21 Mar 3 Simple Steps to a Better Driving Experience
For a lot of people driving can be a chore or something that they fear because of how busy, and at times angry, the roads are. But there are simple steps you can take today to reduce these effects and increase your enjoyment and safety while driving.
On the ‘Mindful Driving: an introduction’ workshop we look at a multitude of different ways you can do this and I take you through a deeper understanding of the techniques, but here are 3 quick and easy ways you can start practicing today that will change your driving experience for the better:
Our cars (and our lives) are filled with things that distract us from the present moment. The radio, vanity mirrors, conversation with passengers, eating, drinking, smoking, vaping, mobile phones, noisy children in the back seat, various gadgets, environmental controls, clock watching, fidgeting and even our own busy minds. There are so many that quite often when we are driving we actually do 5, 10, 15 different things at the same time. This can make it overwhelming or perhaps leave us feeling numb or disconnected from driving itself. Some of these may seem necessary to driving or unavoidable, but actually there are a lot of unnecessary and avoidable distractions you can remove from your drive, freeing up your attention.
Make a list of all the distractions you could remove, then set the intention to not give them attention.
Notice when these distractions creep back into your drive, or maybe a new one comes up. Don’t judge the distractions, or yourself for that that matter, as being bad. It has happened, you have noticed it, now choose whether or not you want to continue with it.
With less distraction you now have more attention to pay to the present moment activity of driving. Shift some of your awareness onto the ‘How’ behind driving a car. Ask yourself ‘How does it feel to steer the wheel or change the gear?’, ‘How am I sitting in the seat?’ or ‘How am I moving?’
With this questioning nature you become the ‘curious observer’ of your own driving. Do not Judge what you are doing as right or wrong, just simply be aware of How you are doing it and let change happen naturally.
Do the same with the car and the road situation around you, ask questions about what and how things are happening. Open ended questions like ‘What?’ and ‘How?’ expand our understanding, leading to a fuller and more enjoyable experience of the here and now.
Be kind to others
One of the most effective ways to improve your enjoyment of any situation is to be kind to others, putting their well being at the forefront of your mind. This may seem like common sense, but it isn’t always common practice. In fact driving can become a very selfish activity if left unchecked. Make the happiness of your fellow road users the primary reason for your drive. Give people more space, be more forgiving of their mistakes and smile more. It’s amazing what a difference a simple smile makes to the way we look at situations and behave towards people.
However, avoid superficial kindness. Don’t just act kindly, think and feel it. Cultivate kind thoughts and genuine actions will naturally and effortlessly follow. As you generate kindness towards others inside yourself, you too experience the kindness for yourself.
Just 3 simple steps to a better driving experience. Set yourself the goal of actualising these steps for a week or two and see what effects it has on your drive and your enjoyment of it. If you’d like to learn more about how you can choose a more positive driving experience, benefiting your health and well being, come along to a morning workshop. It’s a relaxed environment with a small group where everyone is welcome no matter their background.