Mindfulness is a word we hear everywhere. We can walk our dog, read, sleep, shower, shave, have sex, and eat our breakfast mindfully. There are books and blogs and news about it everywhere. Live in the moment. Stay in the present. Focus on what’s happening right now.
I like all that and it dawned on me after writing the last post that the same kind of thinking can be applied to driving.
Rather than talking about what we shouldn’t do so we’re not distracted, let’s talk about what we can do to stay focused while we drive.
If more and more of us are putting our minds to chewing each delectable morsel of every muffin and savoring the flavor of every sip of coffee, why can’t more of us mind how we drive?
So here are three things to do next time you get in the car on your way to work or you’re running around doing errands on Saturday.
1 Check your mirrors:
Cars are whizzing by us on the left and right. We’ve got blind spots but we’ve also got mirrors. Before you start driving, adjust your mirrors. As you drive, note how often you are looking in the rearview mirror, the driver’s side mirror and the passenger side mirror. What do you see each time you look in the mirror?
2 Notice your hands:
How often are your hands at 10 and 2 while you drive? Notice how it feels to hold the wheel with two hands in this position. Make a conscious effort to notice what you are doing with your hands. How often are you reaching for a phone? Looking down? Take note of this for your entire trip.
3 Gauge your distance:
Count 3 seconds from when the car in front of you passes a fixed point on the road. If you reach that point before you get to 1003, you’re too close. See how often you are too close to the car in front of you.