Mental Benefits of Public Transit


Having your own car can be liberating. You get to go where you want, when you want, listen to whatever floats your boat and explore without limitation. As I’ve learned, however, when we swap our personal vehicles for public transit we can experience a whole new world of freedom.

I relied on my little blue car for a while. It served a great purpose: allowing me to teach yoga anywhere with really no limitations (except for expense and time). When it gave out on me I had two choices, to fork out the thousands of dollars it would need to fix it or to take it as a sign that I was meant to give it up. I chose the latter.

The universe gives us new opportunities and lessons to learn when we’re open to receiving them. So, I rolled with the punches and started taking public transit. The last time I relied on commuting with the masses on a regular basis was when I was in university. I knew I could do it – I just forgot how peaceful it could be.

I had to adjust my teaching schedule to fit reachable destinations and the result was more professional focus and less stress. I went from teaching in Toronto, Oakville, Vaughan and Guelph to teaching almost solely in Toronto- my current hometown. I started finding more space in my life. I begin experiencing a slowing down of time, and with it, a greater sense of inner peace and flow.

I found more time to read the books and journals I’d been putting off, due to what I’d labeled “driving exhaustion.” I started seeing an abundance of opportunities to meditate, listen to my favorite music and take those long-forgotten naps that heal the soul. But, most of all, I found connection with other people.

I made it my regular practice to smile at the bus, streetcar or subway driver every day -regardless of if I was met with a grumpy face or not. I reclaimed my powers of observation and joy, watching little kids swing from the rails and squeal over big bumps on the road.

Another gem of riding the community car is extra time. We have more time to prepare for wherever we’re going, the meeting we’re facing or the dutiful day ahead. Who doesn’t want that? Not to mention, by taking public transit you’re often saving a lot of money on gas, parking, insurance, tickets and more. Additionally, you’re cutting back on car emissions, helping our planet become a little greener one ride at a time. It’s a win-win-win!

You don’t have to trade in your trusty Toyota for a transit pass. Just remember you have options. Why not choose to ride with others from time to time? You never know where it’ll take you and how it’ll serve your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.

 

Eryl McCaffrey is a yoga teacher, writer and wellness speaker living in Toronto. She’s passionate about spreading mental health awareness and encouraging others to share their stories, by sharing her own. Eryl’s into hiking, singing and reading!

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