The Power of Focus in a Distracted World

 / 

,
power of focus

The Power of Focus in a Distracted World
by Donald Altman, M.A., LPC
Copyright © by Donald Altman

Do you ever get frustrated because you find it hard to maintain your focus? Do you feel your mind is forever wandering, getting lost in thoughts about the past or all the things you need to do tomorrow? Even though we live in a highly distracting world, there are some very easy strategies for retraining attention and regaining the power of focus.

The Power Of Focus

What I’m about to say may be counterintuitive: It is exactly those times when you get lost in thought that enable you to sharpen your focus and presence!

That’s because the very act of noticing that your attention has wandered away creates what I term re-mindfulness or the process of remembering to come back to the present moment. Let me explain further.

The Power of Focus

Re-mindfulness harkens back to the original meaning of the Sanskrit word for mindfulness, sati, which means to self-recollect and self-remember. In other words, we find wholeness by bringing back to the present moment all the fragmented, distracted, and overwhelmed parts of ourselves.

Neuroscientists have now learned what’s happening when our attention wanders away, such as during meditation or any kind of task. Researchers have explored this in a study published in the journal NeuroImage, Mind Wandering and Attention During Focused Meditation.

Related: How You Can Change Your Emotional Habits

This study identified four very different brain networks that get activated depending upon whether one’s attention is focused or wandering. One of these neural networks relates to the ability to notice when your attention wanders off a task. This is re-mindfulness, isn’t it? Once we notice our mind wandering, we can then shift our awareness back to the present moment.

Of course, noticing the wandering mind takes time, and that’s what a re-mindfulness practice helps you to do. And that’s why, in my workshops and whenever I teach, I always make a point of saying that it’s OK to forget and to be distracted. There’s no need to be perfect with this because it’s an ongoing process of fine-tuning awareness.

In fact, re-mindfulness encourages us to view life through a process-oriented perspective, as opposed to a goal-oriented one (seeing things in a limited and dualistic way as either good/bad, right/wrong, success/failure). This is all the more reason to invite inner kindness and self-compassion when practicing mindfulness.

Fortunately, the brain is highly adaptable.

Here Are Three Practical And Easy-To-Employ Strategies For Getting Present And Rewiring Your Brain For Greater Focus.

1. Notice Thoughts With Neutrality

Begin to increase your awareness of whenever your mind travels off to the future or the past. You might even write down what your mind wanders off to. Is there a theme to these wanderings? This is not to blame or shame, but to simply learn the nature of old or habitual thought patterns. Each time you notice your wandering, you are increasing your awareness circuitry and eliminating old thinking styles.

2. Take Three Slow Breaths

Any time your mind wanders, a focused breath helps you return to the here and now. Notice how good this feels. This will shift your focus and turn on the body’s relaxation system. (The breath is something we’ll explore in future articles.)

Related: How Rest Affects Our Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Health and 5 Tips To Rest Better

3. Observe Your Surroundings In Detail

Be aware of your body position; press your feet onto the floor. Notice the colors in your environment. Listen to all the sounds around you.

Do these practices, and you will bring the power of focus and presence into your life, one awareness and one moment at a time.

Related: 30 Practices To Boost Your Well Being

We hope you’ve gained a better understanding of the importance of staying focused in an ever-changing world. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Written by: Donald Altman, M.A., LPC
Originally appeared on: Psychology Today
Republished with permission
power of focus pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

Decoding Referent Power Meaning: 8 Key Aspects and Its Historic Impact on Leadership Dynamics

Decoding Referent Power Meaning: Eight Key Aspects and Examples

Have you ever wondered why certain individuals have a remarkable ability to inspire and motivate others? What makes them so influential and respected? The answer lies in a concept known as referent power. Let’s explore referent power meaning, and its significance in leadership and the workplace to illustrate its impact.

What is Referent Power?

Referent power meaning: Referent power is a form of influence that stems from an individual’s likability, charisma, and personal connection with others. 



Up Next

When No Place Feels Like Home: 3 Ways To Find Where You Belong

Ways To Find Where You Belong: No Place Feels Like Home

To find where you belong, can be a nuanced journey, often filled with self-discovery and realizations about what makes a place feel like home. Here are three insightful ways to navigate this path, uncovering where you genuinely belong and creating a sanctuary that resonates with your inner self.

What do you do when NO place feels like home? What if when watching Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz clicking the heels of her ruby slippers three times and crying out that famous line – “there’s no place like home” – you found yourself shaking your head, feeling very much alone, and silently wishing that you HAD a place – ANY PLACE – that felt like home?

If that sounds like you, you’re not alone.



Up Next

From Sidelines To Spotlight: 5 Steps To Getting A Seat At The Table (Where You Belong)

Steps To Getting A Seat At The Table Where You Belong

Getting a seat at the table isn’t merely about occupying a chair, but about having a voice and influencing decisions. Follow these five steps to transition from a spectator to a key player, and not just get a seat at the table, but also make sure that your insights are heard and valued.

One of my favourite movies is the 1995 comedy Home for the Holidays. Claudia, played by Holly Hunter, heads to her childhood home for Thanksgiving with her dysfunctional family.

If you haven’t seen this flick, I highly recommend that you do. Especially if at one time or another, you’ve found yourself back at home, being treated like the child you once were, and maybe even sitting at the k



Up Next

How To Get Women To Approach You: 20 Tips To Become A Chick Magnet

How To Get Women To Approach You: Science Backed Tips

Have you ever wondered why some individuals seem to effortlessly attract others? The secret often lies not in chasing, but in drawing people towards them. Let us explore how to get women to approach you.

Do You Know How to Get Women to Approach You?

So how can you make women approach you? Picture this: You’re at your favorite café, sipping on a latte and reading a book. Out of the corner of your eye, you spot an attractive woman. Instead of mustering the courage to approach her, imagine if she came over and struck up a



Up Next

Spiritual Meaning Of Hawks: 12 Deep Dream Interpretations

Spiritual Meaning Of Hawks: Deep Dream Interpretations

Have you spotted a hawk or dreamed about it during a crucial period? According to the spiritual meaning of hawks, you might need to focus on the bigger picture! 

Hawks, with their keen eyes and majestic flight patterns, have long been revered across cultures for their spiritual significance.

Many believe that these powerful birds serve as



Up Next

How To Calm Down Quickly? 5 Best Tried And Tested Self-Calming Methods

How To Calm Down Quickly? Five Best Self-Calming Methods

We all have moments when we feel extremely overwhelmed and stressed out, and no matter how hard we try, it feels impossible to calm down quickly. So, how to calm down quickly? This article is going to talk about some of the most effective ways to calm down quickly, that won’t be hard on you but will also be good for you in the long run. . 

When you experience intense anxiety, anger, or sadness, you might need to calm yourself. Do you know how? It’s important that you find self calming methods that work best for you. Give these methods a try!

How To Calm Down Quickly? 5 Best Self Calming Methods



Up Next

What Is Identity Diffusion And How To Find Yourself

What Is Identity Diffusion? Four Powerful Ways To Find Yourself

Have you ever found yourself questioning who you truly are? Feeling lost and uncertain about your identity is a common experience that many adults face at some point in their lives. This phenomenon is known as identity diffusion. Let’s explore what is identity diffusion and how to find yourself.

What is Identity Diffusion?

Identity diffusion is a concept that explores the complexities of self-discovery and personal growth. It refers to a <