Road rage doesn’t have to steer your trip. Discover how to turn down the volume on car anxiety and stress when driving.

By Janis Frawley-Holler

Launch a countdown. Say you're in a rush and stuck at a red light. Simply count the seconds that you're waiting to defuse stress when driving and keep your brain distracted. After you realize most stoplights last less than a minute, your impatience won't get the best of you next time. (If these other common Mom stresses get to you, we have solutions.)

Practice hand yoga. It's beneficial for all as a solution for how to handle road rage, and is especially lovely for computer users or those with arthritis. While stopped in traffic, reach your arms over the top of the steering wheel, then spread and stretch your fingers. Hold for a few seconds, then flex wrists. Repeat three times. Next, bend each finger, individually, into a square and push gently against the fingernail area with the opposite hand's thumb, working to improve joint flexibility and blood flow—as your car anxiety slips away.

Download a book. Remember how tranquilizing it was when your parents read you a bedtime story? Listening to stories calms adults as well and can help ease driving anxiety symptoms. Keep a variety of audiobooks or podcasts on hand to enjoy while delayed in the car or on long commutes. Just steer clear of deep-relaxation audio recordings; you want to calm down, not fall asleep! (This hobby can also increase calm feelings and fight anxiety and depression.)

Improve your view. Attach a piece of your child's art, a beautiful postcard or prized photo from a favorite vacation spot to the inside of your car's sun visor. (Or try one of these unique ways to make your entire day more positive!) When stopped at a red light or in traffic or simply feeling any kind of stress when driving, flip it down and float into your child's world, that mellow mountain retreat or relaxing Caribbean beach. Slip another stress-reducing snapshot scene into your handbag to fly off to vacationland at other times.

Meditate. Repeat words like peace or love to calm the mind and relieve mental strain. A quiet mind equals a relaxed body and spirit.

Related: The Benefits of Meditation for Moms—and How to Start (Even if You Don’t Think You Have Time)

Quench your thirst. Can't find enough time to get those eight glasses of water in a day? Do your health a favor and transform waiting into hydrating. Carry a bottle of water with you and sip at every opportunity.

Make music. No matter where your car is stopped, punch in your favorite radio station and start singing. Better yet, add a few chill or cheery Spotify playlists to your library, such as Happy Hits!, Feelin’ Good, and Have a Great Day! You may not be able to stand up and salsa, but your soul will be dancing and your car anxiety gone.

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