Have you ever driven somewhere and then not been able to remember how you got there? Yes it can be a bit unsettling when this happens and we tend to explain it by saying that we were on auto pilot.
Literally this means that we were not being mindful of what we were involved in. Mindfulness is the opposite, in that
it is about taking time and noticing precisely what is occurring. In today’s hectic world we forget that actually it can be the
Small things that are really important. Our thoughts are usually crammed with a myriad of differing issues, varying from the trivial to the more important as we perceive how they impact on us.
Next time when you brush your teeth, hold the brush in the opposite hand to what you normally would do. This will change the ritual of brushing your teeth enough for you to notice what you are undertaking far more than normal as it will feel a little strange and odd. Therefore we are less likely to be on autopilot when we do it.
Breathing is a very simple mindfulness technique and can be undertaken for just a few minutes of longer should you wish.
Sit somewhere comfortable and quiet. Now just focus on your breathing, observing what is happening as you breath in and out. If you have any distractions such as a noise or a bodily sensation, it is fine to notice it and then bring your mind back to your breathing. When wanting to finish the exercise, bring your awareness from your breath back to the room you are in and into the present. Open your eyes if they were closed and take a few moments to collect your thoughts and finish.
Rita Rupal, January 2013