Traffic stress busters — 5 productive things to do while you are stuck in traffic

No one is a stranger to traffic in India — every city and town faces it to certain degrees. People who have to face heavy traffic on their daily commute are understandably stressed. However, since there is no immediate solution to these traffic woes, the next best thing is to learn ways to handle the resulting stress. Letting this daily stress get to you will cause the body to think that you’re always in danger.

The time spent commuting need not be a waste — even if you are the one driving, there are several things you can to to put that time to use. If you’re like me, than you do NOT want to listen to the radio. I cannot stand the nonsense that radio jockeys spout in the name of entertainment. And I certainly don’t want to hear the same song over and over again.

Smart ways suggested by Counselling Psychologists to fight stress when you’re stuck in traffic:

  1. Listen to the news. Mornings are usually rushed and the obvious casualty is the newspaper. Nowadays, there are podcasts and audio bulletins that you can subscribe to and listen to the news. Stay informed, even on the go! If you are a news junkie, this activity will keep you happily engaged while you navigate traffic snarls every day. Instead of wasting this time seething with fury, you can utilize it and get smarter.
  2. Connect with friends and family. Remember that friend or that distant cousin you have been meaning to call all this while? When you are stuck in standing traffic, making a quick call to catch up with her is a good idea. Not only will you feel good because you’re reconnecting with an old friend or a loved one, but you will also be able to take your mind off the traffic. Of course, Make sure you have a hands-free device so that you can focus on driving.
  3. Plan your day. You can use the time spent on your daily commute by mentally planning how your day will go. Productivity levels will rise if you are able to mentally move yourself from the “just woke up” phase to the “I am ready to go” phase. You will not waste time in the office easing yourself into the “mood” to work. Also, if you have already prioritised your tasks, you will find your day go by more smoothly and you will be able to handle interruptions better.
  4. Listen to music. Yes, listening to music IS productive. That’s because research shows that music can enhance the activity of your brain, causing it to function optimally. So, create your playlist and revel in the soothing sounds of your favourite music.
  5. Respond to e-mails. If you’re not the one driving and you have a reliable Internet connection, you can use the time in traffic by sorting through your e-mails and responding to the required ones. By the time you reach office, you are done with the mail and you can straightaway begin the important tasks of the day.

There’s almost always a solution to the problems and challenges that we face in life. Stress is just not worth it. Good stress management techniques help us maintain our sanity and our health.

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