Commuting can be stressful. Let's face it, travel in general is stressful, even when you're going on vacation! Getting there may be half the battle, but there are ways to do it without giving into your darker impulses!

Here are the Top Ten ways to de-str

1. Breathe!

Breathe!

Remember when mom would tell us to count to ten? It gives us a chance to just breathe. Long, slow, deep breaths immediately release tension. It's yoga really, but don't let that scare you off. The techniques to control breathing are easy. Check them out here: http://bit.ly/1SN3LBt

2. Music Soothes The Savage Beast

Music Soothes The Savage Beast

A 2011 study shows that the type of music we listen to effects our mood and can raise or lower stress. Classical music is best for reducing stress, but not all classical music. Rachmaninoff, Prelude in C Sharp Minor is actually a top five stress inducing song. Adele songs will make us sad, but will also relieve tension. More of the songs that reduce/raise stress here: http://bit.ly/1KzX9nZ

3. Put Down That Phone!

Put Down That Phone!

Cellphones are a great invention, but now we are always reachable. And that brings with it a pressure to always be in touch. According to statistics, even people talking hands free have a reaction time equal to that of a blood alcohol level at the legal limit of 0.08 percent. So, while it helps to pass the time during long commutes, maybe leave the cellphone alone...http://bit.ly/1KzX9nZ

4. Tell A Tall Tale

Tell A Tall Tale

Most people are not horrible people. They're not bad drivers all the time. We all have our moments when we get distracted and do something that can be misinterpreted by a driver in another car. So, the next time someone cuts us off or makes a rude gesture, make up a funny story about them (keep it positive!). Be creative! Maybe there's a woman in the back seat who's water just broke... The entire exercise is to elicit empathy for someone you can't see. http://bit.ly/1OOVTPs

5. The Nose Knows

The Nose Knows

The smell of lavender produces slight calming & soothing sensations when inhaled. We know bad smells have an immediate impact with attached physical reaction. It only makes sense (no pun intended) that good smells can have a positive effect. So, next time, maybe pick up a lavender scented car freshener from the car wash! You can learn more about how lavender reacts with the body here: http://bit.ly/1D9riuK

6. Calm Is Your Friend

Calm Is Your Friend

If someone is being aggressive towards you as you drive, don't engage them. That's how things escalate! Chances are the other driver isn't really angry at you, but angry about other things in their life. Resist the temptation to give as you get. bit.ly/1SNbcIQ

7. Carpooling

Carpooling

This isn't for everyone. For introverts, carpooling will add stress, not decrease it. However, for someone who likes to talk, having a passenger to talk to helps. It also helps with the pocketbook when sharing the expense of commuting! Learn how to get started carpooling here: http://edmu.in/1Mu37Jx

8. Stretching

Stretching

Especially for long commutes, sitting in a car leads to all sorts of back & neck pain. Nothing puts a person on edge more than a dull, throbbing pain. But there are ways to combat this! Do minor exercises to stretch the neck muscles between red light stops. At a red light, tilt your right ear down toward your right shoulder to stretch the left side of your neck, breathe, and hold for ten seconds. At the next light, repeat on the other side. For more simple exercises to do in the car, go here: http://bit.ly/1fI8lUY

9. Leave Early

Leave Early

Some people can't be late. So, when obstacles appear in their drive, tension mounts. Plan ahead. Leave a little bit earlier than you normally would. It's better to be there early and have to figure out how to kill time than it is to be stressed the entire drive because of fear of being late!

10. Get A Good Night's Sleep

Get A Good Night's Sleep

An average person needs 7 1/2 hours of sleep nightly to be healthy. When we don't get that rest (and there's a lot of reasons we don't), we become agitated the next day. That agitation is carried around with us as we drive to work. And that's when minor incidences get blown up into rage inducing slights. Get your prescribed amount of sleep and if you need some help, come to us for an all-natural, non-narcotic sleep aid: http://napz.com.

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