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Are you living on autopilot?

I wanted to try something a bit different with you this week, and make this blog post more interactive. Instead of providing an educational resource in the form of an article, I have put together a reflective piece to give you the opportunity for some personal development.

Being on autopilot, or being mentally checked out is a protection mechanism from the brain to take care of routine tasks in an attempt to prevent us from overload and burnout.

However, when it becomes habitual it can spread out into multiple areas of our life which can lead to disengaging, struggling to be present, and loosing a sense of purpose and meaning.

Here are some reflection prompts to assess whether you are living on autopilot and some tips on how to stop...

Assessing whether you are living on autopilot:

  • Do you often feel like you have wasted your day?

  • Do you constantly do things without thinking?

  • Are you unclear about what is important to you?

  • Do you fill your day with meaningless activities, like constantly scrolling through your phone?

  • Are your days predictable and without meaning?

  • Do you constantly catch yourself daydreaming?

  • Do you often have trouble remembering details?

  • Do you often agree to things you don't want to do, because you are unaware of your needs and goals?

Now you have answered those questions, get out your journal, notes on your phone, or a pen and paper and write down how you are feeling. Finish by writing this:

"Life is what happens when you are not on autopilot."

Tips on how to stop living on autopilot:

  • Create awareness and practice being present. i.e. mindfulness, grounding techniques, meditation.

  • Give space to your thoughts and feelings. i.e. journal, have meaningful conversations.

  • Identify and live by your values and goals. i.e. what enduring traits, qualities, or beliefs define you? How can you align your actions with your values and goals?

  • Make regular time and space for things that you enjoy. i.e. hobbies, playfulness, friends, creativity, sports, reading.

  • Create and deepen connections with friends/family

  • Bring meaning into your routine. i.e. use your 5 senses, take a new route, find alternatives to your mode of transport to work.

  • Take mindful breaks. i.e. practice breathwork, have lunch with a friend, go on a meditation walk.

  • Step out of your comfort zone. i.e. d something you've always wanted to do but not actually done yet, learn a new skill, set a new goal.

Did you like this interactive approach to the weekly blog? Let me know in the comments if you would like to see more reflective prompts and journaling exercises focusing on your personal development.

If you would like more support with setting a new goal, you can find the goal setting framework in the download below.

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