The best solution for endless distraction

Dr. TonyNSA

We had been needing a second vehicle so Magdalena and I recently bought a used car. And even though it’s not as modern as our other car, I enjoy driving it more. The other, newer car has more bells and whistles and that’s exactly why I enjoy driving the older car. It has less bells and whistles. Put another way, it’s less distracting to drive. I find it to be a more peaceful experience.

Compared to when I was growing up, we have way more distractions on a daily basis. Some distractions are designed to be addictive such as our devices and social media. The majority of distractions come through the various media that we consume. Whether we’re surfing the web, listening to the news, or watching TV, companies and other businesses are competing for our attention.

The increasing problem of distractions in our lives requires an equal response in ways and offerings to escape or eliminate distractions. People now can rent a tiny house in a forest in order to do a digital detox. Others choose to stay away from certain social media channels like Facebook or Twitter for a week or a month. Some will go on retreat. Some companies like are now offering what they call a Floatation Spa. In the 80’s this was referred to as a sensory deprivation tank.

What all of these approaches have in common is that they lessen the amount of stimulation and distraction that we can experience. And while they can be helpful and necessary sometimes, they are not the best solution for the many distractions in our lives.

The disadvantage to relying on these methods and others like them is that they do not help you learn to pay better attention. We end up needing devices to remind us to stand up or move and stretch or even breathe. How disconnected from our bodies can we be when we need something to tell us to breathe?

The best solution

The other day Karen came in for her regular appointment. We talked a bit about the importance of paying attention to her body as it was sending her some very clear signals (pain in her low back). She told me that she wanted to know HOW to listen to her body. So I coached her through the Neuro-Structural session. Specifically I asked her to notice where I touched her neck and to keep noticing the touch, the slight rocking of my finger, the slight changes in pressure from deeper to lighter and then back to deeper.

After she sat up I asked her what she was noticing and she said “my back pain is gone and I feel a deep sense of relaxation”. Paying closer attention is the cure for distractions and the hyper-vigilance that comes with them. And it’s something that we can learn to improve for ourselves.

If we don’t practice paying closer attention, we end up living with many distractions relying on disconnection or unplugging as a way to manage all of them and to maintain our sanity.

Learning and practicing how to pay closer attention enables us to choose what we want to pay attention to. This puts the power in our hands and gives us the opportunity to live a life free of distractions: A life of presence, a life well lived.

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