3 Things to Get You Through the Madness of Rush Hour

by JG White

No one likes to be stuck in traffic, but many of us are forced to face nightmarish daily commutes just the same. For those in cities with notoriously bad rush hours, the frustration and stress can become unbearable.

According to this infographic by CJ Pony Parts, an individual will spend 600 hours per year in a car. That’s five years, or 7 percent of the average lifespan.

If you have to spend an average of 38 hours a year stuck in traffic, it’s best to come up with a plan to enjoy or at least de-stress your commute a little. If you don’t know where to begin, try one of these time-tested strategies.

De-stress With A Little Yoga

It’s no wonder that large cities are known for road rage. High traffic cities like Detroit, Dallas and New York City have earned the dubious honor of holding the top three spots in CNBC’s list of the top 10 US cities with the worst road rage.

When gridlocked traffic or other drivers have your stress level skyrocketing, the key is to combat that stress as quickly as possible. Letting your own rage or stress go unchecked will only promote or escalate dangerous driving practices.

Rather than clench the wheel, hit the horn or offer up a little creative sign language, try a few yoga tricks instead.

That’s right; you can practice yoga in your car -- not all yoga moves require your limbs to be tied up in knots! Deep breathing exercises are a good way to calm down and relax. Once you’ve calmed down, try going through a few simple yoga movements to remove tension from your neck, shoulders or back.

Rock the Radio

If you know you have to endure morning and evening rush hour, sample available radio stations until you find one that can keep you entertained throughout the torturous commute.

There are stations that cater to those who prefer a bit of banter and great talk segments, stations that provide mostly news and reports and stations that recognize those listeners who just want to enjoy uninterrupted tunes.

You’ll know you’ve found the right station when you’re actually disappointed if your commute isn’t long enough to get you to your favorite segment.

If you just need to rock out to a few belt-worthy tunes, try creating a Spotify playlist of your favorite sing-it-with-gusto songs. Need inspiration? Try one of these awesome Spotify playlists by Elite Daily's favorite food lovers, Immaculate Infatuation.

Enjoy a Little Audio Drama

Long drives are the perfect time to catch up on podcasts or to make a dent in your reading list. With both podcasts and audio books available for download, it’s never been easier to make use of that time spent in traffic jams.

Audio books are a great way to get around to those books you’ve been meaning to read or to enjoy new works by your favorite writers.

Although great source material is nothing to sneeze at, even the best book can be a bore with the wrong narrator.

While there are plenty of great narrators in the field, writers who can provide excellent performances of their own work take the cake. A fantastic and engrossing example is the multi-talented, Neil Gaiman.

Gaiman provides pitch-perfect narration for several of his own books, including "The Graveyard Book," "Stardust" and "Neverwhere." "Neverwhere" is also available as a radio drama with an all-star cast, including Christopher Lee, James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Audio books not your cup of tea? Well, there’s guaranteed to be a podcast out there just for you. Take your pick of subject matters and tones that range from comedic to informative -- or comedically informative, in the case of NPR’s "Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me."

Whether it’s distraction, education or pure stress management, there are a plethora of alternatives to road rage during your morning commute. It doesn’t matter what tactic you choose, so long as you stay entertained and stay safe.

Photo Courtesy: Imgur