6 Mar 2018

Zen Driving: Emotions and driving

Do we become something else in the car? Contrary to what many people think, in the car, we behave as we really are, we feel protected and like we are at home. We let out the worst in ourselves when our emotions drive our decisions.

But the fact is that emotions are always behind the way we drive. We are not conscious of it, but they are the filter through which we see reality while driving.


When emotions drive us

Just as a decision to purchase something carries a large emotional component, the same occurs at the wheel.

The large majority of drivers are controlled by their emotional mind when making decisions in situations where their lives are in danger.


When the actions of another driver disrupts us, we can lose up to 37% of our attention.

Having a vehicle right on our backs alters us and produces a 27% increase in heart rate variability, a key indicator of the stress level.

Driving is a complex mental activity in which we make more than 100 decisions per minute and for which we must be emotionally intelligent drivers in order to be safe.


5 keys to being an emotionally intelligent driver

Driving in an intelligent manner will not only help you avoid accidents, it will make you enjoy your car2go experience all the more. Follow these 5 easy tips and see for yourself:



Before driving, take a look around the car in order to check its condition. Besides avoiding responsibility for dings you did not cause, it will give you awareness of what you are about to do: drive.

And, above all, leave your problems outside. They will probably mature in your subconscious and, at the end of your drive, you will see them from a better perspective.



Find your posture. It is easy to see that when we stop paying attention to the wheel, our posture relaxes.

Assuming a posture like the lotus position is for meditation, and one like the driver’s stance is for driving. A proper posture helps the mind to work better.



Take advantage of inertia: in the cities, drivers fight desperately for the most minute gap in traffic.

A competitive spirit keeps us from allowing other drivers to come in and keeps us on the accelerator until the instant right before we have to hit the brake.

Don’t fight against traffic. Try to be like a leaf floating in the river; don’t try to go faster than the others, and drive smoothly in a way that keeps you braking and accelerating as little as possible.



Keep your distance: not keeping a safe distance makes the driver in front of us nervous. The state of tension that you undergo when not doing so is almost 15% higher.

Always give the car ahead of you 2 seconds and 10 feet when you stop.



Always give the car ahead of you 2 seconds and 10 feet when you stop.

Traffic is replete with situations that can lead us to conflict. Use the “empty boat” technique.

That vehicle that cut in front of you or cut you off is a boat without a paddle being dragged by the current. An empty boat navigating by your river, and one that you must avoid.

Emotions are essential to life. They drive all of your decisions, including those that you make at the wheel.

We can’t drive without them, but they can kill us.

Driving well can help you to develop your abilities and to manage your emotions. ZEN driving can help you live better.

What kind of driver are you?