You have likely heard about the benefits of mindfulness, or at least the term. Mindfulness is a way to stay present and aware in the moment; to take space for thought and to quiet mental chatter. Many of us have gotten so used to multi-tasking that we rarely do one thing without thinking about several others. This keeps us from being present with the one thing we are doing, and increases the risk of error or accident.
The Relationship Between a Lack of Mindfulness and Personal Injury
The most common causes of personal injury claims in the United States include car accidents, construction accidents, and slip-and-fall accidents. Interestingly, studies have confirmed that mindfulness reduces the risk of all three. OSHA’s top four hazards for construction fatalities are falls, electrocutions, getting caught in something, and being struck by something. All four of these hazards have been linked in studies to a lack of focus or awareness.
Additionally, distracted driving and “driving hypnosis,” where the driver “zones out” or dissociates while driving are significant contributing factors to driving-related fatalities and injuries in the United States. In fact, distracted driving is identified as the only or primary contributing factor in 15% of all traffic-accident injuries in this country. Recent research reflects that mindfulness, when practiced while driving, can prevent or reduce road rage, navigational and driving errors, speeding, and distracted driving, while increasing overall road safety. The study’s findings were quite jarring. The study showed that mindful driving reduced internal distractions by 85% and external distractions by 68%. Additionally, the flip-side of the study revealed that low driver mindfulness was a negative predictor of every form of distracted driving.
Many accidents happen because we are in a rush, distracted, or unaware of our environment. Mindfulness allows us to be present and aware, helping us to calmly respond to and avoid potential risks before they become harmful.
How to Practice Mindfulness
There is no right way to practice mindfulness. Below are some methods that have worked for others. Feel free to see what resonates for you, or trust your own inner guidance.
- Practice taking 30 second breaks throughout the day to focus only on your breath.
- Clear your mind and work on being completely present and aware.
- Meditate for 1-30 minutes a day, or whenever you want to.
- Take a moment to check in with your breath before responding to someone or starting a new task. This can help you stay aligned throughout the day.
- Take time to sit with yourself, away from internal and external distractions.
- Ground yourself in sensory experiences, like smell and feel, to return to your body if your mind is spiraling.
At first, mindfulness might feel impossible. Try to think of it as exercise for your mind. Each time you practice, even if it did not go as well as you had hoped, you are still getting stronger and building endurance.
Talk to a Lawyer
Sometimes, you are as careful as possible but an accident just cannot be avoided. If you have been injured in a Nevada accident, you do not have to bear the burden of navigating this process alone. The attorneys of H&P Law are ready to zealously advocate on your behalf and fight to make sure that you are made financially whole.