When Distraction is a Good Thing
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Our brains have a limited ability to focus. So distractions can be a powerful tool for reducing the impact of painful or negative experiences.
For example, children are notoriously anxious before surgery. And engaging in video games at that moment helps them direct their attention away from their fear and towards the challenge of the game.
Whether personal technology distractions are a force for good depends on why and how we use them.
Identifying why and how you engage with personal technology may be the difference between healthy and destructive behavior: Do you play to escape your real life, or do you play to make your real life better?
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Forgive. Research indicates that forgiveness makes you less angry and more healthy.
Sometimes suppression is the only thing you can do to avoid an escalation. And sometimes reappraisal can cause you to tolerate bad situations.
But that said, telling yourself a more compassionate story about what’s going on inside the other person’s head is usually the best way to go.
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Boredom is a disconnection to everything we can offer the world and vice versa. It's not influenced by external simulation, it's actually an indicator of how you engage with the world.
Ages ago, when people were busy trying to survive, boredom wasn’t a choice. They spent all their time securing food or shelter.
We are now overstimulated — easy access to infinite entertainment options is feeding boredom rather than discouraging it.
People embrace busyness because they are having a hard time being alone and enjoying it.
Being busy is a tricky form of entertainment however — we don’t feel the boredom, but it isn’t fun either.
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Paying attention involves two separate distinct brain functions:
Our ability to filter out distractions, not our concentration, diminishes with age.
As we grow older we get more and more distracted.
When your eyes are closed, your brain isn’t working as hard to filter out visual information. So:
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