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Getting behind the wheel of your car and drive is easy when you are already an expert at maneuvering vehicles. It is an utter convenience to go to places without hailing a taxi, and bidding your own time. However, there are times when you feel uneasy when driving. Sometimes, you feel anxious while on the road, and you try to figure out how to stay relaxed when driving.
Factors affecting driving comfort
Feeling stressed while driving is a normal occurrence which is typically brought on by different stressors. Let us identify the reasons for feeling distressed behind the wheels before we look for solutions.
Rush hour traffic
Who loves traffic during rush hour? For sure, no one raised a hand on this question. Traffic is an enemy of drivers, especially those who are late for their appointments, or people trying to get home. When you are stuck in traffic for hours, your patience is tested, and you are having a hard time relaxing
When the weather is bad and you are driving, it can cause you to feel stressed and anxious while you are on the road. It is indeed hard to stay calm when you can barely see the road due to a heavy fog, or a very slippery rad because of rain, or thick snow on the road.
As a careful driver, you always want to make sure that you drive safely within the speed limit. However, if other drivers are honking their horns or getting too close to you to force you to move faster, it can cause distress to you. You will not be able to relax behind the wheel if you feel pressured to drive beyond the speed limit.
If you are experiencing personal problems at home, it could highly affect your comfort while driving. You will have a hard time concentrating on the road, and you feel agitated during the drive. All you can think about is how to handle your troubles, and you cannot relax in your driver seat.
If you are about to get late for an appointment, you cannot stay calm behind the wheel. All you can think about is how to maneuver traffic and arrive at your destination. But if you are faced with heavy traffic, or you are about to lose gas, or other hindering factors, you surely feel frustrated and cannot reign in your temper.
Importance of staying relaxed while driving
When you drive under duress, you can easily get into a vehicular accident. It is crucial to stay calm when you are behind the wheel, especially if you have a companion. Remember that it only takes a second’s mistake to dictate a bad accident that could be fatal to you and others involve. Keep yourself together and try to stay relaxed for the whole journey to avoid dangerous incidents.
Tips on staying relaxed while driving
With so many reasons to feel stressed while driving, you need to find a way to relax.Here are a couple of tips to help you relax on the road
- Do not drink alcohol or caffeine before you drive.
- Sleep for at least 7 hours prior to driving, especially when you plan to travel for hours.
- Eat a full meal before leaving your home, so hunger is one less stressor.
- Listen to soothing music while driving in order to set your relax mood.
- Put on a self-help CD to keep you calm throughout your ride.
- Do not make or receive calls while you are behind the wheel. If you badly need to talk to someone on the phone, then pull over.
- Set aside negativity when you drive. Do not entertain negative thoughts, and only think positively.
- Plan out your road travel properly so you can stay calm without worrying about what you missed to bring.
- Leave early for the road so you have loads of time to enjoy scenic views on your drive.
- Know the road rules and follow them to the letter.
- Keep your car consistently checked and maintained by a car technician.
What to do when you feel agitated while driving
If even after all your preparation you still cannot relax when driving, there are a few effective techniques to follow.
Exercise breathing techniques once you start to feel anxious while driving. Inhale through your nose and let the air out through your mouth. Do this for at least 10 minutes, until you regain your composure.
You may have a difficult time relaxing due to tension on your body. Pull over and release the tension by shrugging and rolling your shoulder to make them relax. You can also force a smile to release the tension in your facial muscles. Rotate your head to let go of sore spots, and stretch your fingers to relieve tension of holding the wheel.
Meditation is a great way to calm your whole system. By practicing mindfulness inside your car, you can let go of your stress and start to feel relaxed. Focus your entire thoughts to your driving, and leave no room for negative thoughts. Be mindful of everything on your mind and what you feel, allowing stress and anxiety to show, and feel them slipping away.
When you drive alone, it cannot be helped that you talk to yourself, especially when you feel stressed or pressured. This method is totally fine, but you need to limit your pep talk to positive things only.
Vehicular accidents are rampant all over the word. That is a fact that cannot be denied. However, never make the accident issues as the trigger to feel stressed when driving. Engage in relaxation techniques to stay calm, and help yourself to feel relaxed. Do not let negative thought take control of your drive. Fight whatever demon is causing you to feel uneasy during your ride. Most of all, always remember that not relaxing can cause road accidents.