I was sitting at stop lights the other day and watched a motorist next to me twice in short succession appear to be agitated by what he was observing other motorists doing. He saved the best til last. As the motorist in front was slightly slower getting going than he thought reasonable, he communicated his views by horn tooting, finger waving, and the questioning of the person’s parentage.
It was a self-reflective moment for me. With a gulp I realised how often I would comment on another driver’s skills and even their IQ when I drove a vehicle! For whatever reason I was calm and relaxed as I sat at that stoplight that day, and mindful enough to realise what this calmness was doing for me.
I thought about the interactions that ‘angry’ motorist in the other car might have once he reached his destination , compared to what mine might be like in my state of calm.
It stuck me how effective driving a car is as an effective barometer of stress. I now use it as an indicator for myself. If I am driving by myself in the car and I catch myself thinking or saying judgmental comments about another motorists driving ability, I use it as an opportunity to reflect on my stress levels at that moment in time. It’s an opportunity to pause and make a change.