Have you ever been driving along, not a care in the world, only to be shaken rudely from your road reverie by another driver cutting you off?

Of course you have; it’s happened to me, several times.

I used to roll downn my window to shout and scream at the person — “What’s the matter with you?!”

But the yelling didn’t help. The annoyance stuck with me; I felt irritated and exhausted, and I’d start the work day in a grumpy mood.

But that was me in the past — not mindful of how much I’d let a horrible driver affect my day emotionally.

Now, after years of mindful breathing and cultivating more awareness, my reaction has changed. When someone cuts me off on the road now, I breathe. I say to myself, “He’s in a hurry; I wonder what happened?” Maybe his wife is in labor at the hospital, and he’s trying to get to her in time before the baby is delivered. Maybe he realized he left the stove on at home.

Who knows what’s going on in other people’s lives? But there’s no sense in taking it personally. The important thing to focus on is that your peace is more important than letting frustration take root — and that driving can be quite pleasant. So there you have it: Remember to breathe consciously and enjoy your ride to work.

Ditteke Ederveen-Gorman writes from Keene. She has been helping people to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into their daily lives, so that they feel happier and more peaceful. A former model and actress, she writes, teaches and speaks about mindfulness to adults and children. Visit her blog at www.dittekeyogablog.wordpress.com