Wimps are the winners on the freeway, says psychiatrist Martin Brenner. They are more relaxed, happier, likely to live longer, and, when they get to their destinations, they can use all the energy they saved on the road to be assertive where it is more appropriate.
It only takes about 10 minutes to learn to be a freeway wimp, says Brenner, who officially calls his technique the Stress Care Driving Program. The trick, he says, is to practice it every time you get in the car.
Here is the condensed version:
'See your car as a refuge, a place to get away from the pressures and demands of life.
"Allow extra time whenever possible. But if you're late, you're late. People will understand.
"When you drive, don't do anything but drive. Listen to quiet music. Don't change the station every time a song comes on that you don't like, or a commercial. Don't use the car to think about work, problems, etc. Don't talk on the phone. Just drive. If you feel bored, that's OK, because boredom is often what you need to feel if you're truly relaxing. Don't look at your commute as wasted time.
"Avoid tailgating, changing lanes, going through yellow lights, speeding, jack-rabbit starts and stops, flashing your lights, honking your horn, cursing and giving other drivers dirty looks.