Learn a new way to breathe.
One of the fastest ways to relieve stress is to learn how to breathe for relaxation. Whether stopped at a red light or stuck in traffic, breathe in and out slowly and deeply. This lets your body know it’s okay to relax. These exercises have even been shown to help lower blood pressure and slow down an increased heart rate.
Rethink your perspective.
Before you get in the car, think about something positive – like the fact that driving to work means you have both a job and a car! (Especially when your car is a luxurious, inviting ride like the 2016 Buick Envision, with its focus on comfort and convenience.) And even when you’re stuck in traffic, that means more time to listen to some songs you love, a radio show that entertains you, or an engaging audiobook or podcast. Sometimes you just have to look at things a little differently to find the positives.
Pause once you arrive at your destination.
If your commute was particularly brutal, this step is even more important, since chances are you’re feeling rushed and stressed and just want to sprint to your desk and tackle your to-do list. Before you do though, switch gears into a more relaxed, focused, and in-control mindset. Spend a minute or two in the parking lot to regroup and relax by listening to a favorite song or meditating for a moment. If the parking lot is crowded and you have a bit of a hike to even make it into the office door, no problem – that counts as even more “me time” (and some built in activity, too)!
Being aware, present, and connected to yourself and the space you occupy makes it easier to let go of negative thoughts and anxiety makes it easier to let go of negative thoughts and anxiety. This means taking the time to think about what you are feeling and experiencing at a given moment to better process your emotions. While you’re headed to work, remember to acknowledge that you are only in control of so much – and embrace it!
Appreciate beauty along the way.
When we make the same trip so often, things can start to feel repetitive. Each day, aim to notice at least a handful of new, lovely details during your drive. Connecting your commute to a heightened awareness of the beauty in your surroundings can make the whole trip feel more pleasant.