Find a safe, quiet moment where you can pause. Take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and take in the moment. Feel the air in your lungs. Observe your surroundings. Listen to your body.
When was the last time you stopped to be present like this? For many of us, the frantic spin of the hamster wheel can steal days, weeks, and even months from our ability to be present and in control of the moment. We sleepwalk from task to task, and our days are a gray blur of stress and anxiety.
When you live on autopilot, you disconnect yourself from the choices that can change your life. If you have goals to achieve, places you want to go, and people you want to spend your time with, the same old routine and the same old choices aren’t going to work. We can’t expect progress if we aren’t making new choices, and to make new choices we have to be aware of the present moment.
This takes practice. So, set an alarm – once a day to start – and use that reminder to step outside of the rat race for 5 minutes. You can use this time to practice mindfulness by simply actively observing the world around you and how you are reacting to it.
If you feel inspired, take some notes on your thoughts and what you’re feeling, but this simple act of deliberately stopping in the midst of the chaos will take you out of autopilot, putting you in control of where you take your life next.