CHOOSE learning over frustration during your morning commute

Learning is good for your health. Today’s health tip is all about choice, and mindset. You’re on your way to work. You are stuck in traffic, either on a bus, on a train, or in the car. You just want to get there. You feel yourself getting anxious. Or annoyed, frustrated, irritated – and your mind is spinning into a vortex of feeling stressed and out of control. We’ve all been there. It sucks. BUT you have a choice. How are you going to respond to the situation in front of you. Yes its hard when we can’t control the traffic (or whatever else life throws at us) but we CAN control how we respond. So, do you choose to spend your commute getting frustrated with traffic or the news? Or do you choose to take advantage of this precious time and decide to learn?

One thing that totally transformed my morning commute was using it as my time to learn. Studies have shown that when we learn something new, anything at all, we increase the health and efficiency of our brains. Neurons make connections faster, and with an increase in white matter, we are able to enhance our performance tasks across the board, not just tasks related to the new skill we are learning. But I wasn’t necessarily shooting for enhanced brain performance. Learning by listening to podcasts and audiobooks during my morning commute, started with following my curiosity. But what ended up happening was even better. I not only learned about the subject I was curious about, but I became aware of even more subjects that I wanted to learn about. It all snowballed in the form of more excitement, curiosity, passion and a real thirst for learning. This passion increased my energy, motivation and productivity. I went from bumbling along through my day to feeling a sense of purpose.

When this shift happens for us, it improves our health. How? Not only does brain health increase as described above, but the happy emotions that are elicited with learning new information help bring out body out of the stress response. Most of us are living in a state of low level chronic stress, which increases inflammation, which increases the risk of illness and disease. So ask yourself – what am I curious about? What have I always wanted to learn? Then CHOOSE to go out and do it!

CHOOSE your time wisely. Spend it enthralled with learning and let all that negative frustration of your morning commute go. Maybe, you’ll even WANT a traffic jam!