Not everyone who drives on the road is an idiot, or a hoon as we sometimes label them in Australia.
Probably 98% of your fellow motorists are decent law-abiding people like yourself.
Commuter stress arises because the remaining 2% move around a lot!!
If you commute for two hours a day then you will probably spend three years of your life in a motor vehicle.
It therefore makes sense to make the journey pleasant as possible.
One way you can do that is to look for opportunities to show courtesy to other drivers.
Research has shown that when one driver shows courtesy to another others nearby are inclined to follow the example.
I often see people driving as though they are in a trans-African endurance rally. What do people like this do with the extra ten to fifteen minutes they gain from this dangerous practice? Perhaps they are writing a novel, or painting a landscape or formulating new theories in cosmology? Or do they drop into a chair in exhaustion?
I’ve heard of people who become so stressed on the homeward journey that they shoot other motorists … and then get delayed by 25 years of imprisonment.
Do whatever it takes to make the journey a pleasant one … you’re spending a lot of your life on the road.
Ten Ways to Reduce Commuter Stress
1. Give other motorists the benefit of the doubt. The slow driver in front of you could be returning from the funeral of their child.
2. Look for opportunities to do a favour to another driver providing it does not endanger traffic flow.
3. Travel with someone whose company you enjoy.
4. Listen to a humourous tape or radio station.
5. Continually remind yourself that the extra ten minutes you may gain by driving like a bat out of hell is not worth the risk to your life.
6. Listen to music that you really enjoy.
7. Take an interest in your surroundings.
8. Try to figure out what the crazy drivers you encounter are going to do with the extra few minutes they gain on the journey.
9. Deliberately take the journey at a comfortable pace and note the difference in time between driving like a rally driver (it may amaze you).
10. Remind yourself that a lot of your life is spent in a car and making it fun is adding quality to your life.