The number one bad habit that most people have can be surprising—it’s our auto-pilot thinking.
In the moment before we fall into any kind of negative addictive behavior, like procrastination, stress eating, isolation, or endlessly scrolling through our phones, here’s a thought. The thought, whether fully formed or not, is usually something like, I need to get away from this uncomfortable feeling, or even, I want this good feeling that’s here to last.
It’s human nature to want to distance ourselves from what’s uncomfortable and seek more of what feels good. But it’s our auto-pilot thoughts and reactions that can take us places we would rather not go—that take away our choice for how we’d like to show up in the world. With a little practice, we can build our awareness muscles so that those auto-pilot thoughts don’t slip by unnoticed. And better yet, we can re-wire our brains to prefer to linger on moments of joy and happiness rather than seek out distractions and addictive avoidance behaviors.
One of the most powerful ways I have found to shift the atmosphere of the mind towards more focused awareness is a very simple gratitude practice—but with a power…