Your attention is your brains boss; it guides your mind's focus. TedTalk Guest Speaker, Amishi Jha urges us to pay attention to our attention lapses.
Stress negatively impacts the ability to focus on anything other than yourself. This self-absorbed focus is usually wrapped around ideas from the past. Thus, our Attention is fragile, vulnerable and relying on information from the past, not the present.
Startlingly, the mind wanders 50 percent of the time. While this may be okay, unless you work with live wires, you are a brain surgeon or do anything that is life-threatening.
When we let our mind wander, we miss information and make errors. We are less productive, and stress levels go up. Everyone has had the experience of going to another room to fetch something and drawing a blank about what it is. Memory lapses happen when you are distracted by another thought, and you lose track of your original one.
Distraction or memory lapses are most likely because the mind is traveling to think about the past or the future. Often, this happens unchecked and without our awareness. Not surprisingly, we also may have difficulty making decisions because we ruminate or regret the past.
Jha suggests we pay attention to our attention. Try writing down where your thoughts go when they veer away. Is it because of distractions like social media, phone or email? Or is it worry about a project, person or something in the future? If you can isolate the cause, you have much more control. Simple routine changes like turning off notifications on social media will be rewarded with much less distraction.
The opposite of a stressed and wandering mind is a mindful mind, but it takes practice. Meditation and mindfulness practice train the brain to get and stay focused. As a funny motivational speaker, I like to remind people that laughing puts you in the present moment and drastically decreases stress levels.