Meditative Breathing In Traffic
As you know, the Agate Pass Bridge will be closing for repairs from February 9th through 28th, with a significant effect on traffic. But let’s face it: traffic is always backed up somewhere, and often times you’re in it. And it’s not only being in street traffic that causes stress, it’s also the ‘traffic’ that takes place in the email in-box, or more likely the multitude of random and attention-grabbing thoughts that course through our minds throughout the day.
The better we are at ‘traffic management ’ the less stress our bodies and minds have to endure; freeing-up energy for Health and Happiness.
Mediative Breathing is very useful when you need to be calm and alert to your surroundings. It’s the kind of breathing used by martial artists and athletes in stressful situations.
So here’s how we approach life on the road when we leave BIOM. Try it, you’ll be surprised how much your mileage will improve.
How To Smile In Traffic
— When you first get into your car, after starting the engine and letting it warm up for a minute or two, before turning on the radio, bring your awareness to your Center Point ... that place an inch or two below your navel. Keep your attention there for a few slow, deep breaths. By the time your car is ready to go, you will be too. Just a little calmer than usual.
— As you’re cruising down the road, it’s always good to listen for the quiet voice in your head, repeating over and over again ... defensive driving, defensive driving. It you don’t hear that voice, trying turn down the volume on the radio ; )
— When you eventually get to that long red light, or the backup by the bridge, or whichever of life’s many ‘backups’ you find yourself in ... that’s the time to get meditative.
Step 1: Keep your eyes open and let your eyes relax, like when you’re looking at a candle flame.
Step 2: Become aware of your breath: letting it become slower, longer and deeper.
Step 3: If traffic is completely stopped: keep taking ... long ... slow ... deep breaths ... but now start to count them. See how many you can count before you start to get fidgety. When that happens ... start from one again. Enjoy this little game to see how many long ... slow ... deep breaths you can take before you have to start over again.
Step 4: At some point, traffic will be moving again, and you’ll feel even calmer than when you first got into the car.
And that’s how to use Meditative Breathing in traffic.