Commuting to work is never the most delightful of journeys, especially when you know what is waiting for you at the end of your ride. But there are a few things you can do to make it that bit smoother.
I have always mentioned that really most things come down to your attitude and intention. If you find something challenging change your attitude about it and intend for it to be better – sounds too easy but seriously a little bit of mind training and a week later you are multiple times better for it!
But because I know so many find it hard to switch their frame of mind here are handy tips to get it started:-
1: People watch: On your commute instead of burying your head in a free Metro paper or on your smart phone, take the time to look around. Check out the other people you are travelling with. If commuting by public transport then you have a host of scenes to keep you occupied. Observe others without judging, just look on to them with compassion. Smile if you catch someone’s eye. You may be the first person to smile at them today, Uplift their commute too.
If you are driving alone, then when stuck in traffic acknowledge the people in cars around you. By simply connecting to others you are uplifting your system, a smile sends thousands of happy endorphins racing around your body, instant pick-me-up. Hey, you may even stick up a conversation with a randomer, I have often done this, generally with a granny (once I was told the life story of a stripping granny, so fascinating), and this can be the most interesting conversation you will have all week.
2: Soak up the Scenery: If you drive or get a chance to sit by a window on public transport, then again lift up your head and look out. Note the weather – we Irish are great for taking all things weather… pick out the pretty things, notice the colours and season. This outside scenery can become mundane if done every day, but if you seek out things to appreciate your senses will pick up on different views, you are already looking for something pleasing so your perspective has been changed. The point of this is to uplift your current outlook on life in general. The more you train your eyes to see the good the more good you see.
3: Gratitude Practice: This is one of my favourites! My Morning Ritual! I find that when you are feeling down and not wanting to do anything a little bit of gratitude goes a long way. Start by listing 3 people you are thankful to have in your life. List all their great qualities (leave out the bad) and genuinely appreciate your luck at having them in your life now. Then list 3 opportunities you are thrilled to have had in your life. They may have changed your life for the better, or what was a negative experience made you grow in a better direction to where you are now. Think about the detail of the experience and say your thank yous. Then list at least 3 material things you are so happy to have in your life now. Again thing about each one in detail, evoking the good feeling they give to you and recognise how grateful you are to have it. Practising gratification brings more of what you appreciate into the forefront of your life.
4: Meditation: As long as you are not the one driving! We all know that a commute can be a great way to catch up on calls, emails and prepare for a presentation, but every once and a while why not turn off, reflect within and recharge your batteries. Simple observation of your breath or counting the length of each breath is good, see if you can get to 10 without another thought distracting you…Challenge?!
If you are the one driving, conscious breath regulation can be beneficial, listening to your breath for even 5 minutes rather than the news bulletin. This will sooth your nervous system, and get good boost of oxygen to your heart and brain, all good things to set you up for the day ahead.
5: Affirmations: Repeating affirmations is a great thing to do when you find you have more time on your hands. Affirmations need to be repeated 500 times to start noticing a difference, so every chance you get repeat it!! My favourite affirmation: “Everything I want, is within me. Everything I seek, is within me. Everything I need, is within me.” Or check out more samples here. You can make up your own affirmation. Basically a positive version of the thing you feel most negative about. The more you resist it the deeper and bigger this issue is and the more you need to change it. For example, if you resist the words “I love myself” then you need to fix that block in your belief system. Affirmations can change what you believe in.
So all of these are positive ways of readjusting your attitude. Like I said at the beginning your attitude and intention change how you view the world and how your day is carried out. If you find commuting stressful then try at least one of these to see if it makes if any better. Make your journey more fun and enjoyable, it is up to you!
And the best bit – theses work as excellent calming and clearing-the-stress from the day tricks. Try to use your commute as a break from that you do at either een of your commute. Use your time wisely.