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How to stay calm during the 'Seattle Squeeze'

Try these techniques when you sit in traffic longer than you're used to during the closure of State Route 99 in Seattle.

When traffic turns into a nightmare tempers flair and driver frustration turn into road rage. 

Though it's the job of Washington state troopers to police the highways, it's up to drivers to also police themselves. 

That could be especially important at times when traffic caused by the closure of State Route 99 through Seattle worsens during morning and afternoon commutes. Though the first day without the highway went smoothly, officials warned that wasn't likely to be the case throughout the three-week closure. 

RELATED: How to survive the viaduct closure

Planning helps avoid road-related frustrations. But if you find yourself stuck in traffic, there are a few simple calming techniques you can use. 

Dr. Astrid Pujari suggests a change in perspective can help. For example, instead of telling yourself you're late to something, tell yourself how much you enjoy being able to sit and listen to music or a podcast. 

She also says breathing techniques can help while you drive. The 4-7-8 technique is a common method: breathe for four seconds, hold it for seven seconds, and breathe out for eight seconds. 

Another way to relax is by momentarily tensing, and then relaxing. 

Just a few techniques for the road as we all deal with the "Seattle Squeeze."

Join KING 5's Seattle Tunnel Traffic Facebook group to stay up-to-date on the latest Seattle tunnel and viaduct news and get tips to battle traffic during the three-week viaduct closure in January.  

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