How to be a Zen Driver

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On June 18, 2022

If you follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter, then you know that the RDF team is all about stepping outside of our comfort zone to try new things. And we do this, as a team, with our Expanding Experiences. Well one “experience” we did together was a three week meditative yoga series. Why? Because meditation has been known to  reduce stress and increase productivity when practiced regularly.

Seemingly small things in life can be major stressors

Believe it or not, one of the most stressful situations many of us face every day is rush hour.  And road rage during traffic is something that even our clients have talked about. The truth is, we all have our stories about road rage, and even if you don’t exhibit aggressive behavior with your vehicle, chances are you’ve witnessed it. 

Driving through traffic is inevitable, especially for those of us who live in or near a major metropolitan area.  Need a solution to get through the sea of vehicles?  You guessed it: meditation! Or more accurately, mindfulness. You see, mindfulness can be practiced both informally (at any time/place) and formally (during seated meditation). Since mindfulness is paying attention, focusing that attention on here and now, and staying curious, a great opportunity to apply this is behind the wheel.  It is a chance to sit still and let the deeper parts of ourselves teach us some wisdom.

Five ways to reduce stress while driving

Recite a quick positive affirmation

There’s nothing wrong with using your commute as a time to empower yourself! Some great examples are:

  • I am confident.
  • I am powerful.
  • I am strong.
  • I am getting better and better every day.
  • All I need is within me right now.
Meditate before take off

Even if just for 5 minutes. Set yourself up for a relaxed drive with guided meditation before you even get in the car (YouTube is great for this!)

Breathe deeply

This will help you relax, concentrate, and stay calm.

Direct your consciousness toward your surroundings

You will be both more aware of the beauty around you and more alert to hazards. This type of awareness is lacking when you’re pushing for speed and/or lost in thought.

Practice kindness

Kindness has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood. Smile and even wave at other drivers. Let people merge in front of you. If someone is parking, stop and give them room. In general, think of what others could do to make your drive more pleasant, and do those things for them.

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, maybe take a moment to listen to the silence. This will allow you to carry the Zen spirit through the door of the building where you have arrived. After all, if we practice patience on the way in, the rest of the day is going be a whole lot easier.

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