Article 1

So we recognize that a lot of what goes on in our heads, and the reasons for feeling depressed , are not our fault at all, but at the same time we want to take more control over our minds. and where our attention settles. Think of it this way, your attention is like a spotlight , and what it settles on becomes bigger ion your mind. If I ask you to focus your attention on your left foot, and them rub your thumbs over your fingers , you will notice that while your attention is on your foot you become more aware o0f the sensation in it.

But notice that the spotlight of attention puts things into the shadows , too. When you are focusing on your left foot you are not aware of your fingers. Notice too that your attention is movable-from your foot to your hands.

It is the same with emotion and attention . Because your threat system keeps hold your attention it puts potentially positive awareness into the shadows – you literally don’t notice these things. When we are depressed we don’t notice the colour or the sky , the fact that we can breathe, or that we can see colours and hear sounds {Some people can’t} . We do not notice the sensory experiences we are having right now.

Article 2

Here is another important example . Imagine you go Christmas shopping in ten shops and in nine of them the assistant is helpful to you and you are very pleased with t6he present you buy. But in one shop , the assistant is rather rude , keeps you waiting and gives you the wrong change.

Who do you think about when you go home ? Well, many of us will be dwelling on whether to write to the manager about the rude assistant , and thinking ‘ How do these people keep their job?’ and so on. We stay ruminating about how angry we are with the rude assistant – that’s because our brain is designed to focus on threats.

Yet this will do our bodies no good at all , because we will be pumping stress hormones into them. And the fact is that 90 per cent of people were kind!

What would happen if we deliberately started to notice how our attention gets so easily grabbed by the threat system and then, on purpose , we focus on more helpful ways of paying attention?



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