Attention is like a flashlight whose beam can be directed at anything. And since we are distracted by about 50% of wakefulness, it turns out that this beam rushes from side to side. In order to learn how to control your attention, a psychologist from the University of Miami Amish Jah suggests training mindfulness.
According to her research, people who don’t do such exercises, during severe stress, their attention is scattered. For those who regularly train the brain, on the contrary, it improves. Awareness also has other advantages: reducing anxiety and the risk of repeated depression, improving short-term memory.
Start with conscious breathing. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Focus on breathing sensations. Feel how cool air enters your nostrils or how your stomach rises and falls.
When distracted by something, gently turn your attention back to your breath. Do not be surprised or upset if you have to repeat this many times.
Focus on the sensations when walking: feel the touch of your feet to the ground, the wind on your skin, the surrounding sounds. It doesn’t matter where you walk: on the street or indoors.
3. Body scanning
If attention is a flashlight, then during the scanning of the body, you need to consistently illuminate the entire body with it. Start with the toes, notice the sensations in them. You may feel tingling, warm or cold. Then slowly move up.
When you have learned to concentrate and keep your attention on one object, you can proceed to free observation.
4. Free observation
It helps to notice what is happening around you but does not cling to it. There is no need to focus on specific objects. Instead, be open to any sensations that arise.
To do this, sit in a comfortable position and try to notice all the sensations, thoughts and emotions, but do not hold them.
This is the same as watching the clouds. Only now you are watching how your thoughts flow.
Sometimes you will be stuck on one thought, and that’s natural. If you can’t let her go, do close attention exercise to regain your sense of support.
What to do if you can’t
The point is not to wean yourself from being distracted. But to notice when you are distracted, and to direct attention back.
Usually, people begin to feel a positive effect after four weeks of 15-minute workouts five days a week.
To make this a habit, put reminders on your phone and find a quiet convenient place, as well as a suitable time when no one will distract you.
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