Whether you are driving to work, shopping, going to a park or whatever it might be, there seems to be something that all these commutes have in common and that would be stress. It seems that the time and pressure of the traffic is often something that can make the body tense up and the mind can reach a pretty frazzled emotional state as well.
This is why it can actually be beneficial to try to practice mindfulness during any commute but especially good for that stressful commute to work. It’s one way that you can help yourself to avoid road rage and get rid of those negative thoughts about other drivers during that commute. You can actually use your driving as an active form of meditation.
Does Mindfulness Make a Difference in Your Commute?
A lot of people will often think that in order to meditate you need to shut your eyes, so how could you meditate during your commute to work? However, that is a misconception that’s pretty popular with many. In order to meditate there really is no need to close your eyes and then sit in perfect silence and stillness. Yes, there are many guided meditations that do warn you not to drive when you are listening to their guided message. But, meditation is just for those quiet spots that are away from all distractions of your life. You can take your mindful meditation out into the busy world even during a commute to work.
You can learn to experience all the benefits of mindful meditation no matter where you might be or what you might be doing. That’s the true magic that comes from living a happier, healthier and more peaceful life through mindfulness practices.
Main Excuse for Not Practicing Meditation
One of the biggest excuses people will give for not meditating is that they simply don’t have the time to do it. In this post, we’ll show you how you can reap the benefits of mindful meditation even during your commute to work or anywhere.
Observe Your Thoughts Without Actually Following Them
If you spend a lot of time in your car on a commute you end up with a lot of time for thinking about things. Often even your greatest creativity or ideas might come to you while on your commute. However, if you aren’t careful, this can lead you to a taped loop of thoughts that could wreak havoc on the entire process. You can try to quiet your mind with some music and singing with it, this is often a good way to quiet down your mind. But, you also can use your commute to work by just noticing what your thoughts are but just don’t follow them down some long wandering path you get lost on.
If during your commute you end up getting irritated at others on the road, stop and try to notice what they might be thinking or feeling at the same time. Sure, you might have every right to be mad at a driver on the road, don’t allow it to make you so mad that you get into an accident. Stop and think that it might actually be something else that’s frustrating you in life and not actually the other drivers on the road. Just simply take notice of your feelings and thoughts and just let them be.
Be Aware of Your Breathing
One good way to stop your thoughts from getting in your way and upsetting you is to draw your attention to your breathing. Do you ever find yourself actually holding your breath while trying to concentrate or behind the wheel of the car?
Take that opportunity to breathe mindfully while you’re driving. Keep your eyes on the road and then become more aware of how you’re breathing. Breathe in deep, slow and totally into your stomach. If the traffic is especially bad try smiling while you are breathing.
Relax Your Body
While you are breathing mindfully you also need to let your body relax. Even with your breathing and a more relaxed body you can still stay focused and alert while driving. Just notice any tension you feel in your body and just breathe it away and let your body soften more with every exhale.
You will also want to notice if you might be leaning forward. Not actually physically but with more energy. Do you feel like you are trying to get ahead of yourself? Do you feel like you are struggling to get where you’re going during your commute? If that’s the case, it’s best to try to lean back and actually enjoy the drive. Try to make your gaze softer so that you can actually feel your eyes being more receptive to the view. Let the horizon in front of you, come to you, and not you going to the horizon.
There really is no good reason to let yourself get stressed during your morning commute or any commute. Try not to become the agitated and forceful driver you often come across while driving. No matter what your commute might be, just allow yourself to sit back and relax and do your best to actually enjoy this journey because your destination will still be there waiting to greet you when you arrive. Through mindful driving, it will just be a much more pleasant journey.