One of the worst aspects of rush hour commuting is the sense that you have a lack of personal control, according to the IBM Commuter Pain Survey:
• You don’t know what time you’ll arrive,
• You can’t do anything about the road conditions
• You don’t have support (as most of us drive alone)
“Uncertainty fires the body’s emergency stress mechanisms to burn on all cylinders, activating any number of anxiety responses, as well as cardiovascular, respiratory, hormonal and muscular reactions that can leave the commuter exhausted, agitated and ill-equipped to face a day of work,”
wrote Dr.Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D. in the Huffington Post.
Control freaked! I go through contortions – adjusting my route and my schedule – to avoid rush hour commuting but, as in most urban areas throughout the world, that’s just not always an option. S–t just happens. The lack of control can cause melt-downs. It takes awareness and practice to find a choice point and surrender, then breathe and relax into the situation. That’s where the multitude of techniques in Drivetime Yoga may help you. I know my family and friends would rather see me driving calmly rather than in an angry snit, which can also lead to road rage and long term health consequences.
One San Francisco cab driver handles it this way:
“When you’re out there every day you have to consider yourself in a stream. And there’s only so many things that you can do…driving then becomes a kind of microcosm for survival. How are you going to approach a certain situation? Negatively? Aggressively? Or are you going to try and enjoy it? Are you going to try and be in a frame of mind where what you’re seeing is unavoidable and then there is no need to worry about it? That’s what I like to do, and try to do, anyway, when I’m driving.”*
* from Zen Driving, K.T. Berger
What do you do to manage freeway frustration?