How to Reclaim your Attention
How to Reclaim your Attention
Have you ever asked or been asked any or all of these questions?
· “Were you listening to a word I just said?”
· “I’m sorry; could you repeat that for me, please?”
· “Where’s your mind wandering off to?”
These three questions have one thing in common – “lack of focus.” Our ability to pay attention to the present moment or in any situation is crumbling before us, and we need to do something about it before it’s too late.
The question is – why have we lost our ability to focus on important things?
And, how do we improve our attention span?
The only way to get to the solution is by first understanding the causes behind lack of focus.
Relevant causes that reflect how we’ve lost our focus
Our attention span at the workplace has gone down to an average of three minutes. A teenager can focus on one task for not more than 65 seconds.
That’s alarming! We’ve lost a great deal of attention, and sadly, we’re okay
Imagine the potential that focus can bring to our lives. Where would we be if we took an interest in actually paying attention?
In today’s blog, we will talk about some of the causes of our inattentiveness and what we can do to reclaim it.
- The distractions around us as we switch and filter
We are overloaded with distractions, from someone talking in the background to a WhatsApp text on our phones, traffic noises, arguments, cell phones ringing, and so on. There’s so much that’s interfering with our flow of thoughts.
- The flow of our routine and how we become habituated
We have a daily routine after we complete our work. It’s our way of unwinding and relaxing. In today’s time, it’s mostly watching Netflix or the TV, going to the pub, or anything that can distract us from our already distracted minds that refuse to switch off after work. However, getting away from our phones is rarely the case, even after work. We must develop the ability to break the routine from activities that tire our minds even more.
- Our ability to eat what’s not good for us
We are raised to depend on foods that are unhealthy, causing chronic illnesses. Hungry? You can get a candy bar for as low as $1 from a vending machine. However, studies reveal that refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and unhealthy fried foods cooked in bad oil are causing ADHD in children and others, reducing focus. These unhealthy food choices also cause weight gain, thus increasing our chances of developing other weight gain-related disorders.
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- Drifting minds
Our minds need to relax from time to time. It’s not meant to work for us round the clock. However, we lose our attention or lifespan of focus when we wander during stressful times. We let our minds wander to different thoughts when we are working, interfering with our focus. We’ve stopped living in the present and are unable to work productively.
- Technology-led distraction
Technology has increased the pace at which our world runs. However, it has slowed down our ability to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes, even seconds. We’ve become more impatient, which has also robbed us of our focus.
Decompressing to de-stress
We’re always in a hurry. We want to finish loads of work in a short period and give it the name – efficiency. In the process, we are fooling ourselves into thinking that we’re reaching the finish lines as expected. There are several finish lines we race for, and prioritizing one before the other can properly help classify our pattern of thoughts.
Therefore, to increase our attention span, we need to decompress. Decompression refers to the process of helping our minds relax for a specific time or day, so when we get back, our minds feel better.
It was found that people who decompressed had improved their focus levels compared to those who worked throughout the day. Taking a few short breaks and then a long break in-between work helped people focus better compared to those who worked throughout with one lunch break.
Decompressing keeps your body from excessively producing the stress hormone called cortisol. Your mood improves and reduces your desire to eat the wrong foods.
A few practical ways to decompress includes:
- Taking a walk
- Deep breathing exercises
- Self-massaging your shoulders, neck, head, lower back
- Taking a short 30-minute nap
- Disconnecting from your cell phone
- Reading a book
- Exercising like cycling, swimming, jogging, etc.
- Scheduling time for loved ones
Do not let the lack of focus ruin the best moments. Losing focus is like losing out on the essential aspects of life. Eat healthily, have an active lifestyle, and live a little more while away from your workplace stresses.Dr2bthin.com