Being Present and Aware: Ousting Our Automatic Pilot
April 01, 2012
Have you ever had the experience of driving to a familiar destination and being completely on automatic pilot? You arrived safely but you were not in the least self aware of the process of how you got to be at point B from point A.
If you have had this experience, you will recognize that automatic pilot is the opposite of mindfulness and being self aware. Being on autopilot, or not paying attention, is usually when we get in an accident, stub our toe, bump our head, or burn our dinner.
Being on automatic pilot means that we are losing moments in our day. If time feels like it goes quickly, it goes even more quickly when we are on not present. Maybe we don’t care about losing moments, but there is a mounting body of research showing us that we should be concerned with how we spend the precious moments that make up our lives.
Mindfulness meditation is receiving a lot of attention in the psychology and medical fields. Each year, more studies are coming out showing that there are numerous health benefits associated with this practice – enhanced immune system functioning, reduced stress and anxiety, increased feelings of self awareness and well being, reduced experiences of pain, increases in empathy and kindness, and more.
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