There’s no doubt that people are more than often running around in their auto-pilot modes. Their bodies are somewhere and their minds elsewhere; totally out of sync. Their attention is divided into multiple tasks at once. Checking out Instagram and Facebook accounts, texting somebody and doing something else at the same time. Thinking of something, and doing something else.
Body is here and the mind is in the Future or in the Past and so they are always missing the Present moment!
Why is the brain on auto-pilot mode?
In my opinion, there are mainly two reasons for the auto-pilot mode brain. The two main culprits!
- Conditioned Habits
- Stressful Life-style
After repeating any action frequently, it becomes a habit and then our second nature. We no longer have to consciously think about it while doing it. Since we are used to living the same life every day i.e. repeating the same old tasks (mistakes?) everyday, we have grown conditioned to our surroundings and the activities that we do here. Our bodies have developed muscle memories to perform them with little or no attention from our side.
No, I am not just talking about your ability to bring the food to your mouth with your eyes closed. I am talking about the tasks that used to require so much focus and attention from you when you initially learned them. Tasks like walking, running, driving, talking, typing and any other thing that ends with the “-ing” that you have mastered by now!
As the mind gets conditioned and used to doing the same actions repeatedly, it loses touch with the life of it. It becomes lifeless and so the auto-pilot mode kicks in.
“Hello world. How are you doing today?”
“Hi, I am just a little more competitive, demanding, expensive and scary than yesterday.
How are you doing?”
This is the state of the world and the societies that we live in these days; the modern life style. Always measuring our achievements and possessions, constantly asking us to meet the deadlines, asking us to work harder and harder to maintain that material security. Basically, asking us to put in more and more stress in our lives.
Now, in our bodies we have something called the Sympathetic Nervous System which is a part of autonomic nervous system and is related with our survival instinct. The Sympathetic Nervous System is responsible for giving you an adrenaline rush in the moments when you suddenly feel something is wrong, like there is a Fire in the building, or you hear an unusual sound at night or you see a snake, an immediate threat in your surrounding. You suddenly feel hyper-active and your brain forces you to do things that are urgent and important at that moment to make you feel safer. You get impulsive thoughts to act quickly.
Now all of this is good as it helps us to fight against the immediate danger around us. But, it is good only when things went wrong occasionally.
As mentioned earlier about our modern lifestyles and the world we live in, our lives are filled with demanding stressful moments every single day. Bills, troubled-relationships, demanding jobs, demanding responsibilities, financial and physical insecurities, health issues, world problems and many more issues like these are our modern threats. Hence, the moments that give the appearance of a danger approaching us are always lurking behind us. Such moments, in turn awakens the Sympathetic Nervous System and not just awakens, but continuously operates throughout our day.
As the fear of danger frequently clouds the rational mind, people are used to being unable to think qualitatively. They make hasty decisions and stupid mistakes without giving much thoughts. To cope with the stressful reality, they constantly drift inside their heads which are filled with chaos of the world.
Being unable to see a different perspective of life, sadly, the auto-pilot mode swallows them in.