Turn Off Autopilot!

How often do you find yourself blinking, not knowing where the time has gone? As cliché as this question has become: are we actually living?

We, humans, do sometimes need routine, but when every Sunday exemplifies Monday dread, every Monday is a physical interpretation of sorrow and every Friday afternoon represents temporary freedom, something is broken.

For most of us, 5 days a week are dedicated to an establishment that, most of the time, is not our own. Keeping the motivation flame going is our own responsibility and maintaining positivity is a daily struggle. From time to time, an epiphany creeps in reminding us that there is a world outside of autopilot mode.

How does one break away from this empty time capsule permanently? How can we become not only present but happier in each moment, making us actually want to slow time down to take in life?

  • Work

At work, it is the most difficult to break away from monotony. Unfortunately, this has to be a conscious process where we have to force behaviors that free us from our comfort zone. Take lunch breaks, initiate office competitions, do whatever you need to do to train your mind that will ultimately turn these forced behaviors into natural habits. Lead a project. Help a coworker with his or her own project. Bring cookies for the office and enjoy the praise of colleagues. Say “yes” to things you wouldn’t usually say “yes” to. Wake up to opportunity.

This blank, numbing mode is at its peak when you’re feeling stuck at work and you don’t know what your next step is, and thinking about it stresses you out. Procrastination is the devil and fuels ‘autopilot’ even more.

Snap out of it and figure it out! Have a conversation with yourself and change your behavior. Figure out exactly what you want out of the company you work for and what you want your next step to be and then chat to your boss or manager about it. If you’ve come to understand that you don’t want to be there, think about your next step and write down your options. Start a side hustle. Do some research. It’s damaging to not know where you stand. Every individual needs to feel valued, that is what motivates us. Be proactive and make plans. Take that brave step you’ve been avoiding. The result will be worth the effort.

  • Technology

Social media has become so scrutinized over the years. It has been expressed that our youth is poisoned by technology and damaged by the lies that they portray about themselves on social media. To a degree, we are correct in saying that technology has somewhat stunted natural, human interaction and actual, real communication, but it has also opened us up to a lot of positive outcomes, such as being able to speak to a mass audience.

Social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, have allowed people to actually post about the smaller pleasures in life. This may mean that they are craving unhealthy attention, but this also means that they have trained themselves to become conscious of what they are physically doing or seeing all the time, in each moment, in case it can be translated into a post.

It is quite a beautiful thing that our youth is noticing moments, whether it’s a pretty view, a cup of tea next to a book or even just a pair of shoes that they admire. We should all be more conscious of these small indulgences (in a healthy way).

Take photos of “cool” moments. Take videos of your significant other or friend doing nothing, simply to create memories you can look back on fondly and not forget. Use technology to your advantage and document moments perceived as “nothings” because in a few years you will watch the footage and activate emotional, nostalgic memories, like how you felt at the time or even just the smell of that apartment. Maybe you will become inspired to do more things worth documenting? Either way, your autopilot mode will be interrupted by conscious moments that you wouldn’t have previously noticed and internalized.

  • Daily Wellbeing

As mentioned, forced behavior can become natural habit if we train our minds in this way.

Wake up in the morning and do something for yourself. So many of us find it so hard to meditate, and writing down what you are grateful for, like so many bloggers suggest, takes time and, let’s be honest, you’d rather sleep for an extra few minutes.

Meditation can mean looking in the mirror and just admiring yourself for a few minutes. Notice your thoughts. Maybe crack a smile. You could also just take 2 minutes to stretch from side to side and dangle your upper body over your legs while closing your eyes and really feeling how good that feels.

Do something that is yours. A healthy habit is a great replacement for your automatic behaviors that you usually can’t even remember doing because every day is the exact same repetition. Do you ever get to work and actually not remember the drive? G-d knows where your mind was the whole time, but it’s so incredibly routinely that you can’t even differentiate between your days. How sad?

Open your eyes on the way to work! Set yourself up for your day. Play a song you love. Listen to an inspirational Ted Talk. Call a parent or sibling to say “hi”. Make your drives to work differ from one another. It’s important to make this effort to change your mindset and the way in which you go through life daily.

We have to TRY to be present as much as possible to hold on to our time.

A strong effort has to be consciously constructed to keep sane and happy. Feeling alive is an effort. Recognize that your mind is so powerful and only you are able to add real value to your life through healthy actions, reawakening yourself to happiness.

 

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