As more and more of us are heading back into the office (and some of us never left), commutes are increasingly coming back into our lives.
I wish I wish someone had shown me these tips for meditating during your commute earlier.
This additional travel time might look like it’s eating into your time to do other things, such as meditating, but the tips in this article will show you simple ways to make the most of that time and actually create a healthy habit.
Why Commute Meditation?
Think about it. Your commute is a constant in your life—a chunk of time that remains unclaimed yet undeniably yours.
It takes me over an hour to get to work from my apartment.
By using this time for meditation, I have been able to transform an ordinary, often tedious, part of my day into an oasis of tranquility.
And the cherry on top? I get to enjoy the benefits of meditation such as stress reduction, enhanced focus, and a productivity boost. In every sense of the term, it’s a win-win!
Getting Started: Preparation for Commute Meditation
Before we dive in, a quick note on safety. If you’re driving or cycling, your meditation should always revolve around mindfulness—staying aware of your surroundings.
On public transport or walking? You have a bit more flexibility. Headphones could be your new best friend, serving as your personal meditation cocoon.
10 Proven Tips for Meditating During Your Commute
Start simple. Mindfulness is about being present. If you’re driving, feel the wheel under your hands or the rhythm of your steps as you walk.
In London it’s sometimes quicker to walk between stations than take the train, so look for opportunities to stay outside, perhaps plan commutes that walk through public parks.
Listen to the sounds around you. They’re not distractions, they’re part of your mindfulness symphony.
The next stop is breath control. Take slow, deep breaths.
Feel your chest rise and fall. It’s a natural stress-buster and your ticket to relaxation. Build in some mindfulness into the practice, feel how your body moves, how your clothes feel against your skin as you inhale and exhale.
Guided Meditation Apps
Remember our chat about headphones? Here’s where they shine. Guided meditation apps are like GPS for tranquility.
Just follow the voice. But don’t completely rely on guided meditations. As you become better at being centered on your commute, try some of the other meditations listed here.
Mantras are words or phrases repeated to aid concentration. They can be as simple as “Inhale peace, exhale stress.” Find your mantra and let it anchor you amidst the commuting chaos.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be that person on the train talking to yourself, mantras can be said silently in your mind as well.
Imagine your happy place. Is it a beach, a forest, or a cozy room? Can you hear the waves, the rustling leaves, the crackling fire? Welcome to your personal escape pod, available any time you need it.
If you need some help, keep a photo with you, perhaps on my phone. On my phone, I have a background of the beach from a visit to Malaysia.
Just looking at it makes me almost hear the waves, feel the sand beneath my feet, and the gentle warm breeze bringing me the scent of salty air.
Tense shoulders? Tight jaw? Body scanning helps you identify and release tension, one body part at a time. Just remember to keep one eye on the road!
If your commute is a noisy orchestra, noise-canceling headphones are your mute button. With distractions silenced, you can meditate undisturbed. I switch between my Apple Airpods of my Sony WH-1000XM5, which blocks out anything the city throws at me.
What do you hope to achieve from this meditation? Inner peace, clarity, or maybe a good mood boost? Setting an intention focuses your mind like a compass pointing north.
Observing, Not Controlling
This is the zen master level. Observe your thoughts, but don’t try to control them. It’s like watching cars pass by. You’re on the sidewalk, just observing.
Regular Practice and Consistency
Like any habit, consistency is key. Make meditation part of your commute routine. Before you know it, you’ll be a commuting yogi!
The Role of Technology in Commute Meditation
While technology often gets a bad rap, when it comes to meditation, it can really help keep you motivated.
Guided meditation apps, for example, can be a great tool to help you focus and unwind. And noise-canceling headphones can provide you with the perfect silent space, even in the midst of a bustling commute.
So why not use technology to your advantage? It’s like having a personal meditation guide in your pocket.
Here are some steps I take on my commute to meditate and stay mindful. I don’t use all of them at once, and some days I don’t do any of them.
It’s okay not to practice these EVERY day, but the more you practice and stay consistent, the more you’ll feel the benefits.
The walk to the station
I practice mindful walking, trying to be aware of every sensation I have with each step. It’s not just your feet, but your whole body.
Waiting for the train
The act of waiting was a pet peeve. I hated it.
And if my train was late it would be a bad start to the say. But now I use the wait as an opportunity to meditate.
I know that no matter how angry I get, the train isn’t going to arrive any earlier.
So I use this time to set the tone for the rest of the day.
Meditations don’t need to be long. Micro-meditations 5-10 minutes long done regularly can make all the difference to your day.
The cramped tube
As more and more people are returning to work, finding a seat is becoming rare. I either use this opportunity to practice a body scan meditation, listen to a guided meditation, or just be mindful of my surroundings.
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, commuting can feel like a tiresome chore. But, as you’ve seen, it can also be an untapped gold mine of ‘me’ time.
With these 10 proven tips for meditating during your commute, you can transform your journey into a daily oasis of tranquility and mindfulness. So why not give it a try on your next commute? I guarantee you’ll never see your commute in the same light again!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms of any mental health condition, we strongly advise consulting with a qualified healthcare professional.