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Keeping traffic stress under control

No one likes sitting in traffic.  Not only can it make you late – but it can also affect your health.

"It is very stressful - you have little control over it,” said Dr. David Frid of the Cleveland Clinic. “And it is something, like most stressful situations, (that) can have an impact on your heart. It can increase your heart rate and increase your blood pressure, both which are very bad for your system in the short term as well as the long term."

A recent study linked long commutes to belly fat and a lack of exercise – which can lead to heart problems.  And a report from Denmark found traffic noise can boost your risk of a heart attack, too.

Researchers said honking and beeping sends your stress levels soaring – but there are things you can do to avoid these problems.

"Leaving with enough time that if a traffic jam occurs … you're not going to be bothered by it” Frid said. “If you get caught in a traffic jam, it is what it is. Don't get upset about it. Listen to your (audio) book, listen to the radio."

You can also try deep breathing exercises and call your destination to announce you may be late. This can also help to alleviate stress.