I’m sure you know the benefits of meditating, and maybe you meditate sometimes – but do you find it difficult to find the time to meditate?
If you spend a lot of time commuting or driving somewhere, you might be wondering, ‘can you meditate while driving?’
It’s not as crazy of a question as it seems, because, actually, you can meditate while driving.
Here’s how to do so – safely!
Can You Meditate While Driving?
Yes, you can, but…
First, it’s important to understand that there are different types of meditation.
The type of meditation we’re talking about here is mindfulness meditation, which is a form of mindfulness that can be practiced anywhere, at any time.
Mindfulness meditation is simply the act of being present and aware in the moment, without judgment.
So, when you’re driving, you can simply focus on the act of driving, and be aware of your surroundings to enter a meditative state.
Of course, you need to be safe while doing this – so make sure you’re not allowing your mind to wander and compromise your ability to drive.
If you find yourself getting lost in thought, just as if you were meditating, simply bring your attention back to the act of driving.
Related – Tips on how to get into a meditative state.
How to Meditate While Driving
Now that you know it’s possible to meditate while driving and what type of meditation you need to do, here’s how I meditate while driving.
First, turn off your radio, put your phone on silent, and remove any other distractions you may have.
To get started, shift your focus to your breathing, just as you would with any meditation.
Bring your awareness to how it feels to take deep breaths in and out. Feel your belly expanding as you breathe in through your nose, and exhale out of your mouth.
I like to be aware of how the fresh air feels as it enters my nose, and then as it travels down my throat and into my lungs.
I’m sure your mind will wander a little, even more so as you’re keeping an eye on the road and reacting to anything you see that requires you to take action.
This is your monkey mind – or something on the road – just calmly bring your attention back to your breathing.
After a few deep breaths, I allow my consciousness to move away from my breathing and onto the sounds, feelings, smells, and sensations of my car, the road, and what I’m experiencing right then in the moment.
If my monkey mind starts to chatter again or something takes my attention, I simply bring my mindful focus back to the sensations around me.
After a few minutes, I take a deep breath, exhale, and that’s it!
How you feel after this will be different for everyone, meditation is a personal experience – but I can’t think of a better way to spend a few minutes during my commute!
Benefits of Meditating While Driving
There are many benefits to meditating while driving, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving focus and concentration, and even making you a better driver.
When you’re driving, your mind is usually racing – thinking about everything you need to do that day, what you’re going to make for dinner, and so on.
Meditating while driving can help you to focus on the present moment, and clear your mind of any racing thoughts.
This can lead to a reduction in stress and anxiety, and an overall feeling of calm.
With all of the distractions that are present while driving – other cars, your phone, the radio – it can be difficult to stay focused on the task at hand.
Not to mention that something like being cut up on the freeway can cause your temper to rise and encourage you to make bad decisions.
By lowering your stress levels and helping you think clearer, you’ll make better decisions on the road and not get so annoyed when someone cuts you up!
So next time you’re behind the wheel, give it a try! You might be surprised at how calming and centering it can be.
Is It Safe to Meditate While Driving?
Now that we’ve gone over how to meditate while driving, and the benefits of doing so, you’re right to question if it’s actually safe.
The answer is yes – but only if you’re aware of your surroundings and not letting your mind wander.
I can understand that anyone who hasn’t meditated would think it’s not safe.
I bet they have this idea in their mind of someone trying to drive with crossed legs, palms up, and eyes closed – please do not try this!
As long as you’re staying focused on the act of driving, and not letting your mind wander off, you’ll be fine.
Just think of this, how often do you drive somewhere and not really remember the journey in detail? Often, I bet.
After practicing mindfulness while driving, I bet you remember more about the journey than you ever thought possible.
Not only the route you took, but how it felt, the vibrations of the car, the sights, odors, and everything else.
It’s a very profound feeling!
If you find that you’re struggling to focus on the road, or are getting lost in your thoughts, then it’s best to pull over and meditate when you’re not driving.
Being mindful while driving is not for everyone, and it’s certainly not worth risking your safety and that of other road users.
Can You Meditate on Your Commute?
If you have a long commute, whether that’s you driving, taking public transport such as the subway or a bus, or even walking – you can use this time to meditate.
In fact, I literally can’t think of a better use for commuting time!
It might be difficult on public transport with all the noise and distractions, but with a good pair of headphones, it’s possible.
I’ve meditated on trains, while driving or being a passenger in a car, on a ferry, in a plane, on a train – it would be easier to think of a mode of transport that I haven’t meditated while using!
Is There a Driving Meditation App?
There are driving meditation and mindfulness apps you can use if you prefer guided meditations.
I recommend downloading InsightTimer, which is one of – if not the – largest meditation apps available on iOS and Android devices.
You’ll find a bunch of guided mindfulness activities for driving in their database containing more than 100,000 meditations!
You can meditate and practice mindfulness while driving, and it’s actually pretty easy to do so.
There are many benefits to meditating while driving, such as reducing stress and anxiety, and improving focus.
Just be mindful of your surroundings, and if you find that you’re struggling to focus – pull over!
Image credits – Photo by serjan midili on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.