5 ways to reduce stress while driving

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why stress happens

Am pretty sure you already know that 20 minutes of stress can ruin your whole day. It might take you up to few hours or even more to calm down again after experiencing a short burst of stress.

In my previous articles about stress i explained how can doing small actions such as waking up half an hour earlier or doing shorter tasks first reduce stress to a great extent.

In this article i will tell you about some of the practices you should follow while driving that can help you reduce stress to a great extent.

Before i can give you those tips i have to quickly remind you of the concept behind stress. Stress happens when your mind gets locked thinking or worrying about something while doing something else. (Simple example : worrying about your back pain while working).

Now that you understand that simple concept lets see how you can make use of it while driving.

5 ways to reduce stress while driving

  • 1) Your fuel tank can make you stressed: Sounds weird huh? When your car becomes low on fuel your mind will start to worry about refueling as long as you are driving. In such a case your mind's resources will get stuck with worrying and so anything else that happens on the street will make you stressed
  • 2) Don't drive while you are late: Do your best not to drive your car while you are late. When you are late your mind will start worrying about the deadline and everything on the road will make you stressed
  • 3) Don't drive your car if it needs service: If there is anything wrong with the car then your mind will keep worrying about that problem until you fix it thus making driving more stressful. Its important to note that worrying on its own doesn't create stress but when another event happens such as being stuck in the traffic jam then the combined effect of both events creates a tremendous amount of stress
  • 4) Don't drive your car if you have something important to do: Is there an important thing that you must do? Then unless you are driving towards a place that can help you do that thing then you will get stressed. Again your mind locks some of its resources thinking about that thing then it gets stressed as a result of the traffic jam or the other problems you encounter while driving
  • 5) If you are already stressed then don't drive: One of the worst things you would want to do to yourself is do something stressful while you are already stressed. In such a case you won't just experience stress but your day will become a nightmare. In other words, avoid driving completely if you are already stressed

Few more notes about stress

You might have already concluded that traffic jams on their own can't cause stress if you weren't already worried about something else. The same goes for car horns, noise and all other problems on the road.

You are very less likely to get stressed if your mind wasn't already busy thinking about something else. Its all about the combined effect of the two events.

Finally i might have not covered all cases that can cause stress but the concept will always be the same. Just make sure you don't drive your car while your mind is already stuck somewhere else.

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