Walking the dog and showering. Brushing teeth and driving. Washing dishes and folding laundry.
What do all these things have in common? They are daily routines when our brains can go on autopilot, requiring very little headspace for the task at hand, which allows us to.. well… do free thinking. Think about whatever our mind wants to wander that has nothing to do with the task at hand. Like work stresses, kid problems, the argument from the previous night. A dream. A memory. Maybe a cool ah ha.
When doing these easy routine tasks, it’s like you have two completely different sets of brains. Remember when you were driving somewhere and had no idea what route you took? Your body just automatically paused at the stop signs and parallel parked, while you were completely lost in your thoughts.
It’s as if certain movements, easy and familiar, allow us to separate the thoughts brain from the doing brain.
Nightly prayer and daily meditation. Yoga and breathing exercises.
What do all these things have in common? They are planned rituals that force our brain to focus on something that requires… focus. It’s a moment in time not to think about work stresses, kid problems, the argument from the previous night. It’s time to get in synch with our breathing, emotions, and merge physical with the mental. It’s an opportunity to reflect consciously about the now. It’s a mindful and purposeful effort to reflect, rest, reset, and restore.
What routines and rituals do you do that help you reflect and restore?