Conscious Choices:A Guide to Self-Directed Learning Chapter Three Attention: Comprehension and Focus
What is Attention? • A quality of intentionally focusing, observing, noticing, or concentrating. • An awareness of what you are perceiving in your internal or external world.
Inner Attention Awareness or observation of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations Selective Attention Brings to our awareness only a fraction of the perceivable stimulus. It is a natural process that protects us from overload. Types of Attention
The Power of Attention • Attention is a force that creates direction in your life—what you pay attention to is given greater value or importance. • You pay for attention with your energy and time.
What is Flow? • Effortless attention • Timeless state that occurs when you are totally absorbed in doing something you enjoy
Outward Distracters Uncomfortable or unusual environmental situations Inward Distracters Physiological, emotional, or psychological Types of Distractions
What is Present-Minded Thinking? • Keeping thoughts and emotions focused on what is going on right now. • Paying attention to what is happening only at the present time. • Not worrying or thinking about the future or recalling the past.
Distracting Emotional States • Extremely intense emotions • Boredom • Impatience • Confusion • Anxiety
Strengthening Attention • Clarity of purpose – connect goals • Good posture – straight spine • Oxygen – breathe! • Grounding – split awareness • Mindfulness – slow down thoughts
Active Listening • It is the difference between hearing words and really understanding what is said. • Requires asking questions, restating what is said, and quieting our own thoughts
Accurate Observation • Intentionally analyze what you are looking at. • Notice differences or similarities. • Be as objective as possible—just the facts.