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 DMV.org, 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. DMV.org 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.