A little over a year ago, I got into a moderate car accident while driving. Honestly, I was at fault — I was driving way too fast and made a poorly calculated overtake that caused me to get badly broadsided by a hugeeeee truck. In hindsight, I was extremely lucky that my car didn’t spin and flip off the road.
Today, I barely drive over 40 km/h on average, which is about half my previous speed. It led me to thinking — is it just the accident that has me driving slower or does it also have to do with my positive emotional change inside?
Back when my life was chaotic — I was unhappy and overwhelmed. My mind was cluttered and noisy. I had very little focus with all that was going on inside. This was clearly, clearly, CLEARLY depicted in the way I drove. While my mind was scattering and busy shuffling through thoughts a mile a minute, so was my driving speed. I barely gave anyone a chance on the road and as the weight of the world grew on my shoulders, so did the weight of my foot on the gas pedal. I was a complete mess on the road, just as much as I was feeling a complete mess on the inside. Road rage – check!
I pretty much drive like a geriatric now — I cruise on my way to and from work, humbly giving way to a lot of drivers. Even though some inconsiderate drivers rarely warrant a “wtf”, I am generally a lot more peaceful and calm on the road. I learned to maintain my slow speed even when I am late, because as they say: “better late than never”, right?
Anyway, I’ve been noticing a direct correlation with the way I drive and the way I feel inside. On most days, I feel happy, peaceful, and content which causes me to be a generous and calm driver. On days where I feel a bit overwhelmed and flustered, I find myself driving a bit more aggressive and getting easily annoyed on the road. I guess it only makes sense — I mean, if you’re feeling drunk you’re going to drive drunk; perhaps the same applies for all other emotions.
Just recently, one of my fellow bloggers stated that he can sense the unhappiness in aggressive drivers. Based on my personal experience, I believe aggressive driving comes from having some sort of chaos inside, whether it stems from unhappiness or a lack of inner peace. I have grown more aware of the way I drive, and when I find myself driving aggressively, I draw my attention inward to see what I’m feeling at the time. Most times I find that I drive aggressively when something is bothering me or when I’m not emotionally balanced.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you think? Do unhappy people drive more aggressively than happy people?
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Keep Smiling — Love, Candace