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As soon as we leave the driving test centre, we tend to gradually pick up some not-so-great driving habits. We become more lax and careless, often bending the rules to suit our whims. Even the best-intentioned among us can slip up when we get distracted by aggravating factors like heavy traffic, obnoxious fellow drivers or an incoming text. While it is probably not realistic that anybody is going to drive with the same rigidity as they did during their test, it is crucial to keep bad behaviour in check so that the road stays safe for those who occupy it.
Here’s where the concept of mindful driving comes in. Driving mindfully means really focusing on driving. While you may think you’re paying complete attention, you’d be surprised how easy it can be to get side-tracked. Learning to drive mindfully is a process that involves training your brain to ignore distractions and concentrate solely on the road, known as Notice-Shift-Rewire.
The benefits of mindful driving are countless. It allows you to fully immerse yourself in the present moment and increases your overall awareness. Not only does this make you a safer road user, but it also enhances the joy of the act itself. Here are some things to keep in mind to help you along your mindful driving journey.
Before you put the key in the ignition, take a meditative moment. Sit for one full minute with your eyes closed. Tune into your breath and notice how you feel. Finish by setting an intention to drive with care and purpose, whether you choose to do so verbally or internally.
Try driving in silence every so often. Give the radio a break, put your phone on silent and ease yourself into a state of pure focus. Not only will this bring you clarity on the road, but it can also bring clarity of the mind, setting you up for a happy and productive day.
Be aware of any kneejerk reactions while you’re behind the wheel. Notice how you respond to someone who cut you off, if you find yourself speeding up as you approach a yellow light, or if you want to reach for your phone at a red one. Try your best to stay in your observation mode and resist any temptation to act on these urges.
In today’s fast-paced world, we seem to always be in a rush. But ask yourself whether you are really in a hurry. Giving yourself some extra time to reach your destination can take the pressure off, and decrease the likelihood that you’ll break the speed limit.
Mindful driving is about eliminating all agitation during your time behind the wheel. This creates a safer and more tuned in driving experience, reducing the risk of any accidents. But of course, many of our bad habits have become hardwired into our daily routines, so shifting your behaviour will take time and practice. Nobody masters mindfulness in a day. Rather, little changes add up over time; so take the first step towards becoming a mindful driver today.
At Motor Matcher, we value our customers’ safety as well as finding them the perfect car at an affordable price. At Motor Matcher, you can tell us what your ideal car is and we’ll try to make it happen. You can also check out our website to look for readily available cars.
Visit our site at www.motormatcher.com.au to find out more.