Mindfully in the Moment – How Your Internal Autopilot Affects Mindfulness
By: Tanya Lesiuk
There are three main tendencies of the mind. One of them being the state in which our mind acts like a pendulum, swinging back and forth between the past and the future but failing to easily find balance in the centre. This centre state, is that of balance and allows us to be present in every moment.The key to living in the moment is by simply being actively and mindfully present; often easier said then done. How can we be more mindful in our lives so that we find balance even with the mind’s tendency to swing like a pendulum? Combatting this tendency starts with the act of mindfulness. When we learn how to be more mindful, we begin to connect with self and start to live fuller, more vibrant, purpose driven lives. Becoming more mindful will be achieved by shutting off our internal autopilot.
We live in a world full of constant stimulation, pulling our focus in many directions in the same moment. This overstimulation, overtime leads to a more distracted population. As a result of overstimulation, it’s often more difficult and takes a great deal of effort to be present in the moment. In general, most of us in today’s society become distracted easily and find it hard to focus. When asked to sit in silence with our own thoughts, we tend to see this as an alien concept and are unsure of how to approach the task.
So how can we be more mindful? Being mindful is quite simple. Once we know how to be more mindful we can start implementing the techniques into our lives, allowing us to connect deeper with our internal being.
How to Start Being More Mindful
Everything we do now-a-days seems to have an autopilot function; unfortunately the majority of us appear to be living on this mode. Depending on where in the world you call home and at what speed your life runs at, you may be engaging more or less with your internal autopilot. If you want to be mindful, the easiest and most effective technique for embracing mindfulness is to flip off the switch on your internal autopilot. This process starts with creating habits that allow you to engage more with your environment and those around you.
Implementing Mindfulness into your day will result in an increased amount of focus and connection with self. Here are 3 simple practices that will help you flip off the switch on your internal autopilot:
- Pay Attention To Your Breath
The breath is an essential source of energy we cannot live without. When you take fuller and deeper breaths, you notice an almost immediate shift in your state of mind and physical state of your body. Utilizing the breath is one of the #1 ways to being more mindful.
- Switch Up Your Routine
How many times have you hopped in the car or started walking somewhere, only to arrive and wonder how you got there? We’ve all been there and it’s not a good place to be. The technique of altering your route to work every day will help you get into the habit of flipping off your internal autopilot switch. Taking a slightly different route everyday with help condition your mind to allow you to start engaging and being present. It will also connect you back with your actions and surroundings.
- Check In With Yourself
Throughout the day, take moments to stop and ask yourself, ‘How do I feel?’ and ‘Where do I feel it?’ We are always doing so many things that we fail to recognize how we actually feel while doing them. This simple practice will help us connect more deeply with our bodies.
Shutting Off Your Internal Autopilot
By utilizing breathing techniques, switching up your routine, and checking in with yourself on a constant basis, you’ll be able to build habits that will allow you to become more mindful. This mindfulness allows us to connect deeper with self and start listening to our internal needs and desires which as a result leads to a life that is fuller, more vibrant and purpose driven. In the practice of being mindful, we are led to focus on ourselves so deeply, enriching all aspects of our lives as well as those around us.