3 Meditation Tips to Prevent Angry Driving in Traffic

Meditating while driving might sound like an oxymoron, especially if you think it’s only possible to meditate in a quiet room with your legs crossed and your eyes closed. However, that can’t be further from the truth as it’s possible to meditate anywhere and at any time, even while driving. Believe it or not, there are different forms of meditation; from simply being mindful and concentrated to full-on transcendental meditation.

While we don’t recommend the latter, as going into a deep meditative state while traveling at 65 mph on the open road can take your attention away, we do recommend at least being mindful in your commute. If you need help, here are three tips for meditating while driving in order to prevent unwanted anger while sitting in traffic.

1. A mindful meditation while driving can make better use of your time in traffic

A color illustration of a calm young driver and a peaceful passenger undisturbed by distractions in the road.
Color illustrations of a calm young driver and a peaceful passenger undisturbed by distractions in the road. | (The Detroit Free Press/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The average driver spends around 50 minutes per day commuting in traffic, which can be very hectic at times. Erratic drivers, construction, and bumper-to-bumper traffic can easily leave you wound up and stressed out on your way home or to the office. However, being mindful while driving can help you focus on being present in the moment without getting angry.

The Reflective Mind notes that being a mindful driver can help you “develop your focus and create calm within yourself.” Imagine being able to get to the office more relaxed and at peace, which can help you prepare for a busy day. In order to be more mindful, you mainly need to relax and breathe deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat this process for a minute or so, it will help to calm and relax you.

2. Relax into your seat and your surroundings

15 September 2021, Saxony, Leipzig: Cars drive along a country road on the outskirts of Leipzig in the early morning. Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa (Photo by Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images)

After spending a minute or two (or 10) breathing in deeply and exhaling, it’s a good idea to relax in your seat. You can even take in the sights, sounds, and smells around you while driving and focus on the task at hand. Relax your shoulders and your jaw while keeping a steady gaze on the road ahead. If you mindfully do this for a couple of minutes, you can feel yourself melt into your seat in a relaxed state both mentally and physically.

However, it’s important to keep an eye on your speed and all of the cars around you while you relax and breathe. After all, you’re still driving and you need to get to your destination safely.

3. Find empathy and compassion for the other drivers

Motorists drive and queue in their vehicles at a toll station on the A7 motorway between Lyon and Vienne, southeastern France, during a heavy traffic jam on the first major weekend of the French summer holidays.
Motorists drive and queue in their vehicles at a toll station on the A7 motorway between Lyon and Vienne, southeastern France, during a heavy traffic jam on the first major weekend of the French summer holidays. | (PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP) (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP via Getty Images)

This one might seem tough, but if you can get to a relaxed and mindful state while driving, it will help. If and when another driver cuts you off or fails to use their turn signal, it’s easy to get distraught. But relax, take a deep breath, and remember that they might have something negative going on in their lives that is causing them to drive erratically. Maybe they lost a loved one or perhaps they are mad because they can’t make their payments on the fancy German car they cut you off with.

Either way, those aggravating moments are the best times to learn how to forgive and forget no matter how hard it may seem at first. The good news is that the more you practice having empathy for others, the easier it gets.

Meditating while driving starts with an intention

Sardinian monk meditating in Biru 'E Concas megalitic complex.
Sardinian monk meditating in Biru ‘E Concas megalitic complex. | Getty images

Now that you have an idea of how to meditate while you’re driving, it’s important to note that starting your commute with an intention can help as well. Whether your intention is to get to work on time or to pick up the kids with a relaxed mindset, it all starts with being present and being conscious of what’s around you.

Meditation doesn’t always have to take place at home while sitting on the ground with your eyes closed. In fact, you can do it anywhere, even while driving in the worst bumper-to-bumper traffic. Now relax, take a deep breath, and drive carefully.

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