Are You Distracted?

“ Distracted from distraction by distraction” ( T.S. Eliot)
Distraction: Something that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else
Internal distractions: Thoughts, conflicts, obsessive thinking, and emotional states of being
External distractions: Noises, people talking, temperatures, odors, electronics, and technology

When I was growing up in the 1950-1960’s I had no internet but I still had distractions. They were just not a click away.

Some hold the opinion that either we are focused or we are wasting our time, eroding our attention span and intelligence with current technology. However, before the internet we used books, magazines, newspapers, radio, doodling, and television to distract us. We hear discussions about the negative impact news media, social media sites, and the internet have upon our thinking abilities and authentic being.

Are our distractions all unhealthy and negative? Clearly, there is a downside to distractions such as missing important deadlines, vehicle accidents, and breakdowns or poor interpersonal communications.

Distractions can be useful in helping to avoid pain. Because of our reptilian brains that originated from repeatedly observing potential threats from dinosaurs and other environmental hazards, we often are monitoring situations, people, animals, and other things that can be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual dangers to our well being. Distractions can offer a much needed break from our constant surveillance! 

Sometimes certain painful and unpleasant memories contribute to feelings of sadness, anxiety, and even depression. It may be beneficial to find positive distractions such as writing, journaling, mindful meditation, painting, drawing, reading, exercising, walking, gardening, breathing techniques, and moderate television/ movie watching.

To determine if your distractions are self suppressing or self strengthening, it probably will be necessary to reveal to yourself why you are using distractions.

As with all areas and aspects of our lives balance is key, but unless we are willing to look honestly at who we really are presenting to ourselves and the world, what we are actually doing in our actions, and when we are in or off balance, we will most likely continue to be oblivious to the extent and use of our distractions and the level of our authenticity in our relationships. 

 

man in white dress shirt holding smartphone
Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

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