You know the scene… You overslept, stubbed your toe getting out of bed, you spilled your coffee all over the place and in places you never even thought there were, and you’re sitting in a shit ton of traffic. All on the day you were supposed to be in work a half hour early.
You’re growing increasingly annoyed by the minute and would you look at that! You come up behind a school bus. But not just any school bus. A school bus who is stopping at every other intersecting street to pick up giggling elementary schoolers. I don’t know if you have ever waited for an elementary kid to get on a bus, but they don’t do it with any hustle whatsoever.
You’ve had enough and let out a giant, annoyed SIGH. Maybe a curse or two.
And from there on out, your day spirals into the pit of misery (Dilly Dilly). That Manic Monday-ish morning is now running and ruining your day.
What if I told you that the perfect place to practice all of those personal development tools you’ve learned along the way is smack dab in the middle of alllllllllll that chaos.
Laugh all you want, Karen, but it’s YOU whose peace is at stake here.
So, what exactly can you do to flip the script when all you want to do is Hulk Smash your way through the drive?
First and foremost, remember that just because you’re in a hurry, doesn’t mean everyone else is too. Yes, you may have the most important meeting of your life the second you walk into work, but the driver in front of you may be driving for the first time on their own after getting their license. So they’re taking their time because they’re just getting the hang of this whole driving thing.
Or maybe you’re the one who is driving at your own, merry pace and there is an aggressive driver behind you. They’re swerving in and out of traffic and you automatically assume this person is just an asshole. Some of you may flip them the finger, some of you may speed up to try and cut them off from cutting YOU off. But what if that driver is racing to the hospital to say goodbye to a loved one who may not be able to hold on until they get there?
What if you being stuck in that traffic, or behind that bus, or at a never ending red light is actually saving your life? Because just down the road, a horrible accident just occurred.
Yes, these are all “what if” scenarios. But seriously, WHAT IF?!
So now that I’ve (hopefully) stopped you in your tracks, what are are some things you can do when you start to feel that anger or anxiousness behind the wheel?
Tell Yourself The Rush Is Not Worth It: Maybe you ARE heading to that most important meeting of your life or maybe your loved one is the one fighting for their life. But it is not going to do anyone any good if something happens to you. If you get into an accident, you’re not getting that promotion (at least not at that meeting). If you get into an accident, your loved ones will have someone else to worry about. If your boss can’t understand traffic and would rather you risk your safety to make a meeting, do you really even want to devote your time to someone so careless? You are valuable so that means no rush is worth your life.
Put On Some Fun Music: I have been known to shamelessly rock out to the Moana soundtrack in my car at an alarmingly loud volume. Seriously, no shame. It really helps you calm the fuck down* if you have some tunes on that get you singing along and forgetting why you were even annoyed or anxious in the first place. Some days that may be Spice Girls. Other days it may be Celine Dion. Whatever floats your boat. I suggest making a playlist, though, so that when you feel yourself getting to that place of road rage, you can switch on the music at the snap of your fingers and be on your way to the road concert of your life.
* Sorry for the extreme language. I felt it necessary since we’re talking about road rage.
State Ten Things You’re Grateful For: Gratitude is so calming. It really is. Maybe you’re thankful for the car you’re driving because it gets you where you need to go in a safe and comfortable manner. Maybe you’re grateful you were able to make another cup of coffee after that epic spill earlier in the morning (Nothing beats the Epic Milk Spill of 2012… Ask me about it). Whatever it is you’re grateful for, let the peace fill you and do not work to build the anger/annoyance back up. And if you can’t keep track, use your ten fingers on the steering wheel. Tick one finger down each time you state something you’re grateful for. Ah, the simple tools we have available to us.
Talk Out Loud To Yourself or a Higher Power: Driving is the best time to talk out loud to your guides. Is there some outcome you’re hoping for? Talk to your guides about it! Maybe your prayers are answered in the form of your boss being stuck in that same exact traffic, so the meeting you think you’re missing isn’t even happening. Even just talking to yourself and giving one hell of a pep talk can do wonders for your spirit. Maybe state some affirmations out loud. The best part of today’s world is you won’t look like you’re talking to yourself because you can play it off like you’re talking on your Bluetooth. PERKS. So talk it up.
It really isn’t that difficult to turn around your thoughts and feelings when it comes to driving and road rage. You just have to be WILLING to do so. And it’s your choice. It definitely doesn’t do your blood pressure any good to fly off the handle at anything happening on the road (or really anything for that matter).
Next time you’re out on the road and feel yourself getting heated, try turning the tables on that heat! Give one, or all of these tips a try! You may not always catch yourself right away, but you’ll start to notice it gets as you continue to practice them.
Drive safe & peacefully, my friends!