Muffle the sound at home: Consider whether freeway noise might be seeping into your house in unexpected ways. "Houses and apartments also have exhaust vents, attic vents, unsealed construction joints, electrical outlets and other openings which are 'weak links' for the transmission of noise," says David Lord, a principal at 45dB Acoustics Consulting, who works throughout the greater L.A. area. "As soon as you seal one avenue for noise transmission, the remaining openings become more obvious, so they all have to be dealt with for the best solution." (One tip: Lord recommends laminated glass as an exterior noise barrier for windows, as it can reduce noise levels by as much as 10 decibels.)
Breathe: "Abdominal breathing — breathing with the diaphragm, in the abdomen instead of breathing in the chest — signals to the brain to go into a relaxed state," says UCLA's Dr. Emeran Mayer. You can practice this kind of breathing any time you're stuck in traffic.
Distract your ears: Lord is a fan of white noise. "There's an iPhone app for $2 — and I can switch to pink noise, blue noise, or a mountain stream or rainstorm or surf ... the variations are endless," he says. Also, listen to any kind of music you love during a noisy commute. Research shows it reduces stress responses.
Live healthfully: Eating a healthful diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help lower the risk of heart problems, strokes and diabetes. Also, exercise 30 minutes a day, five times a week, for the same preventive reason.
Source: Los Angeles Magazine www.lamag.com