Friday, April 1, 2016

If You Can’t Alter Traffic, Alter Your Mood

Traffic in the Philippines (or even in other parts of the world) is not getting any better. Dr.Powell suggests some ways to avoid or handle traffic stress: 

  • Before you set out, listen to radio traffic reports to find out if and where traffic is tied up (or download Waze app on your phone).
  • Take less heavily travelled routes.
  • Leave 10 to 15 minutes earlier, to allow for unexpected delays.
  • Look at a map and plan alternate routes should you encounter unexpected slow-downs along the way.
  • If, despite such avoidance and you end up in traffic anyway, don’t let stress get the best of you.
Some hints:
  • Loosen your grip on the steering wheel.
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • Don’t dwell on negative factors over which you have no control, like rude drivers or the odds of arriving late.
  • Listen to a radio talk show or news station.
  • Play some pleasant, relaxing music, narrated books, or self-improvement courses. (Learn French on your way to work, for example.)
  • Keep a notebook and pencil or a recorder handy to make notes for planning your day, make shopping lists, and so forth.
  • Not only do these strategies help you make good use of otherwise wasted time, you might actually enjoy the drive!

Used with permission from A Year of Health Hints by Don R Powell, PHD and the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, copyright 2010.