5 ways to turn autopilot off

How to switch to mindfulness

Mindfulness, it’s one of those buzz words that sometimes gets thrown around without much understanding of what it actually means. Most of use think that it’s something we should do more and that it can lead to a less stressed happier life, but what actually is it? One way to understand mindfulness is to think of it as the practice of being in the present moment and bringing a non-judgmental awareness to whatever it is your are doing. It can be very challenging, especially as life has our attention so split. We multitask between relationships, family, work, money, social media, fitness, we rarely are fully aware of ourselves in the present moment. Some studies have shown that practicing mindfulness can reduce stress reducing cortisol levels in the body. We also know that stress can affect the effectiveness of our natural immune. Other benefits showed participants’ working memory improved and even helping them become less emotionally reactive. We often act out of habit instead of respond out of awareness, which is like us on autopilot. Behaving on autopilot also means that we may miss detail, repeat past emotions, pattern, it’s the opposite of being mindful. Although it's easier said than done! 5 Ways to help you turn autopilot off 1. Leave Your Phone At Home Yeah, right! In these current times of lockdown, you better not be leaving the house often, so maybe leave the phone in another room while you’re having your lunch or dinner. 2. Do A Big Chore Since the lockdown, being at home may have given you more of an incentive to clear out the house. Break that procrastinating loop, do it! 3. Really Listen We often check-up on our friends and loved ones, but with self isolation it’s never been more important to make sure they really are alright. It’s easy to ask, “how are you?" and not really mean it or listen to the other persons reply. Try inviting them to find out how they really are by following up with, “how are you really?”. 4. Pause Break a regular routine. If while on a break you usually thumb through your phone while drinking your cup of tea, how about looking out of the window at least for the first three sips if you can’t manage the whole cup. 5. Self Check-in Checking-in with friends and family is really important, but what about yourself? Before going to bed or even first thing in the morning, try writing down a brain dump of your current thoughts and feelings. Sometimes writing it down and getting it out helps break the loops going on in your head. The main idea of switching off our autopilot behaviour really is all about having a pause and do something different, which makes us have to become more aware and connected with our current selves and environment around us

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