You’re always visualizing, in ways you may not be aware of. When you think of performing your next task, you’re creating a mental image of that task. As you drive to work, you have a mental map of your route that you follow, including the landmarks you use to navigate by.
You also visualize yourself. In your mind is an image of yourself as either successful or not, and you recreate that picture in your life, becoming who you think you are.
A new article has spotlighted just how much you use visualization in your day-to-day activities. It’s a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety at the University of Utah. The study looked at how all the new technology of cars, designed to make us safer, can actually be a hazard.
The new technology that allows you to give verbal directions to your car diverts your attention from the action of driving. “It basically takes our minds, if not our eyes, off the road,” says David Strayer.
Your brain automatically tries to place a face with who you’re talking to. And when that’s a car, your mind seeks to create a person there. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you have to think hard about what you’re saying and the “person” you’re talking to.
This is also why it’s more dangerous to talk on a cell phone while driving than to talk to a passenger. You’re mentally creating the person’s face who is on the other end of the call. This takes more attention and brainpower. When the person is in the car with you, you don’t have to use brainpower to imagine what they look like. They’re already there.
Use your attention and visualization wisely. Keep your mind on your driving when you’re behind the wheel. And make sure that you’re visualizing what it is that you want, including arriving safely at your destination.
~ Linda-Ann Stewart