For readers who spend a lot of time in their vehicles every day, I have a couple of suggestions. First, while you are driving, you can squeeze the steering wheel and let your anger out. Or you can pound away on the seat or door next to you, or the dash board. Hitting the windshield is not recommended for obvious safety reasons. Yelling works really well too, and they will probably be the most useful to you in a driving situation because no one else will hear you.
People rarely take the time to really look at the other people driving by, and if people do see you yelling, you will probably never see them again. If you like, you can use a trick that my friend taught me. She is a singer and loves to sing at the top of her lungs in her car. She doesn’t care if anyone sees her singing, but she feels shy about being seen screaming. So when she is really mad about something, she either makes up a sarcastic song and belts it out to express her anger, or she simply taps her fingers on the steering wheel to make it look like she is keeping time with the beat on the radio while she yells with gusto!
Sooner or later, anyone who drives will encounter a rude driver, but those rude drivers can actually be helpful to you. First, remember not to act-out your anger by being rude back to them. I usually wave and smile when someone cuts me off in traffic, but as soon as they are out of my sight I say what I think about their driving. This may seem insincere at first, but in truth I do wish the person well. I am simply angry at them at that moment, but that is something I can deal with on my own.
For many people, anger is easily triggered while driving, including my clients who have a difficult time getting angry elsewhere. Carol was a client I worked with who could never bring herself to do Anger Work on a planned basis; however, she felt very angry whenever someone cut her off on the freeway. I encouraged her to go ahead and use these aggravating situations to work on her anger. Since she lived in Los Angeles and commuted to and from work five days a week, she had lots of opportunities to express her anger. As a result of this Anger Work, the stomach pains she had been experiencing
from repressed feelings gradually went away.
I encourage you to release the anger you feel while driving. You may find, as Carol did, that it helps you to release other repressed feelings, unrelated to the traffic in the moment.
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