How to Boost Your Power of Paying Attention
Love and Attention
We need and crave attention. Attention is the basic ingredient of any living relationship; it is the most basic form of love. Without attention, no relationship can survive. The connection simply dries up.
Power of Attention to Heal
When you can pay attention, stay focused, and ignore distractions, you have particularly important skills in your work/professional life and in your personal life. Concentrate, focus, and listen are some other words used to mean ‘to pay attention’.
We hear a lot about the importance of attention and focus. They are important for physical and mental work. They are essential in keeping us alive while driving, keeping our relationships going by listening, getting us to where we want to be by staying aware, and helping us complete writing a task or a project.
How many of us missed a turn while driving, daydreamt while listening to someone, had to go back several paragraphs or pages while reading? Imagine someone walking on a cliff and losing focus, or taking a selfie while walking backward on a cliff or in a zoo. What would be the consequences of making an important or life-saving decision while being distracted?
When we are mindful, we pay attention. According to L. Fehmi, mindfulness can reduce stress and improve mental and physical health. Lots of people insist that the quality of their lives improve tremendously as they become mindful on a more regular basis.
Attention and focus are the raw materials of human creativity and flourishing.— Nir Iyal
How to Pay Attention
Attention is the principal tool we use to guide our awareness and understand the world. It is not a matter of what we pay attention to, but of how we pay attention. We can pay attention the right way or the wrong way. When we are in pain, we pay attention the wrong way by focusing on the pain and fighting it. The right way is to stay relaxed and immerse ourselves in the pain while keeping our other senses present at the edge of our attention. In other words, by staying aware of the space around us in a relaxed manner.
When you adjust the way you pay attention, you increase your power to change the way you relate to your world. With the proper way of paying attention, you can open your heart, live the fullness of your senses, and re-establish your bond with yourself.
One of the reasons some people experience mood changes is the way they pay attention. It is useful to be aware of shifts in attention. When you notice that your mind is wandering, bring your attention back to what you are doing or experiencing in a gentle and relaxed manner .
People who meditate regularly know the importance of staying focused while meditating. When meditators report that they feel at home during meditation, it is because of the way they pay attention. When you pay attention in a relaxed effortless way, you become more accepting, energetic, healthy, and creative.
How to Get Better at Paying Attention
You can use strategies and tactics to help improve your attention.
- If you practice yoga, the Tree pose where you stand on one leg is the typical position for getting concentrated power of attention. Another yoga pose that strengthens the power of attention is the Mountain or Standing pose.
- Use lists and keep them up to date.
- Spend some time every day to prepare for your day and your week.
- Use your gadgets, such as iPhone, Smartphone, iPad, or tablet, to get reminders.
- De-clutter your home, your office, and your life.
- Re-arrange stuff to reduce distractions.
- Carry a notebook with you at all times to jot down ideas as they come to you.
- Deal without delay with phone calls, emails, and whatever needs to be done.
- Refuse excessive commitments to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
- Avoid multi-tasking whenever possible. Complete one task at a time before moving to the next one.
- Look at the time to keep yourself aware that you need to move to another activity.
- Most of all, live a healthier lifestyle with moderate exercise, healthy diet, meditation, yoga, and fun activities that bring you joy.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Any mention of attention brings ADHD to mind. ADHD is a brain disorder where those who have ADHD face an ongoing struggle with paying attention. It is a predisposition to be easily sidetracked, having trouble sitting still, and behaving recklessly. It is “not a sign of laziness or apathy”.
In general, people use the term ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder to mean ADHD. ADHD is the correct abbreviation to use.
In adults, ADHD can meddle with job performance, relationships, and other facets of daily life. These warning signs are linked to attention, organization, motor control (explained below), and follow-through that can last a lifetime.
The symptoms of ADHD are poor memory; being easily sidetracked; uneasiness; feeling swamped; being irregular in respecting commitments; feelings of lethargy and irritability; hyper-focus; stalling; and failing to complete projects.
We do not usually think of hyper-focus. It is an intense form of mental concentration or visualization that focuses completely on a subject, topic, or task. Hyper-focus on a certain subject can side-track us away from assigned or important tasks.
ADHD has no cure, but there are ways to defeat its challenges at any age. It is not definitely known what causes ADHD, but it seems to run in families.
Adults with ADHD can get useful treatments that do not include drugs, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, emotion-focused therapy, and neurofeedback.
What Is Motor Control?
Motor control is the ability of a person to initiate and guide a muscle to function, and to voluntarily move or change position It is distinct from the automatic actions of the muscle, such as shivering when cold, or recoiling when an object is thrown at us without warning.
Fehmi L. & Robbins J. (2007). The Open-Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body.
“Confronting Adult ADHD” Harvard Health Publication. Harvard Medical School Guide.
“Attention Is the Most Basic Form of Love”. James V. Cordova. Psychology Today. May 2011.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.