Taking your driving test can stress you out, whether it’s a practical test or the theory test. You’ve paid money to take the test and your freedom is riding on it. So, how do you keep your nerves under control and improve your concentration?
Meditation can be used to help prepare your body and mind for the task of learning how to drive. The decision you need to make is what type of meditation to choose. You could go for affirmations or mantras, visualisation, yoga, transcendentalism or mindfulness. It’s best to try a few and see which one you like best as they vary in how they are done and when they can be done; it’s not all sitting cross-legged – many people can meditate while playing an instrument, walking, painting, or lying down.
What are the benefits of meditation when learning to drive?
Improved concentration and reactions
You’ll be in the car for an hour with 45 minutes of that being driving time. The average attention span is between 20-30 minutes. You don’t want to get to the end of your test, miss a stop sign and fail instantly.
Meditation can not only improve concentration but also your reactions to visual stimulation – obviously this makes it good for driving. The more you meditate, the more you are able to focus for longer periods of time on the task at hand.
Reduced stress and anxiety
Many studies have found that mindful meditation can reduce stress and anxiety. While you’re still a learner driver there are plenty of scenarios that you will find challenging, especially with an examiner sitting next to you. You’ve got the pressure of the money you’ve spent plus the expectation that after the test you’ll have a certain level of additional freedom such as being able to drive independently.
Improved relaxation and immunity
Meditation allows you to control your emotions so you can relax more and sleep better. Lack of sleep hampers your concentration and decision-making abilities, affecting your ability to drive. Many studies have found that the inflammation response is reduced after practising mindfulness techniques.
Improves memory and multitasking
Remember your theory test questions more easily and cope with the demands of multiple stimuli when driving – meditation was found to give people a better memory with less stress.
Where can you go to try meditation?
- YouTube – thousands of videos will get you started
- Audiobooks – meditation can be guided through your headphones
- Regular books – there are hundreds available
- Community centres – many of them run introductory meditation classes that are either free or just a few dollars
- Private individuals – there are plenty of experts in meditation