Wellness Challenge: Zen Driving


When I think back to any unhappiness I’ve had at jobs in the past, my commute always comes to mind. Though it was my time to catch up on Howard Stern, driving—scratch that, sitting in traffic, thank you LA!—to start and end my days…sucked. Dealing with rude drivers, the frustration of stop and go, and locked in a car just wasn’t my favorite. (Is it anyone’s?) It’s one of the things I definitely don’t miss about working across town.

But, since I do have to deal with LA roads on the reg, no matter what my job is, and I know so many people commute every day, I think changing driving habits is a really smart idea. Smart for you and plus, less road rage is a lot safer for all!

Challenge: Put some zen in your driving routine

I first heard about this idea while reading Zen Habits (a life-changing book in general), and it was one of those extremely obvious, logical tips that I had simply never thought of. The author called it ‘zen driving’ I believe, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: Being more chill about driving and in a better head space.

Letting others go ahead of you (even when it’s totally your turn), giving yourself 10 extra minutes so you’re not rushed, taking a new route, loading up with a delicious cup of coffee first, listing what you’re grateful for, learning a new language, downloading music or podcasts that make you happy (I did love me some Stern time), etc. It is precious alone time, after all.

Driving is a daily part of life for most of us, so why not make it more pleasant? It can even be a time for meditating, eyes open of course! If you’re particularly stressed, do a breathing exercise and count your breaths as you drive. It helps with traffic, I promise.

Here’s to happier roads!

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9 comments

  1. I love this idea. Driving brings out the absolute worst in me and I hate everybody and wonder how people can be so stupid (see the worst), but… I also find yelling at everyone and saying exactly what I think at the exact moment I think it really cathartic. If tried riding to work with other people and not being able to yell or honk leaves me an angry mess when I arrive. So in a way this is my zen driving, best to get the rage out before product meetings. The best part though, I only live 2 miles from work and it’s still a struggle but I love LA!

  2. This is a wonderful approach to driving! I usually try to incorporate as many of these as possible, but I really like the idea of listing what I’m grateful for while on the road. Thanks for the advice!

  3. I think giving yourself extra time is the key. If we all did this we would not be in such a rush. There would probably be fewer accidents and a lot less stress on the road. Aweseome post Geri! Driving in LA reminded me of driving on US1 in Miami it will take you at least 20 mins to get a mile and a half up the street. City problems.

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