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Concentration, focus, and attention span

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posted on May, 12 2012 @ 04:11 PM
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This is a psychological topic.

I like to think I'm a fairly intelligent person, but I have one big problem: My attention span is very poor. I am easily distracted. I start projects and lose interest pretty quickly. I tend to be what you call "scatterbrained" sometimes. I suppose I could go to the doctor and get pills for AHDH or whatever they call it, but I don't want to rely on pills, for all sorts of reasons. ranging from mistrust of shrinks in general to the expense involved.

And anyway, the problem is not so bad for me that it makes my life impossible to live. I can study and work, I can read books...I'm not bouncing off the walls. But I would like to improve my attention span regardless, and I'd like to do it without resorting to pills.

I thought I'd open a general topic on this psychological issue to see what people have to say. Do you have a poor attention span? An average one? A superior one? Have you ever tried to improve your focus through mental exercises or pracitice? If so, what works for you? What do you think about the Internet? In my case I'm pretty sure the internet makes it harder to concentrate because its easy to click links and just drift away from something, as opposed to rather than sitting down and reading a book cover-to-cover, say. Anything else you want to say is welcome.




posted on May, 12 2012 @ 04:23 PM
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reply to post by Leftist
 



I like to think I'm a fairly intelligent person


Coming from a "real-life actual communist". Right.


I suppose I could go to the doctor and get pills for AHDH or whatever they call it, but I don't want to rely on pills, for all sorts of reasons. ranging from mistrust of shrinks in general to the expense involved.


I have ADHD, and I control it by having something to do with my hands at all times, or withdrawing and playing in my mental "sandbox", or giving myself something to concentrate on. Whatever consumes mental energy, it works for me.


Do you have a poor attention span? An average one? A superior one? Have you ever tried to improve your focus through mental exercises or pracitice? If so, what works for you? What do you think about the Internet?


I can usually focus on something by contributing to it. That was my problem with classes...since I rarely contribute to a lecture, I have a hard time paying attention to it. This may be connected with not having it personally involved with me.

My solution is as related above.

The internet? Hahaha...the internet is my heroine. The internet provides a crapload more entertainment and information than any other resource I have at hand. Why would I ever give it up? It's like chocolate...or Lay's.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by Starchild23


I like to think I'm a fairly intelligent person


Coming from a "real-life actual communist". Right.


1) Just because somebody doesn't share the same views as you does not make them stupid. There are plenty of people I disagree with but find intelligent. If you can't do the same, it reflects more on your intellectual lack than theirs.
For example, I find Christian fundamentalists utterly deluded, but a number of them are, in fact, quite intelligent on a basic level, in terms of raw IQ. This does not stop them from being indoctrinated with false views. Certain medieval philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas are clearly geniuses, but he believed the earth was flat and spent his life arguing doctrinal points that appear quite deluded to most people in the modern world. Does not change the fact he was a genius. I'm not a genius but I do believe I have a fair amount of intelligence. And failure to acknowledge an opponent’s intelligence leads to failure to effectively combat the views with which you disagree.

2) Thank you for your other input, which was honest and helpful.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 04:51 PM
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Yup, mine was um, well, substance caused. Im currently going cold turkey and my mind is returning to norml.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 04:59 PM
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Hi OP,
your thread struck a chord with me. I'm very scatter-brained, though I'm not sure if this is due to increased responsibilities & work overload.
I remember being 11 yo in class & being instructed by the teacher to 'brainstorm' & to just write/draw anything that came to mind.(Up till this time I was always an straight A student that found work easy & was always able to focus fully)
I couldn't do it. It was like my focus was so fully on classwork I found I couldnt brainstorm. I think I ended up looking at the other kids work to try & get an idea of what I was supposed to be doing. I had no idea.
It really upset me as this was the 1st thing I had ever encountered trouble with, which is why it stuck in my mind.

About 2 years later I started having trouble focusing on schoolwork & have been that way ever since. I was still an A student, but it was amongst alot of mental mumbo-jumbo. It was like my mind was in continual brain-storm mode.
I put it down to puberty, but sometimes wonder about immunizations etc I had at that time & if they really did have a negative effect.
I often think back to that girl I once was & remember the focus that was once there. These days my mind feels like an office with loads of filing cabinets open & paperwork spilling out all over the place. Chaos!



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:02 PM
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Focused meditation.

