Most of us become angry about something another driver does; but a growing number of people take it to the extreme, give in to their emotions and deliberately show their anger with dangerous and potentially deadly behaviors.
Meditation can help, in several ways. First, meditation increases awareness. Very often, we drive distracted. The act of driving has become so habitual, so automatic, that we don’t pay much attention. It is estimated that 23% of all accidents happen within one mile of home; 29% occur within 2-5 miles of home; and 17% within 6-10 miles of home.
These are the roads we drive the most. We know these roads like the back of our hand, and the act of driving them has been relegated to the subconscious. Add to that the fact that we are preoccupied, probably in a hurry, maybe even talking on the cell phone... And, there are more and more drivers every day.
Congested traffic doesn’t always put us on the alert, like it should - often we are lulled into a rhythm of the cars ahead of us, and when something unexpected happens, we are caught unprepared.
So the awareness taught by meditation is essential for safety. You will become more aware of your surroundings, more attuned to the intuition that sometimes warns you of danger - and you will be present and alert, rather than focusing on thoughts of yesterday or tomorrow.
The second benefit of meditation is self-control. You can choose whether to allow a situation to automatically send you into a rage, or whether to observe the situation and choose a different response - such as indifference, mild amusement, compassion, etc.
Meditation helps you become more aware of your own inner world of thoughts and feelings. Through this self-awareness, you come to see that other people have stresses of their own and most people truly don’t mean to behave badly on the road, they just don’t have the self-control and maybe they are just this side of a breakdown from all their stress.
At least, that is one perspective you can adopt. The point of meditation is to take you within yourself, to your own core, and also to attain unity with the intelligent consciousness of the universe. In this state, if you judge others, you automatically judge yourself, so it’s ultimately better to abstain from judgment and instead radiate peace, love, compassion and understanding.
Learning to sit and focus on one thing also develops incredible self-control. First, you learn to control your body by overcoming the urge to fidget, get up, change position and so on. Then, as you become aware of your thoughts and emotions, you develop mastery by letting the thoughts travel on their way.
Eventually you learn to deliberately choose the thoughts and emotions you want (this takes practice and dedication, but you may see positive results as quickly as 4-8 weeks). And finally, you learn to stop all thoughts entirely as you meditate and enjoy a blissful, peaceful stillness.
Meditation is also a very powerful de-stressor.
Deep relaxation positively affects your body, your mind and your overall emotional outlook on life. You can use the deep meditative breathing (while maintaining focus on the road!!) to calm yourself in any traffic situation.
Meditation helps you spread peace on the road, instead of contributing to the world’s rage.