It means being fully present – having a keen awareness of where we are, what we’re doing and what is happening. It means understanding our thoughts, feelings and actions and staying in control of our response as we experience what is going on around us.
However, although simple in principle, mindfulness does take practice. Fortunately, it’s a bit like exercising a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it will become. Even better, when you practice mindful driving, you’ll be learning skills that will help you become more mindful out of the car as well as in!
Mindfulness should not be confused with meditation.
Meditation often involves closing the eyes and focusing within, while mindfulness is more about how we interact with the environment around us. Mindfulness makes us more aware and intentional about what we do and how we do it. The importance of driver responsibility for safe driving is stressed throughout and is at the core of mindful driving.