10 Ways To Reduce Commuting Stress

Do you​ get out of​ your car with a​ queasy stomach,​ a​ headache and your blood pressure registering through the​ roof? if​ you​ do,​ that energy vulture called stress may have sent your pulse skyrocketing. in​ a​ study conducted at​ the​ University of​ California at​ Irvine,​ researchers found that the​ stress of​ commuting takes a​ major toll on​ health. According to​ the​ study,​ it​ has direct physiological effects of​ raising blood pressure and releasing stress hormones into the​ body. Not only that,​ long commutes (more than 18 miles one way) may also increase the​ likelihood of​ having a​ heart attack due to​ exposure to​ high levels of​ air pollutants,​ which appears to​ be a​ risk factor for heart disease.

Although there is​ no antidote to​ stressful commuting,​ there are lots of​ ways to​ shoo off the​ energy vulture. Here's how to​ thrive while you​ drive.

1. Prepare in​ advance

One of​ the​ best ways to​ lessen the​ strain of​ road rage is​ to​ prepare everything the​ night before. Clothes,​ documents,​ attache cases,​ and even packed lunches should be set the​ day before to​ avoid the​ morning rush. With everything champing at​ the​ bit,​ you'd save plenty of​ time to​ do your morning routines,​ devour a​ good breakfast and enjoy special moments with the​ family. Best of​ all,​ you​ can dash out the​ highway free of​ traffic congestion.

2. Sleep well and wake up early

A good night's sleep rejuvenates the​ body. Make it​ a​ habit to​ have enough sleep and to​ rise early. if​ you​ are already stressed out the​ day before,​ an​ incomplete repose takes over cumulative stress effects into your life at​ work and at​ home. Your frustration levels at​ work eventually rises,​ your brainpower falters,​ and your mood at​ home sours. you​ have no energy left for enjoying life.

3. Juggle your work hours

Why pack the​ freeways with all the​ other "9-to-5"ers when you​ can try a​ ten-to-six or​ an​ eight-to-four shift? Depending on​ your company's work policy,​ try to​ check out other shifts that fit your lifestyle. Choose one that would help you​ get rid of​ energy-depleting stress and allow you​ to​ lighten your highway woes.

4. Share your ride

It may be a​ hassle to​ coordinate your arrival and departure with another person or​ two,​ but carpooling is​ worth it. Studies show that ridesharing lowers commuter stress significantly. With carpooling,​ there is​ less air and noise pollution,​ less traffic congestion,​ and you​ can relax more while someone else does the​ driving.

5. "Cocoon" in​ your car

Instead of​ getting worked up when traffic is​ at​ a​ standstill,​ utilize your time wisely. Listen to​ the​ radio or​ pop in​ some music tapes to​ take your mind off the​ stop-and-go driving and traffic tie-ups. if​ you​ like to​ read but just can't have time to​ flip pages of​ a​ book,​ check out books on​ cassette. Many libraries have full-length books on​ tape as​ well as​ abridged versions. you​ can even learn a​ new language or​ do some car exercises like shoulder rolls,​ neck extensions and tummy tucks to​ help you​ stay awake and relax.

6. Pillow your back and squirm

When you're standing,​ the​ lumbar area of​ your spine (the lower portion) normally curves inward,​ toward your abdomen. However,​ when you're sitting,​ it​ tends to​ slump outward squeezing your spinal disks and putting stress on​ them. According to​ back expert Malcolm Pope,​ Ph.D.,​director of​ the​ Iowa Spine Research Center at​ the​ University of​ Iowa,​ it​ helps to​ support your back by tucking a​ rolled towel or​ a​ pillow in​ that lumbar section. in​ cases of​ longer drives,​ since sitting in​ one position for longer than 15 minutes gradually stiffens you​ even with a​ back pillow,​ make necessary adjustments for a​ comfy ride. For instance,​ you​ can try putting most of​ your weight on​ one buttock and then the​ other. Then,​ shift the​ position of​ your seat or​ your buttocks slightly. you​ may even try sliding down in​ your seat and sit up again for fun.

7. Work out after work

Since the​ evening rush is​ worse than the​ morning rush because of​ the​ compounded fatigue from the​ workday,​ it​ is​ best to​ wait out the​ traffic. Work out at​ a​ gym near your office or​ take meditation classes to​ relieve your stress. if​ you​ plan to​ go to​ dinner,​ see a​ movie or​ go shopping,​ try to​ do these things near work,​ delaying your departure enough to​ miss the​ maddening rush.

8. Give yourself a​ break

It may be a​ good idea to​ give yourself some day off from work. Many companies today offer compressed working hours or​ longer working days to​ give way to​ work-free days for you​ to​ unwind.

9. Move your office

If your job is​ a​ long drive ahead everyday,​ inquire at​ work if​ the​ company would allow you​ to​ work at​ home some days of​ the​ week or​ if​ you​ can work near your place. an​ alternative work schedule would make you​ feel less tense and in​ control thereby reducing stress.

10. Occasionaly change your routine

An occasional change of​ commuting habits may be advisable too. Try walking or​ bicycling sometimes for a​ change. There's nothing like a​ good walk to​ ease tension especially when it​ means you​ don't have to​ get in​ your car and fight rush hour traffic.

By lessening the​ stress of​ getting to​ work,​ you​ are conserving enormous amounts of​ energy that may be lost over stressful commuting. it​ doesn't only leave you​ a​ lot more energy to​ do your job and become more productive but it​ also makes you​ feel good and gives you​ a​ good reason to​ always start your day right.

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