Driving under the Influence of High Sensitivity: conquering road rage as an HSP

Photo by Taras Makarenko
Photo by Taras Makarenko

If you’ve been attracted to this post, its likely that driving is the bane of your existance. As you drive, you take in every sound, every lane change, the moods of the other drivers you see on the road, the scenery, and every pump of the break on the way to your destination. God forbid you don’t don’t avoid a pot hole in the road – your world as a sensitive driver may just disentigrate! That said, by the time you make it home safely, you’re spent. You may even feel driving is such as hassel that (if you can afford it) you’re having everything delivered you possibly can. Anything to stop you from having to drive!

I’m here to tell you, there’s hope! Here are a few simple things you can do to avoid raging out while you’re driving under the influence of High Sensitivity:

1 – Self-Soothe

Consider for a moment the reality that the world doesn’t revolve around you, especially not on the road – And that’s okay!

You may not realize part of your anger at all that happens on the road stems from your desire to satisfy whatever need has arrisen, which caused you to begin a new quest in the first place. Remeber that nothing happens instananeaously for anyone, so it’s okay if there are a few (literal) bumps in the road on the way to acomplish your task. The little old lady break-riding down the longest road at the busiest time of the day does so in front of everyone. She doesn’t know that you need to get to the gorcery store because your stomach is in the bottom of your feet and you certianly shouldn’t assume she means you any harm.

So take time to mentally self-soothe by reminding yourself of the following: “I will make it to my desitation and remain calm for my own good in the process. My need will be satisfied, but not right this moment and that’s okay.”

2 – Stay Focused

Raging out may cause you to rage more at the things you miss.

There are a plethora of instances where I have been completely pissed at the drivers around me for one reason or another and that anger has caused me to lose focus on the road, the turn I was supposed to make, the building I was looking for, or even the light at which I was supposed to stop.

When you rage out and lose focus because your mind and body are screaming that you should satisfy a need right then an there, you put your life and even those of loved ones in danger. You must stay focused on driving safely amidst others who are not, so as not to become a dangerous driver yourself.

Think of driving as an opportunity to practice transforming your self-talk while on the road. For example, “Oh God, I can’t belive this #%*& idot cut me off!” or “Why can’t everyone drive like they have some damn sense?!” becomes “Wow, I’m glad I was skilled enough to evade that potential accident!” and “Shout out to me for not losing my marbles on the road!” The positive words you use to reaffirm yourself will slice though the rage and help you continue to keep your mind where it should be – driving and arriving safely.

Photo by Brook Dianato
Photo by Brook Dianato

3 – Breathe and Recap

Learn to appreciate stop signs and red lights

While enraged it’s hard to get a grip and calm down if you don’t take a moment to breathe and de-stress. Red lights and stop signs may be the worst part of driving – espeically when you get stuck at one as the result of someone else sunday-strolling their vehicle down the highway. As HSP’s we’re highly aware that there’s even more time between us and satisfying the need we set out to quench in the first place. An easy way to be at peace with the inevitble in this case is to treat stop signs and stop lights as pauses for breath and recaps.

You’ll want to take the few seconds or even minutes to relax and brain dump all of the events between the current and the last light or sign, being thankful that you sefely completed another segment of your trip admidst the pure ridiculousness that may have happened before your pause. Pay attention to your heart rate and how frazzled your mind may be. Spend those moments in efforts to physically calm down before your journey continues.

You’ll find that you’ll be a lot more relaxed when your trip is over. This is especially great if you’re arriving to a party or outing – you don’t want to be the person who always arives angry and complaining!

I belive that with practice, we can learn to adjust to the thanksless chore that is driving around town to take care of business. Hopefully these tips and tricks will help my fellow HSP’s who need them. If this post has helped you, or you have some tips or tricks of your own that you think may help others quell their road rage, please comment below!


    • Thanks for sharing! It certainly is a thing 🙂 I experience this too. I do tend to drive much more carefully in the rain and I try not to drive at all while it’s storming. It’s always safest to pull over and give yourself a pep talk when you feel overwhelmed. I hope this article helped!

      Liked by 1 person

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