We all know that driving in a metropolitan area can be extremely stressful. It’s easy to take it personally when someone in front of us cuts us off, as if they were doing it intentionally!
Sometimes that might even be true, but for the most part, what people do in their cars has nothing to do with us; we’re all operating solo.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
During the day there can be anywhere from 500,000 to 600,000 drivers on the road across America who challenge the rest of us by using their electronic devices while driving.
Research studies have found that about 23% of drivers using mobile devices have been involved in accidents, and many of them get seriously injured. Drivers who feel stressed and get distracted become statistics on the roadways.
Normally when I’m driving I aim to stay as mindful as possible. I might have my radio on. Every now and then the phone rings, which is no problem because my phone operates hands-free. I happen to be horrible at texting, plus I’d never text while driving anyway. But we see all kinds of people on the road with varying levels of attentiveness.
You don’t have to live your life stressed out behind the wheel. Know that you can stay joyful even in the chaos of traffic. Here are some tips to help you stay in a mindful, more relaxed and peaceful state as you travel.
If you’re someone who really needs to use the phone when commuting, first make sure your phone is outfitted to work hands-free in the car. Staying hands-free is obviously safer, and depending on where you live, it might also be the law.
Make sure your phone (or any tea, coffee or water for that matter) is positioned securely. Then, if you need to make a sudden stop or sharp turn, it won’t fly under the seat (or spill liquid on you or the upholstery!).
Drive with a sense of purpose. Purposeful driving is being mindful not only of your own attitude about being on the road, it also means holding the intention to drive safely and stay aware of events around you.
You can even start out by declaring an intention such as, “I intend to drive to my destination as safely and mindfully as possible in order to arrive on time and fully present.” Setting this intention keeps you in a balanced state of mind.
In Through the Nose…
Try actively engaging in a breathing process while attaching your seat belt. As you buckle up, take three to five long, slow, deep breaths and continue consciously breathing as you adjust your posture and make sure the belt is comfortable.
Conscious breathing brings mindfulness not only to the act of driving your car, but it sets the tone to keep you more relaxed as you begin your journey. Another benefit of deep breathing is that it helps your body release serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that facilitates a relaxed body-mind state.
Of course, make sure you look behind you and both ways before you back up and take off down the road. Stay tuned for Part II for more happy traveling tips next week!
Want to learn more about staying blissful even when you’re feeling stressed? Click HERE to receive my free bliss tips today.
Wishing you much health and wellness!
Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.
Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous
The Wellness Architect