Three Tips for Commuting Calmly

Posted by Amina AlTai on


If you live in a city like New York, where you commute daily with 4.3 million fellow passengers, your stress-management game better be on-point.  Getting jostled, stepped on and harassed is par for the course but it doesn't have to rattle your nerves.  Here are three of my go-tos for staying absolutely blissful during your commute.  

1. Eat breakfast

The old adage is true.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and can make for a calmer commute.  Skipped meals can lead to low blood sugar or hypoglycemia which can result in feeling lightheaded, sweating, fatigue, shakiness and more.  Having low blood sugar and coupling it with dehydration (which many of us experience first thing in the morning) can lead to symptoms that look and like anxiety.  So make sure you start your day with a protein-packed breakfast!  See my favorite quick breakfasts here

2. Try some breathing exercises or a guided meditation

Nothing is more anxiety-inducing than being pressed up against dozens of fellow commuters.  Manage your unease with a quick breathing exercise or even a walking mediation.  Gabby Bernstein's walking meditation is one of my favorites or try Dr. Weil's 4-7-8 breathing technique to reset.  

3. Use music

Music alters mood in a big way and can transport you from a frantic subway car to your happy place in a euphonious couple of seconds.  Make a commuting playlist with a few sad songs.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Sad music can actually positively impact your mood according to a recent study out of Japan.   “If we suffer from unpleasant emotion evoked through daily life, sad music might be helpful to alleviate negative emotion,” the scientists said.  Music can also have a calming effect as certain songs have the ability to distract us from our current anxiety and actually decrease our levels of stress hormones.  So don't forget those earbuds.  

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