Are drivers getting crazier out there or am I just getting old? On two separate occasions this week, I got passed on a single lane road with a double yellow line. And both times it was a frantic woman driving a mini-van. One of the women got right on my tail and then put the pedal to the medal, crossing the double yellow line, and passed me in the oncoming lane while going up a hill. Thank God there wasn’t a car coming up the other side of the hill or else it would have been disastrous. Then, this morning on my way to my office someone darted out of a side street and squeezed right between my car and the car in front of me as we were traveling at around 45 miles per hour. I was forced to hit my breaks pretty hard.
So what is going on? Where is everyone in such a hurry to get? My theory is that people like the women who passed me, and the guy who cut me off are caught up, like many people these days, in this fast-paced world we’ve created. It seems like everyone is tense, on edge and in a hurry. Well, it kind of makes sense if you think about it considering that everything is about speed these days? Think about it. Your computer has to be lightening fast at all times? We must be able to connect with others instantly through text messaging. We can push a button and get a movie on our television without having to run to Blockbuster. We can hit the drive- though at Starbucks and have our iced latte lickity split. Yes, we are all in hurry and what you might not know is that it is bad for your health because the tension puts constant stress on the body.
If you are always racing against the clock, here’s what I want you to consider:
- Drive slowly on purpose: Leave extra time to get to your location and drive slowly. At first you will actually feel stressed doing this because you’re not used to it; your brain is telling you to go, go, go. In time, you’ll enjoy the calm and relaxing drive and you’ll learn to connect with yourself.
- Walk leisurely: Whether you walk in a big city or walk a lot in your office, don’t speed walk, just walk leisurely. This keeps you “present” or should I say grounded. You’ll be surprised because when you intentionally take your time the things that you need to get done get done more efficiently.
- Take 2-minute timeouts: You should force yourself to take several time-outs a day. Football teams and basketball teams do, why can’t you. If you’re running around at work like a chicken with your head cut off, that’s a sign that you need to take a quick timeout and regroup.
- Eat your lunch slowly: How often do you zoom through your lunch or eat at your desk? You know this is unhealthy so make the commitment to actually use your entire lunch break. If you are done eating and have extra time, go find a bench or something and chill-out for a little while.
The main issue here is that we need to work on being present, being in “the now”. The fast-paced, technology driven world we’ve become accustomed to is molding us into these speed machines. We are not robots, we are humans and as humans we need to be aware of our presence, which is the only way to be in control of oneself.