Picture the scene…you’re in your car, alone. The sun is of course shining and there’s a long stretch of road in front of you that carries on far into the distance. With no other car in sight, you’re in the driver’s seat (excuse the pun), whether that’s meandering along or with your foot firmly placed on the accelerator. It’s your choice.
Why do this exercise? Because like many car adverts you’re sold a dream, but the reality of it all is quite the opposite. Whether you’re driving through the suburbs at rush hour, fighting for a car parking space at the local supermarket or sitting queuing on the motorway, driving can be particularly stressful at times.
So much so, past surveys have concluded that London cab drivers have the most stressful of jobs in the entire country! But let’s just put that into perspective for a second – you’re telling us that taxi drivers are more stressed than a senior corporative executive, teacher, banker or any of the 999 emergency services?
Then again, according to research there’s probably one set of drivers who can relate to this. Who are they? Well, according to a survey by Autoglass 4 out of 10 mothers think that the school run is enough to make even the most patient of people lose their cool, with over half claiming it’s their most stressful time of day.
The morning commute is undoubtedly a busy and stressful period for all and now, as children are back at school and the weather changes, the roads are getting increasingly busier. Why, because 1 in 5 mums whose children usually walk to school prefer to take them by car when the weather takes a turn for the worse – a somewhat dramatic increase in the number of vehicles on the road before 9am.
Worryingly these high stress levels can not only increase your heart rate, typically making it soar by 50% which in turn increases aggression and rash decision making, but the results showed 69% of mums admitting to regularly breaking speed limits with 1 in 3 forgetting to even ensure the kids seat belts were fastened. So before you become one of these dramatic statistics, why not read our following top 5 tips to help alleviate the stress of the morning commute.
OUR TOP 5 TIPS FOR KEEPING STRESS LEVELS DOWN ON THE DAIY COMMUTE
Undoubtedly, leaving earlier is going to help but as we all know it’s not as easy as that. So here are a few handy tips to take into consideration:
- Eat your Weetabix in the morning – staying alert will help to exercise your brain meaning rather than making rash quick decisions, you’re spotting and responding to potential hazards in advance.
- Avoid traffic jams – as we all know there are a number of traffic hotspots in and around cities and towns. Avoid them like the plague and find an alternative route that stays clear of traffic. Despite this possibly taking just as long as queuing in the traffic, your stress levels will not be heightened. Read our blog on the most congested roads in Britain.
- Listen to something more in tune with you – according to medical research, by matching the beats per minute to that of your heart rate (60bpm) you’re at the optimum beat to help you relax.
- Take a deep breath – there’s a reason why people advise this for stressful situations. By taking short breaths, you’re reducing the flow of oxygen to the brain, amplifying feelings of panic and stress.
- Be polite & courteous – by exercising etiquette with other drivers you’ll be more confident in the decisions you make whilst out on the road.
Do you find the morning commute particularly stressful? Why not try out top tips and let us know how you get on below.