We don’t usually associate driving with meditation, right? But there’s a Notice-Shift-Rewire strategy that can turn your time behind the wheel - or at any routine procedure of your life - into a mindfulness exercise. The “notice” part is all about awareness, that is, noticing the distractions, “shift” is about redirecting your mind to experience the present moment, and “rewiring” is about savouring the experience.
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Since driving is often associated with rushing, irritation and distractions, you could well be dedicating this time to practicing mindfulness. Here’s our three-step guide on behind-the-wheel meditation!
#1. Stop signs as reality anchors. Some time ago, a news outlet conducted an experiment to see how many drivers would actually stop upon noticing an all-way stop sign. Unsurprisingly, just a quarter of the drivers did stop. Be honest: you too treat the stop sign as a suggestion to stop, don’t you, and not as a must.
So here’s the Stop Sign Practice. Treat the stop signs you see along the way as your reminders to fully be in the present moment (“Notice”), feel your awareness boosting, and stop (“Shift”). On the rest of your journey, continue being present in the moment, noticing sights, sounds (and signs; “Rewire”).
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Take just a few minutes out of each day to bring yourself to a state of calm and wellness and balance your life using a combination of guided meditations and mindfulness techniques. The techniques are a simple, practical relaxation method for anyone.
#2. Consciously put others first. Roads often witness aggression and stubbornness, which puts all the road users at risk. Change your attitude from fighting for your own advantage to kindness with the Compassionate yelding practice. Each time you realize you can put someone else first, “Notice” it, become aware of the way your body responds. “Shift” into compassion mode: let the other person be first to use this parking spot. “Rewire” your mind by being aware of what you are doing and enjoy it!
#3. Cultivating “Anti-rushing” mindset. Drivers often feel as if they are in a rush, even if they are not. Various road situations lead to agitation and feeling trapped in traffic. Here’s what you ca do: Every time you start feeling anxious behind the wheel, because, for instance, that fellow is going “too slow” - when he actually is going within the speed limit - “Notice” it. “Shift” to non-judgemental, patient observation rather than resisting and irritation. Finally, “Rewire” by staying within this patient experience.
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The goal of all the above practices is to notice the situation that prompt you to feel irritation and anger, and turn them into boosting awareness, the sensation of being in the present moment, and loving-kindness.
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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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