Nothing tests your patience more than a good old fashioned traffic jam. Although getting angry, yelling and honking may make you feel better temporarily, they do nothing to help your situation. Instead of getting bent out of shape, try the following to stay sane until the road clears.
- Tell yourself that this will all end. Last we checked, there has never been a traffic jam that hasn’t ended at some point. Yes, your car may be staying in place for up to an hour or more, but in the scheme of life it’s not that much time. Telling yourself that this will go on forever will only stress you out more.
- Put on your favorite music. Have a certain song or artist that always puts you in a good mood or relaxes you? Sitting in traffic is a time where this may come in handy. Turn it on, turn it up and sing along – chances are, it will make you feel better!
- Use relaxation techniques. Breathing and meditating can help slow your heartbeat down and make you feel more calm and at ease. Try taking deep breaths, or even shutting your eyes for a few seconds (not too long, in case things get moving again!) to relieve some anxiety.
- Call your friends. Using a handheld device in the car is illegal in Illinois, but if you have Bluetooth or other hands-free calling, call up your best friend or your mom. Not only will it occupy your time while stuck in traffic, but it will also take your mind off of the fact that you are stuck in traffic. Plus, you can catch up with a loved one!
- Read. Get out a book, magazine or newspaper to read to divert your attention from the traffic situation.
Keep in mind that whether you’re meditating, on the phone or reading, you should still be alert to your surroundings. This increases safety for everyone, and will help you get moving right away once traffic starts to clear!
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