I recently had the worst commute of my life. It took me almost 4 hours to get home from work. I had a feeling it was going to be a rough ride. I decided to treat it like an experiment. Could I get through a difficult commute stress free?
This is what I did….
Practice gratitude: I’m thankful to have a car to be stuck in! I’m thankful to have a home to drive to. I’m thankful to have a job I love. Gratitude truly shifts your perspective.
Music: I listened to old school hip hop the entire way. Music is an instant mood changer.
Humor: I called my husband. He always makes me laugh. Humor eases tension and can make lousy situations tolerable.
Breathe: Meditation and deep breathing reduces stress. I swear this shit works! If you don’t believe me, try it! If it doesn’t work, keep trying.
Exercise: This was completed earlier in the day. Working out diminishes stress hormones and maximizes feel good hormones. Daily exercise prepares you for upcoming hassles.
Generate happy feelings: It was Friday. I just thought about my weekend. I visualized myself relaxing in the backyard with my husband and dogs. We have the ability to regulate our emotions.
Find a solution: Next time I need to travel to that area for a meeting, I will shop until the traffic settles down. The concept of focusing on the resolution not the problem, can be applied to everything we do.
I am thrilled to report my techniques worked! I arrived home chipper and wasn’t complaining. I didn’t love the experience of sitting in traffic for a ridiculous amount of time. But I was pleased with myself for not letting it ruin my day, which would impact my husbands day as well.
I wasn’t always optimistic. I tought myself to worry less, look for the positive and have faith everything happens for a reason. It’s not always easy when the situation appears negative and I’m overwhelmed. But it makes me happier to practice an optomistic belief system.
“Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.” William James