It’s estimated that 95%of our behavior utilizes autopilot. That’s because neural networks underlie our line of habits, reducing our many sensory inputs per second into easy shortcuts so we can function within this crazy world. These default brain signals can be so efficient that they will often trigger to relapse into old behaviors before we remember what it is that we meant to do instead.
Mindfulness is the exact opposite of such default processes. It’s executive control rather than autopilot and enables intentional actions, willpower, and decisions. But that takes practice. The more we activate the intentional brain, the stronger it gets. Every time we perform something deliberate and new, we stimulate neuroplasticity, activating our grey matter, which is full of newly sprouted neurons that have not yet been groomed for the “autopilot” brain.
But here’s the issue. While our intentional brain knows what exactly is most beneficial us, our autopilot brain causes us to shortcut our way through life. So just how is it possible to trigger ourselves to be mindful when we require it most? It is here that the notion of “behavior design” is available. It’s a way to put your intentional brain within the driver’s seat. There are a couple of methods to do that—first, slowing down the autopilot brain by putting obstacles within its way, the number two, removing barriers in the path of the intentional mind, therefore it can gain control.
Shifting the balance to provide your intentional brain more power takes some work, though. Here are a few ways to get started.
Put meditation reminders near you. If you intend to perform yoga as well as to meditate, put your yoga mat or your meditation cushion amid your floor. Therefore, you can’t miss it as you walk. Refresh your reminders regularly. Say you choose to utilize sticky notes to remind yourself of a new intention. That may function for a couple of weeks, however, your autopilot brain and old habits take over again. Try writing new notes to yourself; add variety, or make her funny. That way, they’ll stick with you longer. Create unique patterns. You could try a series of “If this, then that” messages to develop easy reminders to shift into the intentional brain. For instance, you might come up with, “If office door, then a deep breath,” as a change in means into mindfulness as you deal with to begin your workday. Or, “If phone rings have a breath before answering.” Each intentional action to shift into mindfulness will strengthen your conscious brain.
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