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I was in a rush. I was on my way to an interview and leaving later than I wanted to.
As I was backing out of the driveway, I was checking the street for oncoming cars but not paying attention to where I was backing. In the depths of my distracted mind, I figured the backup camera would scream at me if I got too close to another vehicle.
As I am speedily exiting our driveway, I am jolted from my mindless reverie as I smash into my neighbor’s parked pickup. I feel blood drain from my face as I hear the backup camera screaming at me.
What a way to meet my new neighbors.
My cost of mindlessness for this moment was quite pricey but I have been practicing this fuzzy habit for years. I know the feeling well. I typically drift into mindlessness when I am doing something routine that requires little thought.
Usually, the drift comes up during hygiene activities like brushing my teething, showering, and putting on lotion. Habits that are so routine that I don’t need to worry about harming myself if I let me mind drift for a moment.
The unfortunate part is that it doesn’t end there. It can include a gaggle of other activities like commuting, making dinner, even eating. It is not a good feeling when I suddenly realize – I don’t remember how I got here.
The slippery slope of mindlessness.
The Drift Problem
As a fully faulted human, I still default to mindlessness especially when my brain is tired. I let the ingrained habitats take over and give my energy-sapping thinker a break.
I strive for better by grounding myself in the process. Instead of letting the fog creep in, I try focus on what I am feeling like the warm water when I am washing dishes or the beautiful rainbow shine of the soapy bubbles.
If I focus on my senses and the awareness of the moment, I am more likely to enjoy the process. As a bonus, no emergency funds hurt!
Battling the Fog
I know it’s worth the energy to avoid the cost of mindlessness because all the science I have read about it suggests the more my mind wanders, the less happy I am.
Turns out, mindfulness is cheaper than mindlessness.
I feel that on a deep level.