How to Stop Living Life on Autopilot

Life on autopilot. We’ve all been there. All those days when you feel like you’re just reliving “yesterday” over and over again. Wake up, get dressed, go to work, eat, work some more, come back home, eat, sleep repeat.

You might even find yourself having the same thoughts during the day at a certain time of the day.

It feels like nothing is new and your life’s just going forward almost without you. 

Does it sound familiar? 

Did you ever wonder why it feels like that and how can you escape?

What Does Living Life on Autopilot Feel Like?

If you already found yourself in the description above, try to answer the questions below.

  • What were you doing on Monday morning? 
  • What will you do next Monday morning?
  • Is it kind of the same thing? 
  • What about all the other days? 

If your days look like you’re living the groundhog day over and over again, welcome to what we call living on autopilot. 

Being on autopilot feels like being trapped in a daily routine. Being in an endless loop of the same activities without you even noticing it. 

How to Know You’re Living Life on Autopilot?

You have the same worries every day, the same questions, your days look like are photocopied. 

A simple way to see if you’re stuck in that automatic loop is to write what you do every day for a week and identify your patterns.

Take a notebook and start today, writing down the most important things you did during the day. In 7 days, look back at what you wrote and see if you find the similarities.

Think about all the things you do that are not requiring your attention. Everything that you do out of inertia is part of being on autopilot. 

Your mind is miles away, busy with worries and endless thoughts while you’re making your cup of coffee in the morning. 

How often does it happen to forget if you locked your door?

Since you’re not paying attention to the things you do in the present moment, it’s normal to miss and forget if you did them because you’re mentally not there.  

These are all “symptoms” of living an automatic life and you might now wonder if there’s a way to escape this. 

Feeling trapped in a life on autopilot might make you think that this is what everyone does and this is what “being an adult” means. 

Although most of the people around you might live in similar patterns and it might sound scary to break the endless loop, there are simple ways to do it. Choose to escape the status quo and start living in the present moment. 

Don’t let life pass you by while you’re stuck in the daily traffic jam waiting for the green light, with your thoughts flying far away.

How to Stop Living Life on Autopilot?

I’m sure that this daily loop doesn’t sound too exciting for you:  wake up – eat – go to work – work – wonder what you’ll have for dinner – go home –  eat – sleep – repeat

We admit that it’s easy to be in this loop and most of us are deep into the automatic life. We might even like it. But it’s your choice to decide if you want to be there and enjoy the view while the sun rises and the birds are chirping. Or you prefer to stick to your grey patterns.

It’s ok if you identify with that, I’ve got plenty of tips to break these patterns.

To give you some ideas on how to stop living life on autopilot, keep reading.

1. Make Minor Changes in Your Daily Tasks

Escaping a life on autopilot can start with small changes in your routine. If you do something a bit unusual, it will bring your awareness to the present moment. That’s because your mind will want to pay attention to this new way of doing your regular tasks. 

  • You can start by locking the door with your non-dominant hand. 
  • Change the flavor of your morning coffee or tea.
  • While you’re at work, interact with someone you rarely talk
  • Move your toilet break to a different floor – that will give you some extra physical activity for the day.
  • Change your daily route to work
  • Stop on your way to work and admire a building, a park or even the sky
  • Take a deep breath before you enter your office building
  • Wear something you didn’t wear for more than a year

2. Use Daily Mindfulness practices

Mindfulness might sound a bit woo-woo to you but think about it as a simple way to regain control of your life and your time.

Using simple ways to be present in the moment will help you break the autopilot pattern and will show you how to enjoy your life while you’re living it.

I am not talking about hours of meditation and sitting in weird positions or shave your head. Keep reading to find how easy it can add a drop of mindfulness to your day.

For all those days when you feel like you are already behind with everything, taking a moment to take a few deep breaths can make a big difference. There are simple mindfulness techniques that you can practice daily and they can take less than a minute.

Don’t hesitate to add some to your daily routine.


Gabriela Green

Gabriela Green is a mindfulness and yoga practitioner, in love with nature, tea, and books. For her, every single day revolves around the endless cups of tea since every sip of tea feels like a meditation on its own. Boost your mindful practice and help nature with her Mindful Life Planner (one planner helps to plant one or more trees!). Read all about simple mindfulness techniques, tea, tea meditations on her website.

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