How can mindfulness help your driving nerves and confidence?
You are probably already being mindful while driving without even realising it!
Mindfulness is simply noticing what is happening around you, right now, on purpose and with curiosity
While driving you will be giving your full attention to what you are doing in order to drive the car, paying close attention to other road users and if you are learning you will also be listening to your driving instructor. By being more aware of the theory of mindfulness and consciously adding mindfulness exercises to your driving you could develop and strengthen your attention skills while driving, which in turn will help you feel more confident in your driving ability. Mindfulness can help you notice and manage any unhelpful thinking habits that you have and be more aware of how your mood and emotions might impact your driving lessons and your future driving.
The benefits of a daily mindfulness practice include:
* being able to focus your attention more easily where you choose
* being able to interrupt automatic pilot and avoid getting lost in an inner world of thoughts
* gaining more perspective on the events that happen during everyday life
* reduce stress levels
* become more self-aware of your thoughts and emotions and how they might impact your driving behaviour
Being mindful doesn't have to involve meditation although it can if you like. All the suggested mindfulness exercises in the six-week course on our website are short practical tasks that last from 20 seconds to 4 minutes. They can easily be fitted in around your life and several of the exercises you can carry out whenever you are in a car as a driver or passenger, for example, while putting on your seatbelt, getting into the driver seat or passenger seat and filling up with fuel.
Driver behaviour is the biggest contributing factor in 95% of road incidents and driver behavioural issues might include thrill-seeking, frustration, outside pressures, distraction and anxiety. Recognising and understanding how your personality, thoughts, emotions, values, beliefs and perceptions about other road users might impact your own driver behaviour can help you to be more self-aware and allow you to modify your behaviour and become a safer driver.
Mindfulness helps you to recognise the thoughts and physical feelings that accompany different moods and situations and this self-awareness helps us to learn to control both our minds and our actions.