Don’t let traffic jam you up!
Tips for dealing with commute stress
Driving in heavy traffic can be stressful, but with a few tricks you can reduce the negative impacts on your health.
Adjust your attitude
Forget trying to "win" in traffic, which at best only gains you seconds while increasing your stress. We can't control the traffic, but we can control how we react to it and how we choose to use our commute time.
'Make time good'
Instead of trying to "make good time" in a situation where you can't, try to "make time good." Use driving as a break or oasis from obligations. Enjoy a podcast, audiobook or some stand-up comedy. Learn a language.
Take deep, deliberate breaths and imagine tension leaving your body as you exhale.
Stretch or self-massage your neck, shoulders, temples or back at stoplights or your destination. Or try a powered massage mat..
Make a mental list of things that you're grateful for.
Try classical music or other slow, soothing, meditative tunes. Or sing along to whatever music helps you to feel good.
Try aromatherapy in the car. One relaxing scent is lavender.
Pause to avoid road rage
If you feel you’ve been wronged by another driver, count to ten or make a funny noise. Engaging only heightens stress.
Repeat a word that represents the way you would like to feel, such as “calm,” "relaxed" or “peaceful.”
Multitasking (shaving, makeup, etc.) increases both stress and accident risk.
Don't drive alone
If possible, use transit or carpool so that you can read or chat.