When many people think of meditation, they conjure up the image of a beatific being sitting serenely and cross-legged with her hands in her lap. Or, their minds immediately picture an old monk, wrapped in robes, sitting solo on the edge of a mountain with his eyes closed. Of course, these are just stereotypical depictions of meditators; anyone and everyone can learn how to meditate, and many truck drivers can reap its benefits.
Why truck drivers?
According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can help reduce stress. Truck drivers experience many different situations every day that can lead to them feeling angry, frustrated and irritable. Meditation can help truck drivers in the moment, when they are on the road and sitting in a traffic jam, for example, or when they are faced with bad weather and delays. So many factors of a truck driver's job take control right from their hands, and meditation is one way that they can remember the connection between the mind and the body and to be grounded in the present moment. The practice empowers anyone to focus their attention and help understand that racing thoughts are just that, the source added.
One meditation coach who contributed an article to the Huffington Post offers tips and advice to truck drivers who hope to learn more. She suggested that drivers enhance the experience of the present moment, and gave the example of a driver who would always focus closely when driving through his favorite kind of scenery. This is one way to keep attention present, and following the breath via inhalation and exhalation can help some people remember to be in the moment.
She further suggested that truck drivers - who can be at the mercy of unhealthy food - use the practice of mindfulness to be present while eating. Drivers should pay attention to tastes, smells and the food itself, in addition to their experience with it. This may help some to adopt better eating habits, if they are able to understand how some dishes affect their bodies while they are eating.
Truckers interested in learning more about the practice may be interested in signing up for classes as guidance. Road King profiled one truck driver who learned about meditation and was able to use steady, even breathing when she felt irritated and angry due to a situation on the road. Another suggestion she offered was taking the time to pull over and just sit in nature, when possible. Many rest stops across the country offer picnic benches in shady or tree-filled areas which are away from the highway. Taking a moment to be away from the truck and be in a different environment can help some people to detach from the stressor and feel better.
Meditation is not just about saying "om" and settling in, it's about slowing down mentally and attending to details. Paying attention to breathing by focusing on each inhale and each exhale can be an excellent way to begin. The breath is steady and constant, and it can help some individuals to refocus and feel soothed, which can be extremely important out on the road.
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