Mindful Commute Relieves Stress

Mindful Commute Relieves Stress

Want less stress in your life? Why not start the day with a mindful commute…

A story by Katherine Shaver of The Washington Post looks at how commuters are practicing mindfulness to reduce stress and better their lives:

As harried commuters filed aboard a Metro Red Line train at Cleveland Park — jockeying for seats, hoisting bulging tote bags — Denise Keyes gazed straight ahead, took deep breaths and searched for inner peace.


“It gets me into the mind-set I want to be in for work,” said Keyes, who lives in Bethesda and is a senior associate dean at the Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. “I want to be somebody who — not to sound all Oprah — but I want to be my best self. I want to be compassionate and really listen to people. This helps me do that.”

Potomac resident Nancy Kaplan, 63, said she initially hesitated to tell colleagues about her mindful driving because she didn’t want them to think she was “involved in woo-woo stuff.”

Kaplan, chief operating officer at a management consulting firm in downtown D.C., said she pays attention to her breathing and relaxes when her jaw tightens or her fingers clench the steering wheel during her hour-plus commute. She said practicing mindfulness has expanded her driving field of vision beyond traffic to include trees, architecture and cloud formations.

“I think it actually makes me a much better driver,” Kaplan said. “I’m not sitting in a field staring at the clouds. When you drive, you have to be aware of everything around you. I think I take in more.”

Of course, Kaplan isn’t always what she calls “perfectly calm” behind the wheel.

“I still say things like, ‘Don’t block the intersection!’ ” Kaplan said. “But I can calm myself down very fast, and then it’s gone. That didn’t happen 10 years ago.”

Katherine Shaver goes on to mention how the Headspace meditation app added guided commuting meditations earlier this year:

Puddicombe said Headspace serves people who want to meditate regularly but feel like they don’t have time. About 1.7 million people have listened to the guided meditations on the Web site and app, he said.

“We know increasingly people are looking for ways to incorporate mindfulness into their daily routines,” Puddicombe said. “Commuting is just a really simple and obvious way.”

Even more people’s experiences and thoughts are shared throughout the article. Have a look yourself!

Read the whole story on different commuters perspective on how mindfulness is helping them both on their travels and in their lives.

I love how this report was published in The Washington Post’s “Transportation” section, which gives it both a different voice and audience than most mindfulness articles.

An inspiring story on how regular people are managing to find time in a busy routine to practice meditation and mindfulness.

What part did you like the best about this story?

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