It takes just 12 minutes to fully concentrate on what we are doing: Dr. Amishi P. Jha explains how complacency works

For some time now, Dr. Amish B. JahAssociate Professor and Director of Psychology at the University of Miami Cognitive neuroscience for mindfulness research and practiceE is working on developing cognitive training techniques aimed at improving people’s attention and understanding. From this, he has been compiling over the years a large amount that he will fit into a book that is now coming out in Latin America, after being published by the Planeta Group in Spain.

On the pagesThe New Science of Attention In 344, the author talks about how to achieve complete mindfulness by investing twelve minutes a day.

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Every moment of the day we use every bit of our attention to position ourselves in relation to the environment around us. The constant demand for technology, from the back cover, to 24-hour headlines and overwhelming demands for work, stretches our attention spans harder than ever. This is why today we suffer from a collective attention deficit disorder that leaves us feeling increasingly distracted, overwhelmed and anxious.

Unable to resist the incessant distractions (emails, video calls, messages or notifications), we exploit our attention and demand that we do it even when we can’t balance everything.

inside”The New Science of Attention, Dr. Jha reveals, and if we don’t make room in our minds for specific and better daily routines, it can be difficult to control what grabs our attention. This makes us more vulnerable to distractions, an experience the author called ‘attention lapse’.

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The author explains that in just twelve minutes a day, all this can be turned around. “You lose fifty percent of your life. You’re not alone. It happens to all of us,” he writes. “Without attention, we would be completely lost: either we would be blank, unaware of or unresponsive to the stimuli in our environment, or we would become overwhelmed and disabled by the onslaught of irrelevant information coming our way.”

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If we try to focus on something for too long, the book reads, it begins to resist, we begin to notice that it refuses to stay there, and eventually we become distracted. “We are biologically predisposed to be distracted, a necessary ‘ability,'” says the doctor.

Historically, humans have been unable to focus on one activity. When our ancestors went hunting or gathering food, any external stimulus would distract them from their objective, be it the sound of an animal or the alert of a predator. If evolution had its way, we would be extinct as a species if we could just ignore everything going on around us and focus on what we were doing.

The brain is predisposed to what is called “mind wandering,” which seems to be the origin of inattention because spending too much time on one activity guarantees that our performance will be poor.

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The doctor proposes three exercises that can strengthen our focus in our daily activities. It takes a few minutes to sit upright, with a stable posture, and connect with the sensations associated with the breath, so that when the “lamp” begins to move, move it to another location.

Brilliant and accessible, bringing together illustrative stories from high-profile individuals who have successfully applied science and its techniques, “The New Science of Attention It rejects common assumptions and provides exciting new tools to radically improve our lives.

The New Science of Attention, part

Tell me if something like this has ever happened to you: There are times when you find it very difficult to focus and your mind constantly fluctuates between boredom and stress. You are scattered and have no way to focus as much as you need to. You lose your temper easily. You are irritable. Emphasized. You realize you made mistakes: spelling mistakes, words you missed or repeated (did you see?). Deadlines are closing in on you, but it’s hard to tear yourself away from news and social media updates. You’re navigating your phone, going from one app to another, and after a while, you look up and wonder what you were looking for. You spend a lot of time inside your head, disconnected from what’s going on around you. You think about past conversations: what you wish you had said, what you shouldn’t have said, what you could have done better…

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You may be surprised to learn that all of this has to do with one thing: your focus.

If you feel like you’re in a cognitive fog:Decreased focus.

If you feel anxious or worried, or if your emotions overwhelm you:Distracted attention.

If you find yourself unable to concentrate or take action or do something in a hurry:Scattered attention.

If you feel disconnected from others:Disconnected maintenance.

In my research lab at the University of Miami, my team and I study and train people in some of the most intense, stressful and demanding occupations out there. Among others, we study medical and business professionals, firefighters, the military and elite athletes. All of them have to pay maximum attention (and do it well) in situations of extraordinary importance and their decisions can affect many people. Situations such as major surgeries, dangerous forest fires, rescue operations or in war zones. In these situations, a single-second performance can make or sink a career, save or end a life. For some of these people, focus is a matter of life and death. Indeed. And, for all of us, it’s a much more powerful force that shapes our lives more than we realize.

Focus determines:

What we feel, learn and remember.

How static or reactive we feel.

What decisions we make and what actions we take.

How we relate to others.

And, at the end, how satisfied and fulfilled we feel.

At some level, we already know. Look at the language we use when we talk about caring. Pay attention, we say. “I’m asking for your attention for a moment, please,” we plead. We see and hear “attention-grabbing” information. These common phrases underscore something we already know intuitively: attention is like a currency that can be borrowed, given, or stolen. It is very valuable and limited.

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Recently, the business value of care has become increasingly important. As they say about some social networking apps, “If you’re not paying for the product, you’re the product.” To be more precise, the product deserves your attention, an item that can be sold at a higher price. We now have attention-grabbing merchants and attention-grabbing markets. All of this portends a new dystopia in which human “focused futures” will be traded for cattle, oil, and silver. However, we cannot save or borrow attention. It is not something we can hoard for later use. We can only use attention here and now. At this time.

Continue reading:

Looking forward is what leads us: This is how the world’s greatest leaders demonstrate greatness in others.
The Key to Happiness Is Within Us: The Spanish Coro Canet and His Method for Achieving Happiness
Side effects of rediscovering a much-loved book

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