Please Don't Do This If You're Stuck In Traffic

Focusing on anything beyond the traffic you’re currently in can be a bad idea. But, I really don't have to tell you that.

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Image: Kirby Lee (AP)

We drive a lot here in Southern California. On average, we spend 119 hours a year just sitting in our cars trying to get where we need to go. It can be stressful at times. Trust me. And there should be ways of dealing with or just handling that stress. That kind of traffic has been known to inducing road rage, which can lead to some unfortunate incidents, like flipping someone off or getting shot.

But one psychologist/yoga teacher (which are probably two of the most LA professions ever) who spoke with the LA Times, says you should focus on your senses to stay calm in traffic — suggesting these steps to keep yourself at peace and not give in to road rage:

  • Find an anchor: Put your focus on an object outside of the vehicle.
  • Stop And Breathe: Ok. Really doesn’t need to be explained.
  • Notice your senses: A countdown that focuses on each of your senses. Whatever.
  • Don’t get lost in anger: Be aware of your anger, but don’t let it take over.
  • Try a meditation app…

I can’t even with this. These are all terrible things to do while sitting in traffic. For one, you should be focusing on your driving, and your surroundings, especially in traffic. Focusing on breathing techniques, mindfulness, or whatever you want to call it can take your attention off the road. Granted, it’s been a stressful two years and we’re probably all a bit on edge, but center yourself before you get into your vehicle. Or if you feel like you’re about to explode in traffic, maybe you shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car. Take public transit if you can. Carpool even.


You wanna stay calm in traffic? Listen to music or an audiobook. Snack on something. Or find alternate routes to avoid taking the highly congested freeway. Don’t engage in this yoga studio stuff. Especially don’t go opening up a meditation app — because if you end up rear-ending someone while you’re “centering” yourself, you’re going to need much more than breathing exercises to clean that up.