Is Tampa Bay traffic stressing you out? Here's a tip to calm your nerves

Breathe in, breathe out; De-stress behind wheel
Posted at 4:09 AM, Mar 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-13 07:48:13-04

Spring Breakers are back. Snowbirds are nested here. And spring training is in full swing. Tampa Bay is the place to be -- unless you're stuck in traffic.

And this time of year? WE'RE ALL STUCK IN TRAFFIC.

I live in downtown St. Pete; I work in Tampa. Long story short: I swear the Howard Frankland Bridge is possessed by the devil.

Stress accumulated while driving can beat you up pretty good. The anguish starts in the shoulders, works its way down your lower back -- and then really starts to mess up your head. 

Moses Bernard, a doctor of chiropractic at the Kodawari Wellness Studio, says that, first of all, stress is normal. We all get stressed, that's a fact of life.

"Stress is a good thing,' says Bernard. "That's what kept us alive for years and years. A tiger jumps out of a tree. I'm supposed to do this [hunching his shoulders]. The problem is we get stuck there so we want to pull ourselves out of that."

Essentially, we want to focus on breathing not from our chest or up high, but lower, from our belly button area and around our sides. In other words, you want to breathe down.

"Non-stress breathing: What that looks like is expansion underneath your belly button. You should see expansion down through the sides. Even down through the seat. That automatically pulls you out of this. That lowers your stress levels. That pulls you more into a relaxed calm state."

Happy driving, everybody.