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We live on auto-pilot. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The idea that we do many things without having to think about them is good. For example, we breathe without having to remind our lungs to do their job. We walk and run without deliberately moving our legs. We do our morning routine (showering, brushing our teeth, and getting dressed) without much effort. These forms of “mindlessness” – doing without conscious thought or intention – help us. It’s when we act mindlessly in other ways that we lose out. We live so much of our lives trying to get somewhere other than where we are. How many off-ramps have you missed in your life because we are daydreaming while driving? How many cookies did you eat before you reached the end of the tin? Most of the time our minds are not in the present. Our minds spend most of their time in the past, the future or fantasy. Throughout the day check in with yourself observe whether you are being mindless or mindful in that moment.  You can set a reminder on your phone for the top of each hour as a way to do this. Then at the end of the day reflect on those moments when you found yourself being most mindful and when you were most mindless. Did any of those moments involve food? Adapted from Mindful Bites – Joyful Life: 365 Days of Mindful Eating. Available in bookstores everywhere.

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