Commutes are a great opportunity to practice Mindfulness
For those who commute to work every day, this is the perfect opportunity to train yourself to remain present in the moment.
Traffic sucks and right now there is no way around it (Tesla and Uber could hurry up and make it better). It’s plain and simple, terrible. But what if instead of continuing to have a stressful or boring commute, you could have an opportunity to train yourself to be present, and enjoy the ride without listening to music, being on Facebook, or screaming at bad drivers? Maybe your commute would stop being so terrible? Who knows!
Daily commutes are a powerful chance to practice Mindfulness outside of meditation and build better habits. This type of Mindfulness practice can boost your ability to focus, remain calm, and it gives you an opportunity to explore different emotional reactions. Not only that but by practicing Mindfulness you’ll get to your destination, whether it’s your office or home, with a stronger sense of calmness, feeling refreshed and ready for whatever it’s coming.
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So what does it mean to practice Mindfulness while commuting? Well, it means that you pay close attention to all of your moves on the road and that you bring your mind back every time you think about something else besides driving and what’s going on at that moment.
What happened the first time you drove on your own? I’m pretty sure you were extremely careful and mindful of every move-turn you made. You were paying close attention to how fast you were going, putting the blinker before turning, and making each turn carefully. I know that now most of the driving comes automatically, and you don’t have to think so hard to figure out how or where to turn, but you can still be mindful while driving.
So what about this, next time you are driving focus on these 3 things: What you see, what you hear, and what you feel. Simply note any sensation, scenery, or noise and continue to focus on the next. If you get distracted at any point, bring your mind back and continue to focus on those three things until you reach your destination.
Sounds simpler than it actually is, but the idea is that you retrain your mind to stay present in each moment instead of wandering off. Whatever happened yesterday or whatever will happen later, does not matter at that moment of driving.
This simple practice can build a great habit for your mind to remain present in every moment in life.
So, I encourage you to use either your way to work or your way back home to practice mindful driving by focusing on: what you see, what you hear, and what you feel.
As I always say, sometimes we can’t change things, but we change the way we experience them. So practice Mindfulness, retrain your mind, relieve stress, increase your focus, and make the most out of your commute. You have been challenged!