We live in the mountains, and mountains are famous for curvy roads. One of the facts of life is that you can’t maintain a constant speed on roads that randomly curve this way and that. Another fact of life is that, on such roads, some people are comfortable going faster than others.
Which leads me to one of my pet peeves - tailgaters. We have all seen them, following too closely behind us because they either want to go faster than we are or don’t have a clue how to drive safely.
Here, then, is a recipe for stress: one driver (in this case, me) plus one curvy mountain road, plus one rude tailgater who wants to go faster than I am. Got the picture? There’s just nothing quite like driving along, looking in the rear-view mirror, and seeing a car that is so close that you can barely see its headlights.
I could feel my body tightening from the stress of the situation so I pulled over and let him zoom by me at the first opportunity. Stress: gone.
That was easy! Some people get mad and think, “I’ll show this guy… he can’t force me to go faster!” and they actually slow down! What do you think happens to the stress level? Is it worth it? I think not.
It occurred to me that there are lots of stressful life situations that you can handle by simply removing yourself from the equation. There should be no pride involved here; you are just doing what you have to do to protect yourself.
What situations are causing you stress that you could resolve by simply removing yourself? I can think of a few; being around people who are fighting, being in a very loud raucous bar or restaurant, roadwork on your way home, suspenseful TV shows… all you have to do is change your circumstance and your stress will go down. If people are fighting, avoid them. If you are in a bar or restaurant that is too noisy and you find yourself over stimulated, leave! Take an alternate route home to avoid the roadwork. If your TV show is getting too suspenseful and it is bothering you, CHANGE THE CHANNEL.
A lot of stressful situations are out of our control, but we should exercise our control over those situations that we can.