Ditch Stress While Driving
Run to Target for mascara and shampoo, then Kroger for groceries, don’t forget half and half…shit I forgot to write that on the list “Siri add half and half to my grocery list”, sign contract and email to Ben, there’s a yoga class in 30 minutes can I make it?
Does any of this sound familiar? All while getting behind the steering wheel and possibly before you've even left your driveway.
Wouldn’t it be fricken awesome to get into your car and just chill the F’ out!?
What if you could turn off that incessant voice that’s nagging about your To Do List, an argument you had with your mom/husband/child or that damned voice that’s telling you you can’t get it all done and that stress is inevitable.
Bye, bye nagging voice I don’t need your irritation or low vibes. Nope, I embrace the stillness!
One of the most powerful ways to still the mind and in turn deflate stress is to be present, in other words, mindful of what’s happening right here, right now.
How You Ask?
Setting the Intention to Be Present During Your Commute
Whether it’s immediately getting into the car (taxi, bus, train, Uber/Lyft, bike, walking shoes) or you remembering to be present ¾ of the way into your trip doesn’t matter. What matters is setting the intention that you will be present and mindful during your commute.
How to Be Mindful & Present
1. Begin by noticing where you are, take in the environment. What are your surroundings – smells, sounds, visuals, connect to your senses.
2. Notice how you feel – mind, body, spirit. You will bring awareness to how you feel but that’s it. There is no need to focus on any one feeling, thought or sensation. Observe and move on.
3. Keep your awareness on what is going on around you. Observe the weather, the cars, pattern of traffic, notice the sounds, the pedestrians, etc. Allow your attention to absorb what is going on around you.
4. While observing offer gratitude for the opportunity to be able to get where you need to be, whether walking or driving.
5. Look for beauty around you – Trees, flowers, people, local businesses, parks, someone singing in the car next to you.
6. If you notice someone yelling or irritated as you pass them, offer them peace, love.
7. Practice this for as long as you can. If you have kids in the car make a game out of this. Ask them to play along by silently observing what is going on around them. The more you practice the easier this becomes.
This practice can be incredibly challenging. It is so habitual for us to distract ourselves and move out of the present moment not wanting to be where we are. If this practice feels hokey or uncomfortable give it a little time before writing it off.
The purpose in practicing this type of exercise is that we begin to still the mind so that we no longer have to think about what to do, where to go, or how to resolve our issues. We open to a place of intuition that will guide us to the most efficient and powerful way of living our daily To Dos. Being present allows you to enjoy where you are rather than rushing through your life. This way you can fully experience where you are and what you are doing.
If you’re interested in learning more about cultivating stillness and starting a yoga/meditation practice reach out! YourFriend@SabrinaJoAtto.com
Sabrina Jo Atto is a seeker. She is a teacher of yoga, a business owner, a writer, and her passion in life is to help others heal.
Sabrina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan and completed her initial 200 hour yoga teacher training with Karma Yoga in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She went on to complete a 200 hour Anusara Yoga training with Skeetor Tichnor in Maui, Hawaii.
In 2013, Sabrina established Freebird LLC, a wellness coaching practice where she works with clients seeking a holistic or integrative approach toward healing anxiety and living a joyful life.