A recent article in Psychology Today called attention to a study done in Switzerland that psychologically analyzed the stress of commuting. The conclusion of the study was that commuting is “stress that doesn’t pay,” because we don’t connect it with a reward like other types of stress. In other words, it never feels worth the trouble, unlike the stresses of a job or a relationship.
To help you deal with this stress, we’ve compiled a few strategies to improve your commute…
Dr. Marlynn Wei suggests that you avoid paying attention to the “details” of your commute. That means beyond taking an alternative route, or doing things that can actually change the situation, don’t ruminate on “how traffic is today” or “why traffic is terrible” or other details. It doesn’t matter. Your thinking on it won’t change it.
Also, acknowledge that you are not in control. Weather, an unfortunate accident, construction—these are all things you can’t do anything about.
You can make your commute more interesting or pleasant. There are countless podcasts available online. You can inevitably find quite a few that strike your fancy. Take the time to enjoy the music you love. Use it as a time to plan your week or mentally work through a presentation at work.
The bottom line? Accept your commute for what it is and make it interesting anyway you can!
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