Sunday, October 1, 2023

Do you suffer from traffic jams on the road? Be careful, they can have a real impact on your mental health

You have probably already been in long and endless queues on the road, the famous traffic jams. If they are annoying to live with right now, be careful, they could have a real impact on our mental health!

Traffic jams affect mental health, causing stress, anxiety and depression. The person’s environment plays an important role: if the reasons for stress are already present (concerns about health, work or relationships, for example), the impact of repeated traffic jams on mental health will be more significant. “Right now it’s hell, there are horns everywhere, noise…“testifies a taxi driver from Brussels.

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“Feelings of impotence”

But other drivers also experience traffic jams. “It’s clear that at some point it hits the system and people lose their temper.“says one user. Manifestations of aggression are becoming more and more frequent.”Insults, honking, people getting out of their cars.“observes a lady.

In fact, when we get stuck in traffic jams, we experience several feelings, described by psychologist Jean Van Hemelrijck. “A feeling of helplessness, first, then an explosion of anger, of rage. We must not forget that there are people who argue while driving and that they can come to blows. The problem is not the traffic jam itself, but the environment. If we have a difficult life around us, at that moment all the discouragement we have inside comes out.“.

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So what should you do if anger gets the better of you? “Anger is a gesture of discontent, you have to let it out. Not by hitting someone, obviously, but expressing anger, getting it out, is very good for mental health.“.

According to the Vias Institute, in Brussels the motorist loses an average of 44 minutes a day, or a travel time that is 38% longer than without traffic jams. There too it is a little more every year. These lost hours can almost double during morning and afternoon rush hours (up to +85%).

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Times of National
Times of National
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