Imagine this scene, you get in your car, arrive at your destination and can’t even remember how you got there. Or perhaps you suddenly realise you’re on the wrong motorway and find yourself stuck there until the next exit? These things have happened to most of us at some time or another and sometimes it can be downright dangerous.
This is what we refer to as ‘being on autopilot’ due to your brain being programmed to carry out repeated instructions automatically. Each time we learn something new, the brain builds a new neuropathway and the more we use it, the easier it is to access this information (much like having an app on your phone). That’s great for everyday routines such as tying your shoelaces or brushing your teeth but not always great when finding yourself on the wrong motorway!
A staggering 47% of the time your mind is distracted so you’re not really concentrating on the job in hand. Being mindful allows us to become physically and mentally present by fully experiencing what is going on around and inside of us. Autopilot is the opposite of being mindful.
Mindfulness is the ability to focus on the present when our mind tries to take us into the future or the past which can cause stress, anxiety and even depression. It works on the simple act of focusing on the breath each time we’re distracted. Do not be confused with meditation which can be taking yourself into an altered state of consciousness. Mindfulness has been clinically proven to relax the mind and help with concentration as well as decision making skills.
Below are some hints and tips on how you can practice mindful driving. Give them a try for a couple of weeks and if practiced regularly, you should notice a difference.
Well that’s all for now but if you would like more information or free downloads on Mindfulness, check out our website www.eftandmindfulness.com. We also offer training courses online or in a classroom setting.
Helena Fone is a UK qualified Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Trainer to Adults and Children, Author and guest speaker.
HI and welcome! I'm Helena and whether your'e a beginner or expert, I'm here to help you enrich your life through finding your own inner peace and happiness.