One of the most stressful situations we can easily find ourselves in is to get behind the wheels and drive in a traffic heavy city.
It’s hard to count how many bad drivers we meet in a heavily congested road or how many minutes or even hours we could spend stuck in the streets. Sure, we have no choice but to deal with it and the stress that may come with it, but did you know that health experts say a lot of stress induced by driving can have startling negative health effects in the long term? To make sure your heart rate and blood pressure don’t rise significantly when on the road, here are a few things you can do to be a less stressed and happier driver.
1. Start early.
Leaving late for an appointment is one of the surefire ways to get into a stressful driving situation. When you start the travel early, you know you have a lot of time to spare, which will keep you more relaxed and accommodating to any mishaps you may encounter along the way, be it heavy traffic, a road construction, or a not so smart driver.
2. Appreciate your alone time.
Take advantage of your driving time by thinking about your tasks for the day and making a plan on how you’re going to tackle each one. If you are heading home, think about your to-dos for tomorrow or stuff that you may be overlooking in the hustle and bustle of life. If you are driving with a family member or companions, take advantage of the time to bond, talk, or ask questions you’ve been meaning to ask but never got the time or opportunity.
3. Pop your favorite music.
Stock your favorites CDs in your vehicle. Connect your iPod or any other music player. The relaxing effects of music have long been proven and it will certainly lighten your driving mood if you listen to stuff that you like. You might want to skip too loud music though as this can put you in a more aggressive mood which is not a good condition to be in case a road misfortune does occur.
4. Listen to a book.
That’s right. In this day and age, you can use your ears to read a book while your eyes are focusing on something else. Audio books provide a great way to relax and minimize road stress. If you’ve always wanted to read a book but never got the time, buying the audio version of the book will let you kill two birds with one stone as you drive and “read”.
Care to share your personal road relaxation tips?
Picture of happy driver by 416style