7 Ways to Cope When You Are Stuck in Traffic

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Traffic jams have become such a norm in Klang Valley, that motorists no longer bat an eyelid at traffic congestion. Anyone who’s stuck in a jam with zero chance of a detour knows the negative effects gridlock can take on your body. Not only does your mood deteriorate, but those muscles in your neck and back begin to knot up as you sit in the same position for far too long.

Driving while overly stressed is as dangerous as talking on your handphone, having the same effect by impairing your judgement and concentration. While traffic is unavoidable at times, blowing a fuse isn’t, so why don’t you take these tips to heart and see if it helps you the next time your foot is stuck on the brake.

1. Just Breathe

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Breathing is key when combating stress, so it’s important to first start with a relaxed rhythm to help calm yourself down. Take long, slow, deep breaths to immediately release tension. Breathing regularly will help soothe your brain and body to cope with the stress of traffics jams. You can use this in any tense situation, not just being stuck in a traffic jam, and you’ll feel much better!

2. Mini Stress Busters

Driving requires using both your hands and feet, so it’s important that they are not stiff and tense. While at a complete stop, clasp your hands together and rotate them by twisting in a circular motion. This helps to release tension and circulate blood flow. Squeezing a stress ball or a hand grip can help relieve some of your frustration, as well.

3. Catching Up on Phone Calls

Reconnect with family, friends, and loved ones as you wait for traffic to ease up. You can call your friends, relatives, or anyone else you want to talk to. A phone conversation might take your mind off the traffic. While it is nice to be talking to someone to keep your mind of traffic, remember to use a hands-free set or switch on the speaker, to ensure safety measures are taken while driving.


4. Sing Along to Your Favourite Hits

Belting out the words to your favourite tunes is always an instant mood lifter. It can be a playlist on your iPad or iPod, music on a CD, the radio, or anything you want to listen to, really. Listening to music Morecan help you pass the time during a traffic jam, and you can even bring out your inner rock star by head banging or shaking your shoulders to your favourite tune. However, if loud music isn’t your calling, try the soothing hues of classical music, for a relaxing ride home.

5. Conquer the Hunger Pangs

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Some research may indicate that eating while driving is more dangerous than texting while driving. However, many motorists feel that traffic jams are an ideal munch-time to satiate hunger pangs that strike while in unmoving traffic. Just be sure to keep your eyes on the road at all times!

6. Clean Out Your Car

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You shouldn’t actually throw anything out of your car, but what you can do is begin to organise the piles of garbage for a more efficient disposal while you wait for the dreaded rush hour to come to an end. Perhaps you could begin several different piles on your back seat. If you are the kind who uses the car as your home or office, then this is a good time to put everything back in its right place.

7. Find Inner Peace

Photo credit: emdot / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)


All the above suggestions focus on an activity but you can try going the other direction and indulge in a complete shutdown. Switch off the radio and your phone, take a deep breath and listen to the relative silence. Try to get into a relaxed frame of mind and turn a stressful moment into an opportunity to de-stress waiting for traffic to pick back up.

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