It takes time and practice to learn, but the rewards are worth it, and will spill over into your attention deficit problem.
edit on 5/12/2012 by Klassified because: Forgot a word.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:06 PM
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reply to post by Leftist
 


The internet causing poor attention span and lack of focus is most definitely an accurate statement. Memory retention is shrunk down as it is no longer a necessity. You do not need to remember something when it is stored somewhere else at an instant away. Cellular phones cause the same problem. Before.. you had to remember every single phone number of your acquaintances. Now.. they are all stored in your contacts list and the phone does all the memorizing. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Our bodies and mind adapt to situations and use what they need to and discard what they do not. However, if technology eventually fails, we will be trouble. Although keep your phone numbers in your phone is handy, it would also be wise to write them down somewhere on paper as well.

Multi-tasking becomes even easier with technology. This results in an increase of productivity but a decrease in focus. The focus just isn't need any more.


As for a reason to be lacked of focus and concentration unrelated to technology, diet plays a very key role.

It is hard to make claims about diet causing this and that because it has been so overused that it has come to the point of 'beating a dead horse'. However, it could not be more true when it comes to these subjects. Not getting proper nutrients and over-indulging in harmful food products such as refined sugar and toxins can cause your body to become very sluggish. The mind follows the body and the body follows the mind. If your body is not energized, most likely your mind will not be either.

Lack of focus/concentration and poor memory are pretty common these days. They also go hand-in-hand with depression and anxiety which is even more common these days. There are plenty of guides on the internet about improving your diet to fix concentration but the irony is that the internet itself causes problems. Perhaps limiting oneself to the time spent on the internet would be a better solution.

Good luck with your concerns.

P.S. I would recommend ignoring useless comments from people that can't seem to separate their judgement from the unrelated topic at-hand. Using mental resources on meaningless, counterproductive comments would most likely be a waste.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:12 PM
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reply to post by jewells
 


I can't or won't go into the whys of what I am about to tell you but I have a license in which I utilize to dole out health advice.

A few really important changes that have impacted cognition. Fluoride in water - buy the bottled distilled water. And get omega 3 fatty acids from walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds and fish. Eat as much of that as possible, and as little as possible of any fat from an animal source. Blood sugar spikes are huge as to why concentration is impaired - largest factor. Processed food is bad, etc, eat a piece of fruit every hour and so forth. And more so, you probably aren't really interested in what you need to pay attention to, anyway, since we are all like mice in cages these days.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:37 PM
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Originally posted by Leftist

Originally posted by Starchild23


I like to think I'm a fairly intelligent person


Coming from a "real-life actual communist". Right.


1) Just because somebody doesn't share the same views as you does not make them stupid. There are plenty of people I disagree with but find intelligent. If you can't do the same, it reflects more on your intellectual lack than theirs.
For example, I find Christian fundamentalists utterly deluded, but a number of them are, in fact, quite intelligent on a basic level, in terms of raw IQ. This does not stop them from being indoctrinated with false views. Certain medieval philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas are clearly geniuses, but he believed the earth was flat and spent his life arguing doctrinal points that appear quite deluded to most people in the modern world. Does not change the fact he was a genius. I'm not a genius but I do believe I have a fair amount of intelligence. And failure to acknowledge an opponent’s intelligence leads to failure to effectively combat the views with which you disagree.

2) Thank you for your other input, which was honest and helpful.

edit on 5/12/2012 by satoriku because: (no reason given)


What helps me focus is reading passive-aggressive, falsely-humble posts.
"basic level", "false views", "opponent's", etc. ... so much for intelligent open-minded discussions.
edit on 5/12/2012 by satoriku because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:59 PM
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Originally posted by satoriku
What helps me focus is reading passive-aggressive, falsely-humble posts.
"basic level", "false views", "opponent's", etc. ... so much for intelligent open-minded discussions.
edit on 5/12/2012 by satoriku because: (no reason given)


"What are you babbling about, you ignorant cretan? Can't even handle basic middle-school vocabulary?"

Is that better?





posted on May, 13 2012 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by Leftist

Originally posted by satoriku
What helps me focus is reading passive-aggressive, falsely-humble posts.
"basic level", "false views", "opponent's", etc. ... so much for intelligent open-minded discussions.
edit on 5/12/2012 by satoriku because: (no reason given)


"What are you babbling about, you ignorant cretan? Can't even handle basic middle-school vocabulary?"

Is that better?






Thank you for demonstrating my point...



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