how to be happier, commute to work

“Man, my commute was awesome today!” said no one ever. But there are ways to make our trips to work and back more bearable. Here’s how:

  1. Treat yo’ self:  We can all stand to be kinder to ourselves, so why not use your commute time to focus on you? Use your commute time to think of 10 positive things about yourself (and you don’t have to stop at 10!). By the time you arrive at work, you’ll be feeling confident and energized, crucial for doing  your best work.
  2. Pump it up: Put together a playlist of your favorite tunes, crank up the volume, and your own personal dance party -- in your car or in your head -- awaits. Make your playlist long enough that it takes a week to get through and you’ll never get bored. Bonus tip: play it on “random” and the anticipation of what song might be coming next will boost your mood.
  3. One word -- Podcasts: These audio vacations can entertain, educate and give you lots to discuss over the watercooler once you actually get to the office. There’s something for everyone, but some of our favorites include Serial, Planet Money and The TED Radio Hour.
  4. Be your best self: No one’s perfect, so you might as well devote some time to perfecting your craft… of being you! Pick one tiny goal and focus on it for the entire commute; when your mind starts to wander, acknowledge it and come back to your focus. It can be sitting up straighter, acknowledging strangers, taking the stairs instead of the elevator --  whatever it is, you’ll have accomplished something even before you set foot inside the office.
  5. Be a commuter-angel:  Helping others is an easy way to feel awesome. So why not make your commute better by improving someone else’s? Pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru, offer up your seat on the bus, or lend a hand to someone who needs it. There’s nothing like making someone's day before you’ve even really started yours.