Commuting is often stressful and we want it to go by as quickly as possible to get to work, school, home etc. We may see other travelers around us as obstacles in our way. In the evening, after a day’s work, it’s often difficult to start unwinding until we get home. The pressure we feel to get to our destination drains the energy we need to do the work, or be an attentive colleague, parent or partner. These negative feelings can be reduced if we can change our attitude about commuting and use the time to practice living in the present. If you can delegate the driving to someone else or if you walk, bike, or kick scoot, consider practicing meditation during the journey. Headspace – meditation & mindfulness, an excellent meditation app full of meditation exercises and insightful lessons about the mind, can help. The service even provides a special session dedicated to commuting (check it out here). Note that there are also modules focused on walking and cycling.
According to Andy Puddicombe, founder of Headspace, reducing negative feelings during commutes requires recognizing and letting go of the conflict in your mind between the speed at which you are going and the speed you want to go. A lot of negative feelings come from our resistance to what is around us. “We can’t change the crowds. We have to recognize that we are part of the crowd as well.” Meditation during commuting is similar to a regular meditation practice: focus on your senses (sights, sounds, smells, our physical sensations and our breath) and use these as anchor points to practice living in the present. At the end of the commute, you should feel calmer and better able to concentrate at work. As a Headspace user myself, I can vouch for the benefits of fitting in 10-15 minutes a day for meditation
What do you think about meditation whilst commuting?