Attention fatigue is a threat to your cognitive and mental health ~ Markham Heid
Your ‘directed attention’ needs a rest sometimes. It’s not something you might readily acknowledge but, as the fascinating article in the link below attests, “distractions, multitasking behaviors, loud noises, bustling urban environments, poor sleep, and many other features of modern life seem to promote attention fatigue.”
Have you ever had those moments when you feel deeply tired but all the sleep in the world does not change your level of exhaustion? Sometimes the feeling is described as being ‘bone tired’ but ‘brain tired’ would be a more accurate term.
As the article points out so clearly, when your brain power is running on empty from the excessive effort it takes to stay focused on daily tasks, the effects can result in stress, loss of willpower, lack of concentration, struggle with decision-making, and other problems such as burnout.
The good news is, there is an antidote. The concept involves expanding and broadening your view in order to relax the laser-focus of demands that keep you in a mental deficit. Time spent in nature where you can rest and be soothed with gentle caresses of a world that does not require any particular attention and cultivating mindfulness in every day allows you the opportunity to loosen your brain’s grip and restore the energy that has been drained. The concept has even been incorporated into a psychological field of study known as Attention Restoration Theory (ART) and has come to be termed “soft fascination” The gist of this approach is that natural environments are “just stimulating enough to gently engage the brain’s attention without unhelpfully concentrating it.”
Here is a great article to help elaborate on the kind of stress you can be putting on your brain when you motor through your day always focused on the task at hand. Enjoy the read and hopefully you will be inspired to incorporate some of the ideas too!
In bringing taking the steps to bring ‘soft fascination’ and mindfulness into your life, consider that the breath is also a powerful and readily available tool to shift and relax your concentration …