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Fit & Proper: Beware of 'traffic stress syndrome'

The way we respond to stress plays a major role in how it affects us. Keeping a positive spirit and indulging in positive self-talk can greatly influence the way you respond to stress

Sharanya Thyagarajan 

Sharanya Thyagarajan
Sharanya Thyagarajan, Counselling Psychologist Fortis Hospital, Bengaluru

Congested roads, the constant honking and hours of dragging on the roads, the every day traffic may just be taking away more than your time.

Most of us are aware of the constant pressure and one goes through while sitting through hours of This stress, eventually, leads to prolonged hours of irritability. It can also disrupt the level of productivity at work.

The problem has become so prevalent that some people have begun to refer to it as the “traffic syndrome”.

Trying to achieve a brings with it a lot of “stressors”. From deadlines at work to household chores and family responsibilities, there’s always one or the other crisis to deal with. Amongst all these, traffic is an added that can greatly affect your mental and well-being. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge the while regularly driving in traffic and find ways to deal with it efficiently.

Some tips to overcome traffic induced stress
  • Inhale, exhale and repeat: If you find yourself stuck in traffic, take a moment to indulge in deep and slow breathing as it helps you relax your mind as well as regularise your breathing.
  • Divert your attention: Listen to music that you enjoy or some podcasts, plan out the rest of the day. If you are using public transport, use the time to make and return calls, use this time to catch up with your friends and socialise.
  • Beat the anxious thoughts: If you worry about being late for work or a meeting, approach it with a positive attitude and focus in the moment onto what is happening around you.
  • Change the perception towards stress: The way we respond to plays a major role in how it affects us. Keeping a positive spirit and indulging in positive self talk can greatly influence the way you respond to
  • Eat healthy and don’t keep your stomach empty: Most of our frustration tends to stem from hunger, especially during the journey back home from work. Eat healthy and include one meal before leaving from work so that it does not add on to your irritation.
  • Mindful Driving: While driving in between traffic, it is important for us to be attentive and receptive to our surroundings in order to be safe. Focus on the road and be observant. If you are caught in traffic for a long duration, pull over, relax for a few minutes and start again.

First Published: Sat, October 07 2017. 21:50 IST