Here are ways to cope with stress on the road

ANYONE who has ever experienced driving through the streets and highways of the Klang Valley has undoubtedly been caught up in traffic. Few things are more aggravating than being stuck in a jam, sometimes for hours, for reasons that can range from various issues including a road accident, construction, or a general rush-hour delay. Here are nine suggestions for dealing with excessive traffic.

Slip on comfy shoes

If you know you will be driving for a long time, a pair of comfy shoes will make your feet feel much better than they would in your typical work shoes. Furthermore, changing your shoes at the end of a work day may signal to your body that it’s time to unwind after eight gruelling hours in the office.

Remove distractions

This should go without saying, but at rush hour, it’s important to remember that you’re not the only one stuck there. No matter how slowly traffic moves, it is still moving, and maintaining the flow of traffic is something everyone needs to work together to do. Resist the impulse to check social media during a traffic stop, and instead pay attention to what’s on around you so you are ready when traffic starts moving again. You wouldn’t normally use your phone while driving (we hope!), so why would you use it in traffic? That is something you should pay attention to.

$!Driving without shoes could be distracting if you step on something. –123RF

Stay calm

A big traffic delay, whether on a little side street or a major multi-lane highway, may be stressful for a rookie driver. It might be a big effort merely to reach the road, change lanes, or leave on time. Stress can impair your judgement, responses, and general health. Examine your physical and emotional reactions to the circumstance. Take deep breaths and keep your muscles calm if you are agitated or worried. Take note of the problems around you and your reactions to them, but let those times pass as swiftly as they come, recognising the situation as a challenge.

Look for alternative routes

Think of at least one or two more methods to finish your drive. Be prepared, and have as many other routes as possible in case your favourite road becomes closed. Analyse maps, both online and off. In truth, there are several map websites or apps that provide alternate routes. Inquire with colleagues or others who drive in a similar direction. They may know of a short cut that you were unaware of. It’s also useful to know how to change routes at key times during your journey. That way, if you discover an unexpected traffic snarl ahead, you will be prepared.

$!You can avoid most congestion by planning your journey ahead. –123RF

Plan ahead

You may avoid dealing with excessive traffic entirely if you plan ahead of time. Understanding of a few elements such as climate, road work, and daily activities will greatly assist you in avoiding excessive traffic. Poor weather conditions can cause traffic delays, but knowing where there are road hazards will help you avoid them, making your trip shorter and more pleasurable. On the other hand, events such as festivities might result in higher traffic than usual.

Keep your distance from aggressive drivers

Some drivers just lack the ability to remain cool behind the wheel and choose to vent their frustrations via aggressive, risky driving. If you come across one of these stressed-out petrol freaks on the road, keep your distance and let them pass without losing your calm. The last thing you want is to get into a road rage incident with an angry motorist who doesn’t deserve your time and energy.

$!Listening to music might distract you from the varied emotions that may be coursing through your body while stuck in traffic. –123RF

Take breaks

Being stuck in traffic for lengthy periods of time is mentally and physically taxing. Take breaks if you have been sitting for too long. Taking breaks is beneficial for extending your legs, recharging your mind, and looking for different routes. Make certain that you are not getting too fatigued behind the wheel. Tired driving is another form of distracted driving, so switch drivers or pull over for a sleep if necessary.

Keep your car full of fuel

If you are stuck in traffic with the fuel warning light flashing at you from the dashboard, it will only make things more complicated, resulting in you being agitated until you can reach the petrol station. To prevent the stress of trying to find a station at the last minute, try to fill up your car if it is low on fuel. It’s also a good idea to keep your car in good condition, ensuring that all fluids are routinely topped up in order to avoid being caught off guard by a dashboard warning light.

Make your brain mindful

Mindfulness has been found in studies to lower stress and anxiety. Of course, you can’t completely relax into a state of meditation while driving, but you may still practise mindfulness. Pay attention to your surroundings and be mindful of every breath you take. When your thoughts begin to stray, bring them back to the driving. It is critical to pay attention and maintain track of these perplexing driving laws.

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