waze, navigation, mindfulness, driving

There’s no getting away from it. Driving can, at times, be so darn stressful. Whether you’re trying to negotiate a complicated road layout or simply wasting your precious time sitting in traffic, there may be moments when you feel your temperature rising as you try desperately to get from A to B.

Aware of how some driving experiences can test even the most patient of people, popular navigation app Waze has just launched a new mindfulness feature “to encourage drivers to enjoy their drives.”

Waze has teamed up with meditation app Headspace to launch the new experience, which includes a selection of five new Moods — Aware, Bright, Hopeful, Joyful, and Open — to help you express how you’re feeling during different parts of your journey. You can even swap out the in-app car icon “for a serene ride in a hot air balloon.” And yes, you can still choose one of several less positive avatars if things really aren’t going at all well.

To dissipate any tension that’s building inside the car during your drive, you can dive into Headspace’s carefully curated Spotify playlist, called Find Joy in the Journey (also available via the Waze audio player).

Waze’s new experience also includes custom navigation prompts from Eve Lewis Prieto, Headspace’s mindfulness teacher and director of meditation.

Prieto, who describes mindfulness as “the quality of being in the present moment, intentionally resting your attention and your awareness with or on whatever it is you are doing with a sense of curiosity, openness, and kindness,” says the new Waze experience can help drivers “learn ways to cultivate a more aware, open, and curious mind by bringing your attention to the task of driving by letting go of emotions that are not serving you and engaging the senses,” adding that it’s amazing “how much of the time we drive on autopilot and we actually miss a lot of the journey.”

Waze said that as more people get back into the routine of commuting to school or work, “many are finding themselves stuck in traffic again. To find a way to help combat the negative effects of traffic and encourage drivers to enjoy their drives, on the heels of World Mental Health Day, we turned to our friends at Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and mediation.”

The Headspace experience on Waze is available for a limited time in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. To activate the experience, tap My Waze to find the Drive with Headspace banner.

New to Waze? Here’s how to get started with it.

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