4 Effective Methods to Reduce Commuting Stress

Have you ever arrived at work feeling anxious and stressed before you have even had chance to open your email inbox? Then you may be suffering from commuter stress.

The University of California at Irvine conducted a study regarding the impact of commuter stress on employee health which can have extremely negative effects. Their findings showed that it can have a direct physical effect on the body such as releasing stress hormones which can in turn increase blood pressure in the long-term.

While there is no remedy to stressful commuting, there are lots of methods to increase your energy and mitigate the effects of stress, here’s how:

1. Prepare for the morning: One way to reduce the stress of road rage and commuter angst is to prepare everything you will need the night before. Decide what you will wear, any documents you need to bring, and even your lunch or breakfast can be prepared in advance which will avoid the morning rush. With all elements prepared the night before, you will spend less time running around in the morning and in turn you can leave with enough time to beat rush hour. If that means being able to get a seat on the metro or tube, or less congestion on the road, either way this will be a much more pleasant start to your day.

2. If possible, change your working hours: Why join rush hour and the 9-5 workers when you could switch to a 10-6 shift or an 8-4 schedule? Ask your company about their working policy; see if there are other shifts that would be a better fit for your daily routine outside of work. This will allow you to spend less time travelling and more time doing productive activities!

3. Listen to something: Instead of getting stressed out over how busy it is, make the most of this time as much as your can. Even by listening to the radio or your favourite music can take your mind off the long commute. Take a book to read on the train, or if you drive, consider purchasing e-books that can be read aloud to you. You can dedicate your commuting time to learning a new language or other learn aloud courses, this way you won’t get stressed over your time being wasted.

4. If you drive, try carpooling: While it may seem like extra trouble to synchronise your arrival and departure with your colleagues, but it is definitely worth it if you live in the same area as a coworker. Studies have found that sharing a lift can lower the stress of commuting significantly. This will mean that some days you don’t have to worry about driving, you will save on fuel, and it is also a bonus for the environment, less congestion consequently means less noise and air pollution.