The Daily Grind: A Rhizomatic Approach to Narratives of Managing Commuter Stress during Traffic Congestion in Metro Manila

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Robust literature on commuter stress has shown the multiple impact of daily commuting in people's lives. Framed within a rhizomatic approach to narratives, we analyzed stories of 11 working and 9 student Filipino commuters by looking at the ways they act on or reconstruct themselves to manage stress. In urban Metro Manila, our findings showed three narrative “stress entryways”: getting caught by the wave, seating privileges, and stuck in transit. Theoretical and practical implications of findings on commuter well-being (e.g., keeping emotions in, releasing tensions), technologies of the “fit” commuter, and enriching conversations in traffic psychology and urban living are discussed.