Knowingly or unknowingly, a lot of us suffer from attention problems. All of us have gone through challenging times when we couldn’t bring ourselves to complete work. No matter how hard we try to get done with work, we find ourselves going back to our mobiles and scrolling through an endless amount of information. Stubbornly, we stay glued to our mobile screens until we are forced to confront the fact that we don’t have much time left.
Things would have been better if only you had good attention skills. Good attention means you will have more time for other things in life. This means you will have time to go for your daily walks; you will have time to pursue hobbies like playing tennis or football.
To organize your life in the best way possible, attention is the critical factor. Through mindfulness, it becomes easy to train your attention and live an easy life. Read further to know more about the link between mindfulness and attention.
MINDFULNESS AND ATTENTION
MINDFULNESS AND ATTENTION TRAINING
The state in which you focus on specific information to exclude other information is known as attention. Achieving this state is a skill that comes with practice. To train your attention, you can begin with a simple mindfulness practise called pausing.
This technique is easy and doesn’t take much of your time. All you have to do is, first, sit in a comfortable position. Place your focus on taking a deep, full breath. Keep observing your breath. If you feel that you are losing attention, you should bring your focus back to your breath.
This technique will help you train your attention to focus on things. Go ahead and read further to know other aspects of attention that are influenced by mindfulness.
MINDFULNESS IMPROVES EXECUTIVE ATTENTION
One must remember that attention is not just about to focus; it also has to do with shifting one’s attention to different tasks whenever needed. A research study had participants assigned to complete a 10-minutes mindfulness meditation training.
The study concludes that mindfulness meditation improves executive attention. Executive attention refers to the ability to regulate our responses in situations of conflict.
For example, imagine that you use a particular route to go home from the office. However, if you have to do other things like shopping for groceries, executive attention helps you. Executive attention interferes with the automatic thought of driving home, and it redirects you to go to the grocery store.
With improved executive attention, you learn to prioritize the tasks of getting the groceries and going home. As you perform the lessons, you can devote complete attention to both. As a result, you complete the tasks efficiently.
MINDFULNESS INCREASES ATTENTION REGULATION
Most of us fail to notice that we are inattentive. Stop here for a second and reflect on whether you are paying attention to what you are reading right now, or are you thinking about what happened the other day? If you are distracted easily, it means you should work on improving your attention regulation skill.
Attention regulation refers to the ability to self-monitor and notice where your attention is going. You ask questions like, Is my attention going back to the movie I watched yesterday? Am I distracted because I want to play games on my phone? As you observe your attention, you learn to redirect your attention to the tasks at hand.
Regulating attention is crucial for success in the student’s academic life. It helps to focus back on one’s books and eliminate distractive thoughts that are not conducive to the learning experience.
MINDFULNESS AND SUSTAINED ATTENTION
Regarding attention, you need to keep in mind that the time factor is crucial. It is not helpful if you are attentive only for a short period. Here, the term ‘sustained attention’ helps you take note of the significance of time in attention. Sustained attention refers to the ability to pay attention to things for an extended period.
Research work shows that there is a link between sustained attention and mindfulness. Notably, an increase in mindfulness practices is related to the rise in sustained auditory and visual attention.
By now, you know that attention has various aspects to it. On the one hand, you need to train your attention to focus on one particular thing. The object of focus could be your office project or your garden work. Then, based on your priorities, you need to master the art of shifting your attention across multiple tasks.
That is, you should be able to shift your attention quickly from work to personal hobbies. At the same time, you should be self-reflexive and check if you are attentive to the task or not. In other words, you can’t be thinking of work while spending time with your loved ones. If you do this, you will never be able to have fun in your personal life.
Last but not least, you need to learn to be attentive towards things for a longer time. Be it your seminar presentation or your art classes, you need to give it enough time to become skilled at it. After all that you know, pause for a second and try to imagine a scenario where you master mindfulness, think about how attentive you will become, and how this can change your life for the better.
As you all know, attention is an extremely fragile resource. More often than not, you face problems at home, school or office because of the inability to pay attention. For people like you and me who struggle to be attentive, there is hope. Research shows that you can practice mindfulness to develop better attention skills.