We can hardly stand it when the wifi or smartphone goes down, when we need to be idle or alone. New media serves us with a very, very easily accessible distraction. Just check Whatsapp, football results or shopping promotions .... is just like snorting a line of coke.
The modern way of life of fast-paced life, multitasking and great variety of choice are ultimately attention-exhausting stressors, which we literally "pay" with attention.When the attention is exhausted, we are “scattered or dissolved”. Afterwards, we "recollect" ourself again. The ability to focus attention is decreasing and currently seems to be threatened with extinction.
In order to understand how we got into this situation, it helps if we look at our ability for self-control or self-regulation. This refers to our ability to actively and consciously control attention, emotions, impulses and actions - instead of being driven by everyday life, habits, addictions and other [supposed] constraints.
Our attention works like a spotlight, focusing on what we allow to enter our consciousness. We can decide whether we are looking to the left or to the right, which topics we are dealing with, whether we are binge watching TV or learning something.
It is also called selective attention, the selection of [objects], which we want to experience, what we allow to enter our consciousness, our awareness and what not.
Attention is an energy that is under our control.Depending on quality and ability to control our attention in this way, we move between total helplessness and happiness.
The relationship between self-controlled attention and quality of life has been researched by the world-famous psychologist and flow pope Prof. Mihály Csíkszentmihályi:
"The control of consciousness determines the quality of life. In order to develop this quality, one has to find ways to organize one's consciousness in such a way that one can control one's emotions and thoughts. Therefore, the information we put into consciousness becomes extremely important; after all, it is about the content and quality of our lives.”
If the lack of self-determined attention is overwhelming, it can even lead to pathological development. Following, psychiatric clinics also take care of people whose serious lack of self-determined attention makes them downright disabled.
On the other hand, attentive awareness can first lead to inner peace, then to flow and ultimately to lasting joy. Flow is a feeling of highly concentrated sinking in an activity. A high concentration on a limited field allows you to dive deep into an activity.
Breath meditation is [amongst others] an attention training. We practice over and over again - and thereby free ourself from bad conditioning, rumination and suggestibility - from high-level distractibility.
This works by means of neuroplasticity of the brain, the ability of the brain to adapt to exercise. Just as we can strengthen a muscle through sport, our mental muscle trains our mental processes.
This works by means of neuroplasticity of the brain, the ability of the brain to adapt to exercise. Just as we can strengthen a muscle or a pattern through sport or playing the piano, our mental activities train our mental processes.
Sit down and practice on your meditation cushion every day. Every minute counts. It's worth it.
meditation is mindhack no. 1