I know I am not supposed to do it. But I did. I was checking emails while driving. It’s not a very smart thing to do. It is ridiculously stupid if you give it any thought. After avoiding what would have been a horrible crash due to checking emails while driving, I had an epiphany. I vowed to never use my phone while driving again. It was extremely difficult at first. I keep reaching for my phone, wanting to check it constantly. But after a while, the impulse to reach for my phone died down. Not only did driving become much more conscious and safe, but there was an amazing side benefit I had not counted on. My stress levels actually went down for a number of reasons. 1. I decided to turn off the radio as well and just be in the moment of driving. As a result, many very cool ideas came floating into my brain. Of course, I had to hold them there until I could safely make a voice note. 2. I think the brain in multi-task mode burns a lot of energy. Because I was not frantically trying to drive, text, talk, and be fully present, I was not as fatigued at the end of the day. 3. When I needed to chill out without silence, I turned on the radio to some nice music, staying away from talk radio or any stations that fuel the fear of what’s going on in the world today. As a result, stress levels were reduced.
I know we lived in this fast paced world and feel that we need to be DOING something every second of the day. But I want you to try something for one week. When you are in your car, only do the following: Be fully present and drive. The only other things you can do is listen to the silence or listen to some nice music. See how differently you feel after that week. It is not only much safer, but it will contribute to your well being. And for those of you who are worried about lost productivity due to not using your smart phone in your car, you will find that because you are less stressed and have more energy, you will actually get MORE done when you arrive at your destination. In addition, I am trying to find other times to just turn my phone off and be fully engaged in other activities such as reading, writing, or just plain thinking. It has been very beneficial.