The Pressures of Being On the Road by Coach Carolyn, Carolyn O’Byrne
Many professional drivers may not know how to handle the unique pressures of being out on the road day after day. It’s a demanding job – I know that personally because my husband is an over-the-road driver and we’ve been associated with the trucking industry since 1999.
Being a driver has unique challenges: difficulty in eating healthy and getting enough exercise, separation, relationship issues, job stress, anger management.
What’s A Life Coach?
A life coach is just what it sounds like: a coach that supports you in reaching your life goals in areas like health and nutrition, finances, relationships, and simply being the person you want to be. Similar to the way a sports coach trains athletes, helps them overcome obstacles and leads them to play their best in the big game, I want to help truck drivers and their families achieve their personal goals and live life to the fullest.
The Mind-Body Connection & A Tale Of Two Drivers
I believe that there is an important connection between your mind and body that you need to understand in order to live life to your greatest potential. Constantly having negative thoughts in your mind will eventually lead to negative things happening in your body.
For example, let’s say there are two drivers who both face a “brake check” on the same road at the same time. Both have the same job. Both have families waiting at home. Both are tired. Both are hungry.
Driver 1 In Fight Or Flight
Driver 1 gets angry and stays angry, using profanity and banging his hands on the wheel. His body is tense and his anger is damaging his body, although he may not realize it. He is in what’s called the “fight or flight” state, which is meant for survival in an emergency, such as running from a lion.
All his body’s systems are put into survival mode, so 100 percent of his energy goes to the negative situation instead of fighting his heartburn issue or possibly a more serious disease. By getting angry over the situation, he puts his body in that state by the way he perceives the situation even though it is not a real emergency. Staying in this state for a prolonged period could lead to serious health issues, such as hardening of the arteries or a lowered immune system.
Because Driver 1 is in this negative state, he might stop for some “comfort food”. But these foods are full of additives that are addictive and not good for him, like sugar and MSG. They make him feel good for the moment but terrible later because there’s no real nutrition. Most of this kind of food is altered and the body does not recognize synthetic (or man-made) food.
Sooner or later health issues arise, such as a lower resistance to sickness. His negativity spills over into his health, his work and his relationships. It’s a vicious cycle, but it can be reversed!
Easy-Going Driver 2
Remember Driver 2? Well, his body is not in a state of fight or flight like Driver 1. He is calm and feeling good, which means his mind is clear and his body is capable of doing its best. This driver is going to be much more healthy and ready to enjoy life to the fullest.
The Solution: Drive Your Mind
So, what can you do if you’re like Driver 1?
Put on the brakes. You have to recognize the negative way you are feeling and handling anger and put it to a stop.
Do a U-turn in your mind. Here are some different tools to use. Try to determine what triggers your negativity and what keeps it going:
Try visualizing a stressful scenario before it happens. Pick a situation that usually pulls your strings and think about something you can do to keep yourself from ever getting into that state.
Focus on something happy, your favorite memories or a winning point in your life instead of what you see as negative.
Ask yourself, “Is this really an emergency?” Consider other reasons or motives behind the situation that is causing you to become angry.
Finally, remember that all you can control is how you react and not what someone else does. These are only a few of the many ways you can learn to turn your mind around if you feel yourself heading into negative thoughts.
My goal is to help drivers and the people in their lives with emotional and physical issues they may be facing. I address all of these issues in my book, “Gut Instinct.” To find more helpful information on how to improve “you,” check out www.LifeCoachService.net.
Blessings on your journey to health.
Carolyn O’Byrne, CHT