” in traffic-related situations. Learning how to keep calm and how to de-escalate someone else’s road rage, can help prevent accidents and acts of violence on the road. Helping you with tips for the same:
a) Recognize your Anger:
The most obvious signs of anger include shouting, vengeful thoughts, muscle tension, headaches, teeth clenching, fist tightening and elevated heart rate. With practice, recognize your warning sign of anger and then mentally check in on yourself.
b) Channelize your Anger:
Check your mood before driving: If you leave your home or workplace in an angry, irritated or upset mood, there’s a chance that a traffic incident could set you off. Wait until you’re calm enough to drive.
Give yourself extra time: If you’re heading someplace important, give yourself a little extra time for traffic.
Keep your distance: Keeping your safe distance will reduce the risk of tailgating and causing an accident. If the aggressive driver wants to pass you, let him.
Keep your priorities in mind: Try keeping an image of a loved one taped to your dashboard. This can help remind you of everything you’d lose if you got arrested for assault or killed by someone else’s violent outburst.
Pull Over: If you notice yourself losing temper, it is best to pull over (if it’s safe to do so). Get off the road or pull over to the shoulder of the road (again, only if it’s safe to do this) and put your vehicle in park. Take a few minutes to collect your thoughts and calm yourself down before returning to the road.
Practice deep breathing: Deep breathing is quick and easy, calms you down instantly and can be done while you’re driving or stationary:
• Take a long, slow inhalation through your nose.
• Hold your breath till count of five.
• Exhale slowly through the mouth.
• Repeat 10 times.
“Precaution is better than cure- Let’s cure our Anger before it takes a toll on us”.