What’s Driving Your Stress? Driving?

A little while ago I noted that even under ideal conditions, even for a relatively short, easy commute like mine, driving your car adds to your stress level. Over the years I’ve worked on reducing the effect that driving has on my stress levels.

  • I leave a little earlier.
  • I check the traffic to make sure I’m not caught in a jam.
  • I drive a little slower, mostly in the far right lane so mentally I’m not so invested in GETTING THERE…NOW

Doing these things has definitely reduced the stress-out factor from my daily drive.

But it’s done more.

In addition to reduced stress, by driving a little slower, mostly using the right hand lane, I’ve reduced my focus on what I want and need. This has allowed me to focus more on what the other drivers are doing.

Y’know, you can watch the way a car is moving and get a pretty good idea of what the driver is going to do, before he does it, giving you time to prepare for it. And a funny thing happens.

In being prepared for the stupidity before it happens, you give yourself a defense against it, and you find yourself less stressed and angry with the idiot who did it.

All of which reduces the stress load from your commute even further.

Not all stress is avoidable. Not all driving stress is avoidable.

But it is reduceable.