All too often I listen to people talk about and complain about driving and traffic in general. For crying out loud- just observe, take a look at the people driving around you- to your left and to your right( because you don’t want to look behind you and well,, you cannot get a great look at the person in front of you). What do you see? OMG!I point it out to my sons all the time- “Look at this one. She is so close to the steering wheel that it might swallow her.” “Look at this guy. He has the ” double vise grip” on the top of the wheel, how can the wheel breathe, I mean move?.” Look over here at this lady, she has the “double vice grip” and the “hunchback syndrome”, this is just not good.” “Wait, lastly we have the guy so close to the wheel it practically touches his stomach, his hands are tightly situated at 9 and 3, his head is leaning forward and he is squinting? What is he looking for? A squirrel to run over, an accident or an ant?” Folks, driving does NOT have to be a stressful experience, some of us choose to make it that way. Regardless of traffic situations, you still control your thoughts, you perception of it, how you behave( respond to it) and ultimately how you control the whole situation , the stress.
Driving is a means of transportation, it gets us to where we want, or need to physically go- work, supermarket, bank, hair salon, sporting events, restaurants… the shore. Even if you take a train into the city for work, you still have to get to the train station, unless you are fortunate enough to be within walking distance.You get my point- driving is here to stay until we can teleport, or be like the Jetsons ( which isn’t very safe in my mind). So…let’s take a take a different approach here.
Let’s go with A– alter our perception of it. Driving can be viewed as a “little trip” or a “big trip” and either way. You are in control of it all, yes you are, plain and simple I believe one of the reasons that I enjoy driving is because…I AM IN CONTROL( for the most part). I cannot control the reactions others, yet I can be a defensive driver and be prepared and ready to respond quickly and efficiently. I enjoy driving because I view it as “ME TIME”, it is me handling a vehicle, me having peace and quiet, or good conversation with family, me listening to MY music, my playlist, me singing if I want to and me being able to think without interruption( depending who is in the car). I am okay with traffic, I will get to where I need to be on time, or not.
Let’s go to B– As a result of my altered perception ( which has been for a good 10 years now) I behave accordingly. I think, I sing, I eat a snack, I drink coffee or water. I like to have Trader Joe’s mints (stimulates thinking and concentration, trigeminal nerve) on hand and a Tootsie Pop too(it lasts longer and tastes good). I like to pass people when the opportunity arises because I like to accelerate. I smile at people, I wave sometimes, I get out and clear my windshield wipers during snowstorms and sing to others. I open my sunroof whenever I want if a great song to me is on and I want to share. I allow to “file in” when merging is involved and I am also assertive when people try to “bully their” way in and cut 10 cars off just to get “ahead” in heavy, slow, moving traffic. No need to get nasty, just smile and casually take you place in line; We are in this ” heavy traffic together”. If I get in a “real jam”, I make a phone call to my destination and allow them to know of my situation that is “out of my control” and they are usually quite understanding and appreciative of the call. Real simple folks- communication is key here when meetings and agendas are involved. All the more reason to allot appropriate “time tables” to your day and it is something I continually work on and have improved upon over the years. 🙂
Let’s go to C– Control you stressor and the stress it can potentially place upon your body and mind. Go back to the first paragraph here and visualize those drivers. Think of the muscle tension they are placing on their neck, their shoulders, their back, their jaw, their eyes, their temple,their brain!! OUCH!!! No wonder they dislike driving , look at the physical stress they are placing on their bodies. It does NOT need to be that way, does it???
Think about it, Relax. Enjoy the drive, allow the wheel to breath, allow the wheel to move freely and smoothly with each turn and change of lanes, sing a song, play the drums on your steering wheel. You are in control, have fun driving folks!
It’s all good , if YOU make it good.