Keep Your Cool Behind the Wheel

We’ve all been there. You’re running late for that early morning meeting and traffic is moving at a snail’s pace. According to, it’s important to keep your cool. Becoming upset or aggravated while driving could be a bigger problem than you think. Studies have shown that being gripped with negative emotions while driving can be more distracting than using a cell phone. Following are some tips to help you keep calm.

Take a deep breath.

It may sound simple, but WebMD says that deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. Breathing exercises can help relieve various symptoms of stress and reduce overall tension. Next time you’re stuck at a stand-still, take a couple of deep breaths. You may be surprised at how much it helps.

Listen to your favorite jam.

Turn up the volume on your favorite song. According to the Mayo Clinic, listening to music is a good stress reliever. Music can reduce muscle tension and decrease stress hormone levels­—both good reasons to tune in to a great song and and tune out the distractions.

Listen to a story.

Huffington Post suggests that listening to an audiobook can help you stay calm by shifting your attention away from a given stressor, like being stuck in traffic. Janis Frawley-Holler, author of the article 7 Ways to Stay Relaxed Behind the Wheel, even suggests that listening to a story may be as soothing to adults as a bedtime story is to a child.

Take a break.

When all else fails, take a break. recommends pulling over if you find yourself becoming too aggravated with the traffic. Taking a break for a short walk to stretch your legs or just to sit and close your eyes can help you calm down until you’re ready to face the road again.


Traffic jams and careless drivers can test anyone’s patience, but keeping your cool can help keep you safe. We’d like to know how you cope with stress on the road. Which strategy works best for you?

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  1. 1
    Rick Wheeler

    You have a wonderful organization and I have certainly benefited from it in the first year. I must say, however, that I need to be better connected with you to make sure that we are totally together. Richard W. Wheeler 99 Sudbury Road, Concord, MA

  2. 2
    Michele Bard-Cook

    I always listen to 103.9 F.M. a Gospel Station no matter where I am going or what kind of day I am having. Nothing is more soothing than listening to God’s voices while having a stressful moment.

    • 3
      June Lewis

      I agree whole-heartedly. Nothing is more soothing than being ministered to through music. You can get such peace through the analog of words and the melody of a God given song which may put you in the very presence of angelic praise! Amen.

  3. 6
    Pedro Gonzalez Jr

    What boggles my mind is that these speed demons on the road think that by somehow getting around me is going to put them out in front of the world. What they fail to realize is that there is another million drivers in front of me. Its best to just take a deep breath, change the radio to a good station and get to where you’re going safe and sound.

  4. 8

    My new car has XM Radio [free trial period]…never thought I would pay for radio service, but the variety of channels is awesome! When I am stressed behind the wheel, I just put on relaxing music, and it does the trick.

  5. 11
    George E

    When I’m in the truck, I just roll the windows down and find something mellow on SiriusXM.

    On the bike? Traffic bugs me much more, because I can’t “split thru it” in Texas like I could in California*. The fear of getting hit from behind is much greater. So I tend to choose routes that aren’t backed up, or find an exit and take surface streets.

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