How's My Driving Blog
Struggling with stress behind the wheel?
Driving can be stressful at the best of times, but being a LGV driver is one of the most dangerous and stressful jobs, from long and unsociable hours, unsafe road and weather conditions, to other irresponsible drivers, not to mention transporting any hazardous cargo.
When we are stressed, hormones such as cortisol flood our system which produces the more commonly known response of “flight or fight”, inducing a quickened heart rate, heavy breathing and blood vessel constriction. This stress reaction can contribute to both mental and physical illnesses such as migraines, hypertension, depression and anxiety, asthma, insomnia and more.
Need the good news? Well you can combat these stress responses by using simple techniques both during and after driving.
It’s time to stock up on bananas
When you’re out and about on the road, it can be difficult to choose the right, healthy snacks that are going to keep your energy levels up throughout your shift. A banana contains potassium to help regulate blood pressure and the carbohydrates will keep your energy levels steady.
Disconnect from your phone
Smartphones, in particular, are linked to increased stress, so once your shift has finished by all means check on your social media, but remember to take some down time away from the screen.
Try diverting your anger
Research has shown that some types of music can divert attention from anxiety and pain. Classical music is best known to reduce the effects and feelings of stress, however, if classical music isn’t for you, try listening to an audiobook as it is said to have the same calming effects.
Get out and get exercising
I know its not what we always feel like doing after a long shift driving, but it doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, it can be as gentle as a walk around your local park. Any type of exercise will release endorphins that promote positive feelings of happiness and relaxation, allowing the memories of the stressful drive to melt away.
Practice that posture
Hunched up over the steering wheel can promote feelings frustration and anger, so while your driving, use the opportunity to improve your posture by extending your spine and lifting your neck so you are sitting in a correct and comfortable driving position.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to remove all the stress from your job, but we hope with some of these tips you will feel significantly less stressed! What tips do you have for reducing driving stress? Tweet us your ideas @Hows_MyDriving
01 September 2016