Has this ever happened to you….you drive to the store and when you get there and park you realize you don’t remember actually driving there?
This just happened to Buster. Recently, he drove to CrossFit and although he was paying attention to driving and got their safely, he didn’t recall taking some of the turns along the way.
It’s not very far. It’s 3 turns. He takes a left off of our street, a right out of our neighborhood, drives a few miles down the road and takes a left at his destination. It’s a simple route, but nonetheless, crazy! Which turn did he not remember? And when he mentioned it to a friend at the gym, she said that it happens to her all the time.
It’s happened to me too and it’s happened to so many people I know. It’s actually quite common.
So, what is this THING that is happening?
It’s called automatic-pilot mode.
Automatic-pilot is actually a device for keeping an aircraft on a set course without the intervention of the pilot.
We may not be operating a plane, but we are in the driver’s seat of our own life and each of us has this type of mode.
You know how it goes. Nowadays, you’re busy. You’ve got tons on your to-do list. You’re thinking about what you need to do next and then later and then tomorrow.
You’re plugging away and your subconscious self knows the way. It simply takes over. It’s programmed itself to know how to get to the grocery store. It knows the path to the gym because it’s done it so many times.
BUT HERE’S THE WAKE UP CALL: This can be quite dangerous to your health, relationships, your career and certainly your overall well-being.
When you’re not conscious of the steps you’re taking, you’re not truly connecting with your life.
However, There IS A WAY to switch out of this mode into a better way of operating.
Mindfulness is the key! It allows you to consciously step into the driver’s seat. And no….in order to be mindful, you don’t have to sit in lotus position for hours on end. Keep reading and I’ll tell you how and why this is so awesome…
Besides taking you off auto-pilot mode, there are incredible, powerful benefits to being mindful:
+ According to the Harvard Medical school, scientist have discovered that being mindful relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, reduces chronic pain and improves sleep.
+ Studies have shown that in just 8 weeks of practicing mindfulness, you can boost your immune system’s ability to fight off illness.
+ Mindfulness increases positive emotions, helps you tune out distractions, improves memory and attention skills.
+ Mindfulness enhances your connection with others, thus boost your relationships.
What whaaat?! That’s a lot of bang for your mindfulness buck!
It’s about being more aware. It’s about being present in your life…connecting to life like it matters….recognizing that each moment is significant to you…this moment to the next moment to the next moment, etc.
If you’d like to experience these results too, there are many ways to cultivate mindfulness, but THIS ONE SIMPLE STEP is a great way to begin and will jumpstart you in the right direction:
Throughout your day, be mindful (super aware) of each activity you are doing, while you are doing it. Focus on the task at hand.
This level awareness connects you to a more relaxed state of mind and retrains your brain. Here’s how you do it….
+ When you’re flossing your teeth (your Dentist would be so proud), focus all your senses on flossing. Say mentally to yourself several times, “I’m flossing my teeth”. Notice the process of flossing. If your thoughts wander to what you should be doing next, bring them back to flossing.
+ When you’re eating, focus all your senses on eating and say mentally several times, “I am eating XYZ (i.e. pancakes)”. Chew slowly. Taste every bite. Smell the aromas. Enjoy your meal.
+ When you’re playing with your kids, focus all your senses and say mentally, “I am throwing the baseball with Addison”. Be aware of every throw. Feel the ball. Pay attention to the joy of it. Notice the fun. Breathe it in.
Using this techniques instantly creates a level of focus on the task at hand. Becoming focused and completely present for just a few minutes trains your brain to become more mindful.
So, has this auto-pilot mode happened to you? Let me know …and I’d also like to know if you plan to try this new step. Share in the comment section below!
BTW, were you just being mindful? Were you able to read and focus on this task of reading, right here and RIGHT NOW? Were you appreciating the time you gave yourself in this moment? If not, go back and read it again. This time, notice that you are sitting, reading, paying attention.
Remember, the world needs more of YOU in it. I hope this has supported you in some way get out there, be YOU and live a truly meaningful life.
P.S. Always keep going so you can love life, live well and learn more!
P.P.S. Free free to share this post with someone you know who could benefit!