It’s no secret that the leading causes of stress are invariably the very things people strive for along the way in their pursuit to happiness such as money and relationships, with consequences of unmanaged stress wreaking havoc on people’s health no matter what age they may be.
These days it seems people are also experiencing a higher amount of daily stress, more commonly known as unavoidable or uninvited stress – often times brought on in an instantaneous fashion when people are out running errands, at the office or in traffic.
Luckily, more people are becoming increasingly aware of stress triggers as well as reactors, and are continuously looking for ways to reduce them – particularly while driving. People are also becoming more aware of the emotional triggers of friends and family, hoping to become a support rather than MIA at the first sign of anything resembling stress.
What I found rather interesting were the various methods used by people throughout the day to defuse or eliminate stress, especially when on the road when they couldn’t necessarily “walk away.”
For instance, some stated that yelling or spouting profanities helped not only release their immediate frustration and anger, but also prevented them from bringing negative emotions home with them. Others felt sign language more appropriate, along with lip-syncing in silence to the imaginary yelling in their mind (at least some said they hoped it was imaginary as they couldn’t always remember) – feeling their environment rather safe with the windows up. I couldn’t help but wonder about not only road rage, or the fact that people can read lips but the fact that these days weapons are brandished like words of anger – with citizens and officers had being shot for far less reason; imagine the after math?)
Many also said they found comfort in hand gestures, from the one-finger R-rated to the more G-rated shock factor with a smile and a wave. And there were those that suffered in complete silence until safely at home – for a soak in a hot tub, a battle of humor-and-wit or in a family board game until the day’s troubles were “played” away. Some found deep breathing exercises helpful, index finger drumming or even prayer to keep the peace (with kind words for all).
But the most intriguing of all were those that opted for whistling while they drove to relieve stress. Their line of thinking being that when one whistles, much like music, the sound makes people happy – making it virtually impossible to fight the dopamine and feel frustrated, upset or show any type of emotion other than relaxed and happy. In fact, I tested this method and as often as I was cut off by another vehicle or almost side-swiped, I couldn’t find an ounce of frustration; besides, who can resist a lung workout and the opportunity to whistle to some of their favorite tunes?
So in the spirit of promoting good health and happiness for yourself and others, won’t you put your lips together and blow yourself some sweet tunes to your favorite song rather than hot air laced with unnecessary words you may later regret or carry frustration through your day?
And who knows, maybe there is something to some of those older tunes such as, “Whistle While You Work” from the Disney movie classic, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” – thinking back, it wasn’t just children who’d leave a room humming a tune – it was some of the parents that would roam around the house or yard whistling in the background, too.
As for my own stress relief, until there is an app available for iPhone and Android users that works everywhere, including in traffic, whistling (and the sound of the rain) will be my relievers of choice.
“Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it” –Lily Tomlin
Like this and other articles by P.K.? Subscribe and be notified of new posts.