Keeping Stress Away When You are Driving

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It’s the morning rush hour, and your blood has reached the scorching point. You have exactly five minutes to go to work and you find out a major traffic tie-up along the freeway.

You see the orange pylons and suddenly recognize that you are stuck in a construction zone. The stress of being late for work seems overwhelming. Or, perhaps it’s 5:30 p.m. and you’re rushing to pick your four-year-old up from day care.

A car suddenly changes directions in front of you and you have to slam on the brakes. You hardly avoid an accident. Again, you are finding hard to cope with your rising stress level.

Driving is the Major Cause of the Stress

In today’s world, the major cause of stress is driving. Many of us waste countless hours stuck in traffic jams. There appear more cars on the road than ever before. Traffic problems are a major public safety issue in many American cities. And, at times, it might appear as if drivers are less courteous than they’ve ever been.

Care and maintenance of your vehicle is another source of stress. You have to be scared of paying insurance costs, inspection fees, rising gas prices, and basic maintenance bills.

The financial stress involved in keeping a car on the road can seem tremendous. Also, you might be saddled with a car that has regular breakdowns. If you feel as if your car is not protected, it can be quite a traumatic experience.

It can be quite a stressful time for parents with chauffeuring children. As you drive, you might have to referee fights between children. Or during long commutes you might have to discover innovative ways to keep children occupied.

It can also be quite stressful to keeping children well fed in the car. In desperation, you might pull into a drive-thru, where the wait seems painful. Driving stress is a fact of modern life.

There will always be potholes, discourteous drivers, and cranky passengers. You will certainly encounter traffic jams on your way to work, to the store, or to school. There will always be times when you grip the wheel, wondering whether you’ll be capable of making it.

Ways to Eradicate the Stress

While you cannot eradicate the stress of the road, there are ways to restrain it. For instance, you might consider investing in some restful CDs. On a difficult driving day classical music can be quite soothing.

Or you might like to pay attention to a CD of nature sounds as you are trying to negotiate your way through traffic. Cassette tapes are another possibility if you don’t have a CD player.

Also, if you cannot afford to purchase tapes or CDs at a record store, consider purchasing them at a yard sale or church bazaar. Even from your local library also you can even borrow tapes and CDs.

You’ll find that you’re better able to handle the stress of driving with some pleasant sounds coming out from your car stereo. Another thing you might consider is changing your route.

Are you caught Up in Traffic Jams?

If you inevitably end up in traffic jams on the freeway, think using residential streets instead. While you might find that your travel time is longer, you might also find out that your stress is minimized considerably when your route is changed.

Starting out five to ten minutes earlier than they need to is another technique that many drivers use. That way, you don’t have to operate under such a time crunch. Those five or ten minutes can make quite a difference to your daily commute.

In addition, once you arrive at school or at work, you might enjoy having those extra minutes to yourself. Driving is a necessary daily task for most of us. The trick is to make it as enjoyable as possible in order to lessen our stress levels.

Investing in a comfortable seat cushion or a relaxing backrest can do wonders for our mental state. Singing or whistling in the car can be one more effective stress-reducer. Playing games with your children—such as trying to spot out-of-state license plates—can be yet another effective stress-reducing technique.

Chances are you will not be able to reduce your stress level overnight. Many of us have become quite used to stress on the road. However, by trying to make our trips as pleasurable as possible, we can go a long way to lessening driving-induced stress.

Posted in: Stress Management

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