Stuck in morning traffic jam? 5 ways to stay 'cool'

(Ahmad Ardity)

Ever enjoyed traffic jams? Responses should normally trigger a resounding “No!”

Truth is, the majority dislike them. They delay us on our way to work, meetings, school, events.

So instead of fretting over them, remain calm – traffic jams can last for more than an hour, and sitting there thinking you’ll waste your entire day will only stress you out even more.

As there are loads of people who face traffic jams on a daily basis, Emirates 24|7 spoke to five residents to get some ideas on how to pass the time, which you may find useful too.

Listen to an audio book

Reading an actual book during a traffic jam is out of the question so this is where listening to your book comes in handy, while you’re watching the road.

“Would you believe in my four years here I’ve learnt two languages already using the audio CDs?” said Richard S, teacher.

He added: “It reduces my frustration because I travel a lot and spend so much time stuck in traffic, and I can’t change that, so I keep several of them in my car, that’s way more interesting than staring at other cars, being annoyed and bored."

Get involved with the local radio station We hear all sorts of conversations on the radio.

They cover topics that draw thousands of listeners and responses. Surely you have a burning question to ask?

People like Zahra AA, a Dubai banker, usually do. “I just call them up, the one with the talk shows, and I join them in the debate, no matter what the topic,” she quipped.

She added that it’s also a good platform for others to voice their irritations.

“It’s very healing, you don’t argue, it’s just a healthy debate, and for me I think it’s a great stress reliever too, just make sure you keep your car windows closed!”

Sing... really loudly

We’ve all sung a tune or two in the shower, in front of the mirror, and in the car.

But singing loudly can actually help to reduce stress and slow down the heart rate as you control your breathing. HR Manager, Heliena JH, does it on a daily basis.

She said: “I imagine I’m this great singer and the rest of the cars around me is my audience! And I can really belt out a tune, for real.”

Heliena is also thinking of taking it up a notch and investing in an in-car karaoke system.

“I’m not into technology which is bad, I know, in this day and age! But I just heard about it and I’m getting one in my car soon, get some 80s tracks and maybe one day you’ll see me from my car to the big stage!”

Catch up on phone calls

This applies for all those who can’t bear to be away from their smartphones.

And what a better place than a path of slow moving traffic to catchup with your colleagues and loved ones?

“I catch up on many phone calls that I’ve missed, some even the night before,” said Nawal A.

The entrepreneur said because of her busy schedule, she tends to miss a lot of calls.

So she uses this time wisely, catching up with work and family related calls, especially when the cars are at a standstill.

“I’m very active in general so being stuck in traffic drives me crazy, so I prefer keeping myself busy!”

Hands-free is a must, of course.

Take a deep breath

Sometimes singing really loudly, chatting to your radio station, organizing your car and listening to an audio book, just isn’t up your alley, you could give relaxation techniques a go.

Meditating and breathing doesn’t necessarily mean lying down or sleeping. It involves a mentally active process and that in turn leaves you with a calm and focused body, mind and spirit.

Local homemaker, Mona Q, practices this regularly.

“I do some abdominal breathing for around 20 minutes every day, breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body and it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.”


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