Is it safe to meditate while driving? There is a popular misconception about meditating while driving. Most people are of the mind that driving while practicing mindfulness can be dangerous. This would be true only if the practice involved engaging in another attention-grabbing activity on top of driving.
However, meditation is about bringing all the driver’s attention to driving. Simply put, it is ideally doing what one is supposed to do, driving. As One Mind Dharma highlights, you do not have to sit still on the floor with your eyes closed to practice mindfulness. You can meditate while eating, walking, taking a bath, or even waiting for an elevator. You get the point. But how can you drive and meditate safely?
How to meditate while driving safely
To safely practice mindfulness while driving, you follow five simple steps according to WTOV NBC 9. It begins by taking deep breathes. Set aside a minute to be aware of your body. As you breathe, feel your hands on the steering wheel, and feel how your backrests on your seat. Make sure you are in the present as much as possible. Then eliminate all the noises. Take a minute or two to immerse yourself in the silence. Pay attention to the sound of your engine roaring. Enjoy the feeling of having no distractions around you.
Next, tune in to your immediate surroundings. As you drive, pay close attention to everything you see and all the sounds you hear. Come up with mindless rituals. While a mindful routine may feel odd at first, you will slowly ease into the process. Take it a day at a time and try rewarding yourself for all your milestones. When you catch your mind wandering, slowly bring yourself back to focus by taking the steps mentioned above. Do not be too harsh on yourself—nobody masters mindfulness in a single day. Slowly but surely, with the right amount of consistency, you will get there.
The benefits of meditation
According to Psychology Today, the average American spends 50 minutes every day commuting to and from work. If you use your car, you are well aware of the many stressors associated with driving, such as heavy traffic, rogue drivers, terrible weather, the risk of getting involved in an accident, among many others. Most drivers are left anxious and easily aggravated behind the wheel.
Practicing mindfulness can be an effective solution to various driving-related problems. Meditating puts the driver in a state of calmness and openness. This openness enables the driver to accept things beyond their control, such as bad weather and the behavior of other road users.
When people completely let go of the insatiable need to control every outcome, much of the stress, anger, and anxiety are reduced. This, in the long run, lowers the chances of getting into an accident owing to distracted driving.
Practicing mindfulness while driving for safety
A sad reality is that we are all guilty of letting our minds wander on the road. Technology is a common cause of car accidents today. We drive while texting or on a call. Sometimes we even play games on our smartphones while commuting. We only become aware of approaching danger when we are on the verge of a collision.
Road accidents have led to the loss of thousands of lives and serious injuries, many of which could have been avoided by practicing mindfulness by being present in the moment.
If you find meditation difficult for you, do not lose hope. The good news is, there are numerous guided meditation programs on the internet. Whether you prefer to watch on YouTube or listen to Spotify, there is a meditation program out there that is the best match for you. To get started, you can subscribe to Calm on YouTube or try Happy Mind Guided Meditations on Spotify.