Where Does Your Attention Go?
I couldn’t accept my friend’s comments: “I like to read people’s obituaries even if I didn’t know them, and I enjoy reading about fatal plane crashes—I also like to watch violent movies.
Are you like my friend?
Do you tend to focus your attention on dark or morbid subject matter?
I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “Where your attention goes, energy flows.”
Let me share some facts:
There is no doubt that wherever your attention goes, it affects both your mind and body. With each focus of your attention, you have different thoughts and reactions; as a result, your brain releases different hormones depending on your intention(s).
For instance, if you focus your attention on a violent film or on tragic events, you can expect your body to react with fear, a feeling that moves through you and causes a “bad, or unhealthy, body response.”
Of course, watching comedies or movies with happy endings will prompt your body to resonate appropriately, with relaxation, “a good, or healthy, body response.”
The part of the brain called the frontal lobe is responsible for intentional choices and actions, including the ability to focus your attention.
Focused attention allows you to ignore distractions.
Divided attention, the brain’s parietal function, enables you to divide your attention equally to the whole picture as well as the details.
Emotional attention, a function of the brain’s limbic system, encourages you to pay attention to emotionally charged issues.
Which kind of attention most describes yours? If your attention is balanced (a little of each type of attention), that’s a very good thing!
I must admit something, and it’s in complete agreement with reality: Some people cannot see the links between behaviour, health, moods, attentions, and intentions. However, these links exist: everything is connected.
With very strong emotional attention, you will pay too much attention to emotionally charged issues. What kind of emotions will you experience while reading, watching, or focusing your attention on negative or morbid subjects? Only bad ones.
People who are addicted to negative subject matter are actually addicted to bad emotions. I’m not blaming them; I feel sorry for them. They know they can change many things in their life, including how their brain processes incoming information. I suggest that you refresh your understanding of brain neuroplasticity by visiting https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/neuroplasticity/.
Just one more fact: sometimes, what people think of as a memory problem is actually an attention problem!
To answer the title question: Your life goes where your attention flows!