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The Valuable Benefits of Meditation for Truck Drivers

by Charlotte Freed | Jul 20, 2018

07.19.18
It’s no secret that truckers handle hard work that can take a toll on the body and mind. With long periods of isolation (from hours to days), time pressures and constraints, and the general tolls of a highly important job, many experience health issues like hypertension, diabetes, and sleep apnea. If you were told that you could treat yourself and increase immune function while potentially reducing blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, depression, chronic pain, and even irritable bowel syndrome for free – what would you say?

Research shows that the safe, calming activity of mindful meditation not only has positive physical and mental effects and but may also help a variety of conditions from fatigue to inflammation. While some view meditation as bizarre or new age-y, many over years and years find the practice very beneficial.

It sounds great, but where do you begin? First, remember that meditation takes practice. While it might feel useless or extra work at the start, remind yourself that you are worth taking the time to invest in.

Start Short

Don’t feel like you need to set aside long periods of time to meditate. Simply find a quiet spot where you can have a few moments to yourself without being distracted and begin. Meditation apps like Aura, Calm, or Headspace can also be helpful tools to get you started if you’re not quite sure how you want to start.

Just Breathe

Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Consider how you feel as you breathe in and out, how your body begins to relax. Your mind may clear a bit or it may be full of thoughts. Every time your thoughts begin to stray and you think of all the things happening in your life, bring yourself back to focusing on your breathing.

Take It Easy

You’ll forget to practice meditation. Don’t beat yourself up. Remember that meditation is not supposed to add stress, but take away from it. Meditation is meant to give you a few moments to bring your thoughts back to yourself and reset in a way. Over time, you may find that it’s a basic exercise that helps in your day-to-day.

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  1. John J. sturtevant | Jul 28, 2018

    Hi! I’m John Sturtevant, a Centerline driver who has been a practicioner of Zen meditation since 1981 (when i was 22.) for most of the years since then, i only meditated once in a great while and so, while i felt some benefit from from the practice, it was really only a rather small improvement over my previously anxious, nervous and frequently angry self. For over a year now, though, i have been meditating much more regularly (and have actually done several meditation retreats over this time) and the change in my general mood, my attitude about life in general and the quality of my relationships with other people have improved enormously. I was very happy to find a wonderful Zen teacher here (in Massachusetts) who also happens to be a Catholic priest and monk. His guidance (along with the excellent companionship / good examples) of his other students has been extremely helpful to me in getting much deeper and stronger benefits from my meditation. Like any other skill, practice makes perfect but with meditation specifically, frequency, not duration, is key: that is to say, doing 5 minutes every day for a week is better than doing a half hour only once a week - much better. After a few weeks of doing 5 min a day, every day (or even almost every day) you’re likely to spontaneously start increasing the time up to at leadt 15 or 20 min a day - and really noticing a positive change in your moods and life in general. It can be boring and frustrating quite a bit of the time (especially at first) but if u keep going and don’t quit, you’ll find it’s definitely worth the effort. Good luck and safe driving to u all!

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