Attention is a good thing. If you can pay attention to yourself, other people and the world around you, you can stay invested and feel connected. Maintaining meaningful conversations takes high levels of attention. So does performing well at work or school. If your attention suffers, you and the important people in your life suffer as your lack of attention makes you a worse friend, employee, student, spouse and family member.
Unfortunately, many people deal with poor attention every day. The question you have to ask yourself is: what am I doing to get better at this? Too often people engage in behaviors that make their attention worse instead of better. Even with best tips, attention is something that takes a lot of work and a lot effort to reach lasting improvements. Here’s how to make your attention better than you thought it could be:
1. Find the Source of Poor Attention
Before you can find a solution, you have to accurately identify the problem. Poor attention can come from a number of sources that all require different interventions to improve. Most people think that ADHD is the source of all attention problems, but this is not necessarily the case. Issues with attention can come from any kind of stress as well as other mental health issues including depression, anxiety, trauma and types of dementia.
If you treat attention problems due to depression like you would problems related to ADHD, you are going to be met with poor results and high frustration. Depression can be distracting due to negative thoughts. Anxiety swirling around your mind will make paying attention an extreme challenge. If the source of your attention issues are unclear, consult with a professional to obtain a “big picture” view of your attention. Sometimes the symptoms only tell part of the story.