Stay calm and drive.
We all know on some level that what we listen to in our cars affects our mood. You don’t have to read the research to know that calming music is going to put most people in a better mood than listening to news or talk radio. Yet, many people make it a habit to listen to upsetting things when they drive and then they wonder why they start their day at work in a bad mood.
I have never really been interested in listening to the news or talk radio in my car but now I don’t have a choice; I can’t. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, it’s important that I arrive at my office in a good mood and ready to listen and be available for my clients. Traffic can affect my mood (obviously) but my goal is to arrive at the office in a better mood than when I leave home. (And the same goes for when I leave the office.) For that reason, I usually listen to music or nothing at all.
Have you thought about how your audio choices affect your mood when you drive? How does that drive affect your work day at the office? How do your audio choices affect your return commute and the time you spend after work?
Driving can be stressful as is, so why do we listen to upsetting things and make our moods even worse? Here’s an idea: next time you get in the car, try listening to something calming and see if you get to your destination in a better mood.
Here are some things to try instead of news or talk radio:
Music (I would select classical, but only you know what’s calming for you.)
Books on tape (True Crime is probably not a good idea.)
Podcasts (True Crime probably not a good idea here either.)
Calming sounds (like the ocean or a stream, or birds).