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turn off autopilot and learn to be mindful

July 15, 2021


It’s so easy to go through the day on autopilot and not think about the small day-to-day choices that we make. Our world is so busy and there are so many demands placed on us from work, family, and social expectations. It can be hard to be mindful when doing tasks throughout the day. Focusing your energy on the task at hand is part of being aware and, over time, you can transform the way you see and interact with the world.

Mindfulness vs Mindlessness

Mindfulness, in simple terms, means being aware. It’s a mental state that is achieved by being mindful of every present moment and acknowledging our thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness allows us to know ourselves better and be able to transform the way our mind interacts with the world around us. It allows us to have intention in our speech, actions, and lives. Ultimately, it gives more meaning to life and allows us to be more satisfied.

Mindlessness is the polar opposite of mindfulness. This is when you go through the day on autopilot and are not truly aware of how you are interacting with the world. It’s easy to do this during school or work, because many of the tasks that we do in our daily lives are repetitive. When you’ve done something a million times before, it’s easy to let your mind wander to other things instead of staying present in that moment. Mindlessness is also being reactive instead of proactive. 

How to be more mindful

The first step is to recognize that you are flying through life on autopilot. From here, there are many techniques that you can try to incorporate mindfulness into all aspects of your life. Try some of the following and incorporate them into your life as much as possible.

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Focus on one thing at a time
  • Slow down
  • Eat mindfully
  • Focus on nature
  • Focus on the present
  • Learn breathing techniques
  • Reflection – try journaling!

One great way to practice mindfulness is to get out in nature. Remove yourself from the noise of the city or expectations of family or work. Sit down and listen to nature. We can learn a lot from that. This is a great place to reflect on your day and think about ways you could have been more mindful. Realizing your mistakes will help you succeed in the days to come.

Meditation is another great way to learn techniques to focus on the present and be aware. Breathing techniques are crucial in meditation and can help your body to slow down during times of stress. Once your body slows down, your mind can too.

Live Every Day With Intention

Consider the things that you already do every day. There are so many things that we do mindlessly when we can stop and appreciate the moments with intention. Slow down during your day and think about what you’re doing. Have intention when you’re:

  • Scrolling on your phone on social media
  • Scrolling through emails or text messages
  • Talking on the phone to your friends or loved ones
  • Going on your daily run or to the gym
  • Driving to work or school
  • Making dinner
  • Eating
  • Spending time with your family
  • Going out with friends
  • Any other daily ritual that you have

When you are present in the moment, so many wonderful things can happen.

It’s important to remember to be kind to yourself during the process as well. It isn’t easy to be present in the moment or only focus on one thing at a time. We live in a world where we are required to multitask. Be aware of the things you are doing. Take small breaks during the day to reflect and meditate on your choices. Being self-aware is more than being aware in the moment, but being able to reflect on the day. Pinpoint areas that you struggle with and think about ways to be more mindful in those areas. Try a reflection journal that you can reference back to. The more you think through it, the more aware you become and can find possible solutions that work with your routine.


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