“Distractibility is the mental equivalent of obesity.” ~ Matthew Crawford
About 20 years ago, I was travelling through northern New York state. I stopped at a gas station and I noticed something strange. The gas pumps had small TV’s that were playing the gas company’s commercials. As I was standing there filling up the tank I thought, that’s a powerful way to monopolize my attention and reinforce their message.
That’s just one example of how companies find ways to grab our attention.
Advertising on the internet happens so frequently, we’ve almost become numb to it. Ads and pop-ups and notifications are constantly hitting our eyeballs and ears. These are all attention grabbers that have been designed to prime our nervous systems.
In Seoul, South Korea, it’s been taken to the next level. As you ride public transit, you may suddenly smell the scent of Dunkin Donuts coffee as a Dunkin Donuts jingle plays over the PA system, as you pull up to the next stop which happens to be next to a Dunkin Donuts. And to reinforce even further, the bus driver announces that the Dunkin Donuts is at that stop.
Would you be surprised to learn that many people who work in Silicon Valley don’t allow their children to have access to devices? Or that they severely limit their exposure? Isn’t it ironic that the very thing they develop, build and sell to the world, they won’t allow their own children to use.
Some studies show that the strongest predictor of success in life is not IQ or socioeconomic status; It is our ability to pay attention and to self-regulate that determines our success in life.
Consequently, if we’re constantly distracted by external stimuli as well as our own thoughts, our life experiences gets scrambled and our ability to learn, adapt and function becomes impaired. We call this stress and anxiety.
Luckily, paying attention is like building a muscle; the more you practice, the stronger it gets.
With NeuroStructural care at the Happy Spine, you’re learning to pay attention; you’re building that self-actuating muscle. When we ask you to pay attention to your body while you’re on the table, you’re exercising your brain and teaching it how to self-regulate. This is the secret behind the long-lasting results that we get!
Consciously choosing what we pay attention to is one of the few things that we can control.
Researchers say that when we hear the bing of our phones, we get a “hit” of dopamine, that is, we get rewarded. The rewards of being able to choose what you pay attention to are much greater: feelings of wellness, peace, connection and meaning.