Do you recognise that most of the time your mind is away with your thoughts? Do you get distracted to the point that you can’t follow what people are saying? Are you missing key chunks of the day due to wandering off? Do you find your concentration muscle is withering away so that tasks take hours when they could take minutes?
Well you are in great company! In our modern culture, where we are overloaded with incoming streams of digital information and technology makes it easier and easier to flit between one thing and the other, our brains are changing accordingly and we are losing the ability to #BeHereNow. I notice how lacking in presence people are and I have begun to find it unsatisfying to be around people who are constantly distracted and can’t really hold the conversational space or tune in to what’s really going on… Having a busy, distracted mind is one of the most common symptoms my clients talk about when we first meet.
So if our minds really do go #AWOL, what sorts of problems do we face?
- poor absorption of facts, figures and information resulting in what feels like a bad memory
- low productivity leading to having to work longer hours than necessary and frustration that this happens
- poor quality connections in relationships due to the other picking up on the distraction, or the lack of presence
- lack of empathy or intuitive connection
- unfulfilling conversations or unsatisfying interactions
- creating an inner environment of stress caused by negative mind wandering
- lack of capacity for really enjoying the moment as it is
- lethargy and tiredness caused the the unnecessary syphoning off of mental energy into overthinking
- no off switch, often leading to insomnia
The good news is, despite the modern epidemic of distraction, it is extremely easy to remedy with the right brain training tools and techniques.
Many meditation methods are designed to train our attention onto a specific focus instead of wandering off into the wilderness or our minds. When I created SHINE Meditation I included this as a key element within the techniques, because I realised the power of training attention and concentration and the #PowerOfPresence. I’d go so far as to say it’s a total game changer. SHINE is like a bootcamp workout for your attention muscle, meaning you can become the master of your attention. Tony Robbins, the global personal development guru, coined the phrase “Where your attention goes energy flows”, and this is so true. What gets our attention is what we become. What you focus on and create in your inner world, will literally raise your state of being. In addition, when you learn to use the power of your focus, your external world will benefit in two ways. Firstly, as you create a positive thriving inner state through mind and body, you create an inner harmony primed for health, happiness and success. This affects what you radiate outwards, how you perceive people, and how they perceive you, in a way which forges stronger connections and relationships. Secondly, when you can focus in your inner world, this up levels to focus and greater discernment in your outer world, meaning that you can strengthen your capacity to focus on what is important, on what will build you positive results, and you can more easily let the rest go.
I like the metaphor of the garden hose. The force of the water in the hose is like the force of energy in your mind through your attention. You can imagine a hose which has been left unattended, and the water is spraying out forcefully, but no-one is holding or guiding it, and it is causing utter chaos, swirling wildly and spraying anything and anyone in its path. Now picture the alternative, someone is holding and guiding the hose, directing it in a specific way. Same force, very different results.
Left untrained your attention wanders off, and why is this so bad I hear you cry? A little daydreaming never hurt anyone surely? And no a little daydreaming is fine. But what happens in the modern human mind is this: Your mind will wander and get distracted in all sorts of directions, but mainly, because of the way our brains are naturally predisposed to ‘negative’ writing, our mind wandering takes us off into stressful, anxiety producing thoughts, often in loops. This is called rumination, and it’s a top cause of stress, anxiety and depression. We produce the same stress response from our stressful thoughts as we would do from stressful events actually happening. Our brains do not know the difference.
When we drift off this is a borderline level of thinking that is mainly unconscious, we activate a ‘default network’ part of the brain called the posterior cingulate cortex – so a lot of the time we are not aware we are looping through these negative, stress producing thoughts. However, even thought the thoughts are just rumbling away under our radar of conscious awareness, our bodies are still making and physiological connection to these thoughts! Yes we are actually feeling our thinking at a cellular level through our bodies, without even being aware of it!! No wonder stress builds up to chronically toxic levels within our inner systems!
I designed The SHINE Program with simple techniques which train you in how you can shine the light of your attention onto positive thoughts, feelings and sensations. It’s SO easy when you know how. SHINE has been tried, trialled, tested AND proven for it’s positive results on mood, emotions, focus, happiness and stress busting. But SHINE subscribers also report being more present, attentive and empathetic in their relationships due to being able to focus on their friends, family and partners when in company, and being received as much better listeners, which of course creates a greater sense of connection.
I am currently offering my SHINE program for a special #FabulousFebruary offer. For just £87 you can access your own SHINE Program here…. #GetReadyToShine and #BeHereNow :
Lisa Bardell – BSc (Hons) Psych, Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy, Coaching & NLP Master – is a coach and therapist who retrained to follow her passion into Psychology after a 16 year business career at executive level. Lisa runs two busy practices in Cheshire and London and works with coaching clients all over the world via Skype. For a FREE 30 min consultation mail on firstname.lastname@example.org