Trying to focus and pay attention on one thing was difficult for me growing up. It took me years of practice and intentionally paying attention to learn to control and decide where I place my attention. I am barely capable now but the progress I’ve made, have significantly increase my well-being. I remember in university studying, scrolling social media, paying bills online and doing research all in the same twenty-minute period. I Felt like I had so many things to do so I had to try to fit them all in. I constantly felt fatigued and overwhelmed. I never got anywhere with much until I was able to recognize that I need to prioritize my time and value it differently.
Recently I have been observing my eldest and having conversations with him about attention and how to pay attention and the value of his attention. From our conversations I recognized that understanding the value of our attention is paramount to identifying with the idea of prioritizing where we place our attention and why. I shared with him that when we choose to split our attention all over the place and not focus on what is important and valuable, what we are telling ourselves is that we do not value ourselves. That we are not worthy of our own undivided attention. It is futile to not give ourselves the opportunity to focus and give our attention to ourselves. I am not talking about the attention that helps you finish writing a report to have it on your bosses’ desk by five. I Think about Long-term goals or short-term goals as secondary level of attention worthy activities. They are important but they should be by products of being able to focus and give attention to the the person that truly matters, You. Now I am not suggesting we become narcist and only pay attention to ourselves, but I believe that we should place premium priority on focusing on ourselves.
It does not matter what walk of life you are in, where you are from, your economic or social status it is important to take the time to pay attention to yourself, your mental health and well being. It is not only important or beneficial to you but also to those that are around you. Often because we do not take the time to attend to ourselves and our needs, we reek havoc and storms inside. Then we walk around and leave the residues of them on everyone we interact with, unaware. Then those people transfer the same energy to others around them and before you can understand what has happened the atmosphere you live in feels like a dark heavy space. I am not saying that some of us don’t have heavy issues to cope with, but we can go through them without throwing residues of pain around but instead using our circumstances to find avenues to heal ourselves and those around us. Paying attention to yourself can be as simple as taking time daily to sit in quietness, not thinking our mulling over any issues or problem of the day but settling your mind to just be. Give yourself five to ten minutes to pay attention to yourself and well being.
Another aspect of paying attention is to be present in our daily activities. We can do this by giving our undivided attention to one activity at a time. You have probably heard the saying there is a time for everything, a time to laugh, a time to dance, a time to mourn. Leave each activity for the appropriate time. There is no benefit in spending time with your family and offering nods and smiles while everyone is enjoying each others company. Whilst your mind is occupied with all the things you must do. There is a time for those things to be done. Leave everything to its time and give your attention to the moment. This will provide many benefits to your life, you will find more peace in your day and less chaotic situations even if you live a busy lifestyle. I love my quite times because they are the moments when I say, I love you and I need to check in with you to see if you are ok. The same way I check in with my friends to see if they are ok. I hope that has you go through the rest of your week you will remember to check in with yourself and pay attention to you, however that may look like for you.