It is hard to control what happens on your way to work. You could leave home very early to get to work and still deal with the stress that traffic brings you. It is important to develop calming strategies during your commute to avoid getting to work feeling like a battle every day.
What are the Mental Health Risks of a Long Commute?
The U.S. Census Bureau says that 150 million people go to work by car whereas 7.6 million commutes by public transportation. No matter what, commuting to work brings about a lot of stress. This can be outside stress like traffic, noise, the behaviors of other drivers, and any obstacles like traffic delays. You could be dealing with a traffic jam from a car accident or the road closing off, causing you to pick a different route. This can cause you to miss work or be late picking up your kids. This causes our stress hormones to trigger symptoms like a racing heart, sweating, anxiety, and irritability. Mood changes can happen where your brain responds more towards the negative over time.
Long-term effects can include anxiety and the depression of dreading traveling to work. This can negatively impact your sleep and lack the enjoyment of being with your loved ones after coming home.
How Do You Let Go of Negative Feelings?
Being angry and frustrated is not going to make the commute any easier or shorter. Try to have some positive thoughts wired to your brain to make this commute more friendly to yourself. It is best to just clear your mind and use this time to sit in heavy traffic to just relax. Tell yourself that you will eventually get to your destination and that you did everything you could to get there.
How Can You Practice Gratitude During Your Commute?
Instead of being so angry during this commute, remember why it is you are commuting in the first place. Remember that this job will help you pay for rent as well as your children. That your work efforts are bringing food to the table and giving you the opportunities to earn vacation time with your family. Call one of your loved ones on the phone to help make the commute more enjoyable and talk about things you did not have the time to talk about. Making your commute a positive one will help with your stress.
At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms. Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.