Anger Management Courses
Anger Management Training Institute LLC
Anger Management Courses:
Stress on Wheels - Curbing Road Rage - Driving under stress can be a serious health risk.
If you drive, you likely know the feeling. You get cut off, someone honks or dangerously switches lanes, forcing you to brake and miss the light, leaving you seething. Driving is a stressful activity in itself; combined with work or personal problems and feelings of anger or frustration, it can be downright dangerous.
"Road rage" is the term applied by psychologists to denote feelings of extreme anger and hostility while driving coupled with the desire for retaliation against other drivers. With road rage, people who successfully control their feelings and emotions the entire day experience out-of-control feelings of hostility when offended by another driver. It's likely that these feelings and reactions have been around since the days of horse-drawn carriages, but the attention given to road rage and its consequences has steadily increased over the past decade.
A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that incidents of road rage went up by 51% in the first half of the 90s. While the numbers of drivers, cars, and miles driven have increased consistently over the past years, a proportional increase in the number of roads and highways has not occurred, resulting in increasingly more crowded roadways and increased driver stress.
Psychologists have studied aggressive drivers and found that those who consider themselves aggressive behind the wheel have stronger physiological responses to stress than less-aggressive drivers. In a study published in the June 2001 issue of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, self-reported aggressive and calm drivers were asked to perform stressful tasks and listened to fear-inducing scenarios while bodily stress responses were measured. The authors of the study, from the Center for Stress and Anxiety Disorders at the University at Albany, reported that the aggressive drivers responded to stress with greater increases in muscle tension and blood pressure than did their calmer peers. This work suggests that individual differences in how we respond to challenging or emotionally difficult situations may exist that at least partially determine whether we will react with anger or defensiveness while driving.
Tips for Reducing Road Rage
1. Don't see an aggressive driver's behavior as a personal assault. Bad or dangerous drivers aren't targeting you personally; they're unleashing their frustration or bad mood on the rest of the world at random.
2. Refuse to allow your mood to be dictated by the acts of an unpleasant and discourteous stranger. Save your emotional energy for persons and activities who deserve it.
3. Work on being able to just "let go" of angry feelings in traffic with the goal of maintaining inner peace and serenity. After all, your mood and the quality of your day are more important than a brief moment of revenge.
4. Recognize that mistakes occur. You've likely made driving mistakes at some time, and the other driver who acts aggressively may have just made a mistake.
5. Imagine that the aggressive driver has had a horrible day - perhaps just gotten fired or left by his/her significant other. It just might be true and might be the cause of erratic behavior.
6. Put on some soothing music or stop and take a break if your emotions get out of control. A stressed-out driver is potentially an unsafe driver. Give yourself time to cool down and preserve everyone's safety.
7. Realize that you are not the police - it is not your job or responsibility to penalize those who break traffic rules. Set a positive example for others.
Anger management is one of the most popular courses available online. You'd think that the large numbers of people who take, and who have taken, these classes would convince others that these classes really do deliver the goods. You'd think so, but you'd be wrong. Some people just don't think that online anger management classes will work for them. Still others think that online anger management classes will not work at all. Both of these groups are wrong, too.
Although this disagreement about the usefulness of anger management classes online has been going on for quite a while, the statistics show that people who have taken well-designed anger management classes online have gotten their money's worth, and then some. These people have learned ways to control their anger and manage situations that used to cause them to fly off the handle. Their changed lives are the proof in the pudding.
Let's be honest. There is a lot at stake here. Anger can be harmful, even dangerous, for you and for the people around you. The good news, however, is that anger can be controlled and its causes dealt with before you experience another big blow-up. The first step towards recovery is to recognize that you are at the point where your anger needs to be managed. That's a big step, but you can't learn to swim until you get in the water.