Friday, June 6, 2014

Mindful Driving

        Yesterday as I was driving the twenty miles to the store and back I noticed at least three incidents where I could have potentially been in an accident...if I hadn't been paying as close of attention to the other drivers on the road.   One of which included someone failing to stop at a stop sign and pulling out in front of me causing me to slam on the breaks and the other two which occurred in the store's parking lot with people again failing to stop at signs and cutting across parking spaces.  This goes to show that it is no longer enough to trust that people will obey the driving laws by following road signs, using their turn signals, going the speed limit, and otherwise driving safely.  It seems these days that many of us (myself included) are driving on autopilot.  For anyone who has ever arrived at their destination and cannot recall a portion or all of the drive there, this can be a startling realization.

          I contribute my safety through these experiences yesterday to my training and practices in mindfulness.  Mindfulness is all about being aware and present in the current moment.  Driving is a perfect opportunity to practice being mindful.  Now I'm not suggesting you try to meditate while kind of need your eyes open and feet on the pedals!  Though the basic concepts can certainly be applied. This means putting away the cell phone, turning down the radio, clearing the mind, and not trying to multitask by putting on makeup or eating lunch.  By avoiding all these distractions we are free to fully focus on the task at hand: driving...driving with mindfulness.  Now we can suddenly become aware of our surroundings, the scenery, the road ahead, the drivers all around us and wildlife if you live in a rural area like I do where deer outnumber people.  Since we are so acutely aware of all these things we have a better chance of detecting potential hazards and reacting to avoid them...such as I did yesterday.  Plus there's the added bonus of a more enjoyable commute as you take notice of the beauty in your surroundings.  For example, the majestic bald eagle my mom and I saw fly over our cars yesterday as we were driving home.

So go out there and enjoy your drive...mindfully!

(Note: This photo was taken safely as a passenger!)

DISCLAIMER: The content on this blog,, represents the thoughts, ideas, and experiences of its author and should be taken as such…with a grain of salt.  It is for entertainment purposes only and not intended to prevent, diagnose, or cure.  Before trying any new physical activity, dietary plan, supplementation, complementary and alternative therapy, or other wellness tip please seek the guidance of a qualified professional.


  1. I didn't know you had a blog! I'm adding you to my feedly and looking forward to your posts. =)

    I had a similar experience yesterday while driving on 80 on the way home from Berwick. I had two incidents where if I hadn't been paying attention, other cars would have collided with me. Instead of thinking about mindful driving like you did, I got all road-ragey and angry. I think your response was much better!

    1. Ugh I can imagine the issues with your commute, 80 is notorious! Now this is not to say that being mindful will eliminate road rage. I admittedly did the "um helllllo" each time!