Shutting Off Autopilot to Live a Better Life

How many times in your day are you rushing from task to task just to get things done? When you go out with others do you leave your phone in the car so you can focus only on those around you and what you are doing? Thinking more about what might happen in the future or regretting something from the past keeps us out of the present. Practicing mindfulness or purposely focusing our attention on the present moment and experiencing feelings without judgment will lead to more happiness in our lives.

 

How You Benefit from Being Mindful

 

The practice of mindfulness is  beneficial to our physical and mental wellness. It helps us to fully engage in activities and to deeply connect with others. It can help us to deal better with adverse events when they do occur in our lives. It relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, treats chronic pain and improves sleep. It is a technique used to treat anxiety, depression and substance abuse. By being more mindful, we can observe our thoughts and feelings from a distance helping to change our perspective. It can help us to take that much needed “pause” before just reacting.

 

How to Shut Off Autopilot

 

We are all born with this ability and it can be done anywhere and at anytime. Our busy lifestyle impairs mindfulness unless we nurture it daily. The simple act of meditating for a few minutes each day will help you build better concentration and focus so you can be more mindful. It’s really very simple to start doing:

 

  1. Sit quietly and focus on your breathing or on a specific word or words that are important to you. For example, if you are battling a conflict in your life you might use “I will be at peace”.

 

  1. Focus on each inhale and exhale of breath, paying attention to any body sensations you are also experiencing or repeat your word or words silently.

 

  1. When your mind wanders away, and it will at first, accept it without judgment and gently pulling it back to your focus. Don’t give up, keep practicing.

 

  1. Begin with just a minute each day building your focus then add on more time.

 

Meditating is just one way to help you be better at mindfulness.  It’s not about emptying the mind of thoughts but bringing awareness to what is going on around you. You can even just start by being more mindful when you eat meals. Mindful eating can help you get in touch with hunger and satiety cues that are important for weight control and wellness.

 

In conclusion, don’t live your life on autopilot just going through the motions. Be mindful and present everyday. You will find that you have been missing out on many wonderful things. I will leave you with this quote from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits:

 

“Be joyful in whatever you are doing, grateful that you are able to do the task and fully appreciate every little movement and tactile sensation. You’ll learn that anything can be an amazing experience, anything can be a miracle.”

 

If you’re not involved with something that is improving your life and are ready to make a change in your health and vitality, start by setting up your Vitality Strategy Session! Our Pack is here to support you on your journey.

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Treves Janszen

Treves Janszen

Nutrition Coach at Thrive Fitness
Treves is a Level 1 Certified Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition. She has been involved with fitness & nutrition for almost 10 years. Along with being a Nutrition Coach, Treves has 30+ years of healthcare experience as a Registered Nurse. In her spare time, Treves like to read, cook and lay by the pool (when it's sunny, of course!).
Treves Janszen