Enchanted Key #10-Meditation helps with road rage and the aggressive driving associated with it. With the increased construction everywhere, traffic congestion has become more and more of a problem. That means that road rage has become more and more of an issue.
REASONS PEOPLE EXPERIENCE ROAD RAGE
I’ve been involved in a few court cases in which mandated clients were sent to me to learn techniques for non-aggression on the road. I find that it’s individualized, because what upsets one person may not upset another. Some may feel a sense of entitlement, that everyone should get out of their way. Others become incensed by feeling invisible when drivers cut in front of them. And there are those who feel aggression toward drivers who appear entitled or Narcissistic. Drivers can become engaged in a competitive power struggle with another driver. There are various other reasons that transform normally wonderful, sane, and responsible people into fire-breathing Dragons when they get behind the wheel of a car.
LOCKED IN AN AGGRESSIVE RESPONSE
What they all seem to have in common, is that they fall under the spell of their Dragons and get locked in a chokehold. Breath is most often the way out. I find that guided meditations that focus on a calm response, including deep breaths, release of muscle tension, and positive self-talk are useful.
THE FOUR AGREEMENTS
Helpful, too, is the simplicity of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, by Don Miguel Ruiz, in holding an intention.
The four agreements are:
1. “Be impeccable with your word.”
2. “Don’t take anything personally.”
3. “Don’t make assumptions.”
4. “Always do your best.”
BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
One client has given his word to himself, to me, his family, and his probation officer, that he’ll hold himself to the highest standard of responsible behavior. He has a photograph of his family on his dashboard now. He uses the relaxation techniques and meditations that I’ve developed for him to keep his word.
DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
This can be tough. For many drivers, it does feel personal when others crowd them out, turn in front of them, or keep them from getting into another lane. Rarely is it ever about them. Most often it’s about the other driver who, for whatever reason, isn’t being cautious or courteous.
DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
Piggybacking on the feelings that it’s personal, drivers can assume that the other person is out to get them. But maybe that other driver is ill and trying to get home. Perhaps they’ve just received a call that their child has been injured. It can be something as ridiculous as a bee in their car that scares and distracts them. The point is, that we have no idea what’s going on in other people’s lives, heads, or cars. It’s best to just steer clear.
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
Using the tools of meditation, breath work, self-awareness in acknowledging and validating thoughts and feelings, combined with the strength and determination to stay focused and calm, becomes the definition of doing your best.
The repetition of a relaxed response to a stressor gives the body, mind, and spirit plenty of rehearsal. On or off the road, see if a little meditation doesn’t go a long way toward keeping you calm, healthy and safe.