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How To Control Your Attention When You’re Feeling Anxious

Attention Is Everything

Managing your attention may be the most important thing you do. Through your attention, you control your mind and through that, your entire life. It starts with managing your mind’s input, where you can be a gatekeeper.

You are in control of your mind, the most important tool at your disposal

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How To Control Your Attention When You’re Feeling Anxious

How To Control Your Attention When You’re Feeling Anxious

https://dariusforoux.com/control-your-attention/

dariusforoux.com

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Key Ideas

Controlling Attention When Anxious

2020 is rocky, with a health crisis, an economic crisis, and a social crisis all at the same time. This, coupled with our already complex lives has made us anxious and unable to deal with the information overload.

Controlling our attention is the key to get over this type of anxiety, where the outside world just isn’t helping.

Fear In Fear Out

According to Darren Hardy, author of The Power Of Compounding, our consumption of content the whole day (fear-inducing and fear-based news) hypnotises us negatively and impacts our output. What is put in us is what goes out of us.

Do not rely on only mainstream organizations and try to get your news from individuals and multiple sources.

Action, Not Words

Doing the right thing, no matter how unpopular, shows your commitment towards what really matters.

Moreover, it is a human flaw to pay more attention to what people are saying, rather than what is being done. Action speaks louder than hollow words.

Be Nice

As simple as it seems, being genuinely nice to others helps reduce anxiety.

Our attention gets divided and clouded when we are pissed off, attracting further negative emotions out of nowhere. Avoid that attraction by being nice to others.

Small Missteps

We need to get a grip on ourselves.

The occasional binging on Netflix, or the cheat meal, does not hurt, but it would if it is done regularly. One misstep, if it starts snowballing into several missteps, would make us lose our momentum, and it takes a lot of energy and focus to rebuild the same.

Attention Is Everything

Managing your attention may be the most important thing you do. Through your attention, you control your mind and through that, your entire life. It starts with managing your mind’s input, where you can be a gatekeeper.

You are in control of your mind, the most important tool at your disposal

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The Pleasures Of Life

There is a lot of stuff available for us to do that makes us feel better instantly. Watching TV, going to the beach, drinking alcohol, smoking, and almost every other activity that seems pleasurable to us, giving us temporary pleasure in a jiffy. When we keep doing that, the long term effects are bad, and we feel older, weaker, sicker, while not having any achievement in our lives.

This is a natural process of a slow movement towards disorder, is also the second law of thermodynamics, called Entropy.

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William James
“My experience is what I agree to attend to.”
William James
Attention Management

It's is the practice of controlling distractions, being present in the moment, finding flow, and maximizing focus, so you can create a life of choice, around things that are important to you.

It is the ability to recognize when your attention is being stolen (or has the potential to be stolen) and to instead keep it focused on the activities you choose. 

Choosing What You Attend To

Attention management offers a deliberate approach that puts you back in control, by managing both external and internal factors.

Practicing attention management means fighting back against the distractions and creating opportunities throughout your day to support your priorities. 

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Leaving our options open

We have a limited amount of willpower, and if we leave our options open, we have to use our willpower constantly. We are much better off removing choices and creating routines that preserve our ...

More options create anxiety

The extreme adaptability that served us so well in evolution is, today, a source of anxiety: at any given point we could choose one of a million options for our life. But the overwhelming number of options only makes us stressed, depressed and anxious, to the point we choose nothing and simply gaze at possibilities.

Noncommitment and multitasking

Multitasking is basically the act of refusing to prioritize one thing over everything else. It’s non-commitment on a micro-scale.

And when we refuse to commit to a goal, we are ensuring that we do not reach any goal.

Shape your perspective

Instead of focussing on the negatives in the situation, deliberately discover what is still going right. 

In choosing your perspective you are keeping the problem from consuming you.

Be solution-focused

Break the problems into workable pieces. Ask yourself how you can manage each piece.

Find opportunities

Every crisis presents opportunities for growth. Think how someone else you admire might handle the situation.

How can your crises shape you for the better?

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The urgency bias
The urgency bias

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Why it’s hard to ignore urgent tasks

A few explanations as to why it’s so hard to reject urgent tasks:

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Urgency puts us into reactive mode

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Feeling In The Mood To Do Something
Feeling In The Mood To Do Something

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Doing Something Out Of Force

When we do something out of force, even though we don’t want to do it, it creates stress, and feels uncomfortable and difficult.

When we procrastinate, we feel guilty because something important is in front of us and we are distracting ourselves with an unproductive, time-wasting activity instead of completing the task.

Doing The Hard Stuff Easily
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About uncertainty
About uncertainty

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Stepping in the unknown

While it can be quite scary, stepping out in the unknown is necessary every now and then.

In order to push your limits, you should consider taking up new challenges that will not only make you experience fear, but most probably also later success into dealing with new and stressful situations. Furthermore, your brain will get trained to form new connections, which can only prove beneficial in the long run.

Train your mind to defeat uncertainty

Recent research has shown that uncertainty scares people even more than knowing that things are going to actually end up badly.

Therefore, in order to be mentally prepared to beat uncertainty, what better way than just imagining the worst case scenario? If it turns out badly, you will at least not be taken by surprise and, if it turns out well, you will be happy.

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