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Drive that Stress Right out of Your Commute

By Donna Kostiew

There was a time in my life when I was making a three-hour round trip commute to work, on a turnpike that, for the part I had to drive, only had exits about every 13 miles. So if there was an accident or any kind of lane closure, traffic was simply stuck and either moved slowly or didn’t move at all. On a good day though, the traffic would keep moving, but the commute was still pretty stressful. The drive was often a frenzy during both morning and evening rush hours for everyone who was behind the wheel. We all had places to be and it seemed we couldn’t get there fast enough.

If you find yourself stressed, or white-knuckling the wheel during your commute, you may want to consider some tips on how to make your drive to and from work less hectic and harried.

A Calmer Drive

In addition to reducing your stress during your commute, these tips may also put you in a better mood for work or for your family when you come home at night.

  • Keep your devices put away – For the safest commute, put your phone completely away. Save the messages, emails, and reports for the office or at home. If you must use your phone, limit it to calls only and use a hands-free headset. To reduce extra stress, use the time during your commute as a way to detox from all of your electronic devices.
  • Carpool – Carpooling with friends can be emotionally gratifying and can help make your commute more enjoyable, plus you get to take advantage of the carpool lane benefits. Spending that time with your friends can help reduce your anxiety and can also help to reduce the costs of commuting as well. Plus, it will keep the impulse to pull out your phone under control because, more likely than not, conversations will already be free-flowing.
  • Stick to a station – Constantly changing the radio station in search of a better song is just another way to add small amounts of stress to your commute. So instead, choose a station and stick to it or settle on a playlist of your favorite songs before you get into your car. If music isn’t your thing, download an audiobook or a podcast of something that you have been wanting to listen to or are interested in. And if talk radio gets your blood boiling, then try to choose something else.
  • Embrace the silence – Oftentimes, a little silence is all we need to recharge our minds. Enjoy this time with yourself and be mindful of your mood. Take in the scenery, practice some deep breathing, or reflect on the things that bring joy to your life.

The only thing that needs to be accomplished during your commute is keeping safety a priority. So take the stress out of your drive and show up to your destination safe, happy, and relaxed.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Gilbert, Ariz.

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