For most people, including me, driving is mostly an auto-pilot activity. I’ll listen to music or have a conversation with someone In The Car. [No comments here about using phones in cars.] Most of the time I’m alone in the car. [No comments here about saving the environment.]
And therein lies the problem. When I’m alone and/or performing an auto-pilot activity, the racing thoughts are incredibly bad. Even with the radio on in the car with music I like. The thoughts range from snippets of Multiple songs to lists of things to do (even if those are written down); from ideas for projects at work (which I can’t remember to get on paper) to the pesky and potentially dangerous suicidal thoughts that come every day.
When occupied at work with lots of interesting and complicated things to do, racing thoughts are barely there (or just quieter). Driving to and from work is nearly unbearable with these thoughts racing, racing, racing through my mind, none stopping long enough to make it a full thought that I could decide to act upon. It’s more than mental torture; it affects my physical reaction – anxiety, itching to get out of my skin, wanting/needing to scream and jump out of the car. Not helpful.
There’s not much to do. I’ll try cranking up the music or an audio book, something to occupy my mind so the racing thoughts recess into the background. As long as I keep my eyes on the road and react appropriately.