Google-owned navigation app Waze is hoping to bring a little zen to drivers by integrating the Headspace mindfulness app.
Back on the road to work? Find yourself increasingly stuck in traffic jams and feeling your stress levels rising? A new Medium post explains that Waze wants to help mitigate driving stress with a new mindfulness and meditation experience on its app.
“More aware drivers on the road can only be a good thing,” says Headspace mindfulness teacher Eve Lewis Priet. “Driving is actually a great example of being mindful. It requires us to actively engage our senses, to focus on the road in front of us, and to be aware of our surroundings. It requires a wakeful attention; if we start to lose focus or become distracted it can end up being very dangerous.”
The Headspace experience allows users to choose five moods for their car icon: Aware, Open, Bright, Hopeful, and Joyful. The user can also choose to hide their car icon by turning on the Cloud Nine option. Another nifty feature is being able to listen to music, as drivers can click on the music icon to connect to a custom Spotify playlist from Headspace. Users can also listen to the Headspace content via the Waze Audio Player.
According to Prieto, the Waze Headspace experience works by turning the driver’s focus to the journey and letting go of emotions. It works similar to meditation exercises by training the brain to be more open and curious. As a result, the experience will help the driver enjoy the ride more.
The Headspace experience on Waze is available for a limited time in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. To activate, download the Waze app and navigate to My Waze > Drive with Headspace. From there, you can swap the in-app car icon for the Cloud Nine hot air balloon, let Headspace guide you on the road, and choose one of the five moods to express how you’re feeling during different parts of your trip