| Here is another way to look at the relationship between Distraction and Concentration |
Distraction -- A distraction is something that takes your attention away from what you're supposed to be doing -- Mental or emotional disturbance; agitation or confusion
In other words, a certain disturbance causes ones' attention or awareness to shift from one point to another. The issue isn't always with that disturbance, but often with handling that awareness.
Concentration -- Intense mental application; complete attention
In other words, the ability to keep your awareness clear and undisturbed by any ambient noise, and the disability of irrelevant thoughts to delude your attention.
There are two types of distraction:
External: When distraction happens from an activity outside of us, then it is the external factor. Usually, it happens through people or the environment or objects/things around us.
Internal: When distraction happens within us, then it is the internal factor. It basically occurs from our thoughts, feelings & emotion.
| If you've ever experienced what it means to get distracted while having to finish a difficult task by the time it's due or studying for an important exam, you might've wished you could strengthen your ability to concentrate more effectively |
| Two reasons that might be standing in our way to having endurable and deeper attention |
1) Our thoughts are out of control
While thoroughly focusing on a certain task, any sudden change that might appear in our surroundings can easily avert our attention, especially when we're not alone! it can be either an external noise or an internal noisy thought, wherever it comes from and however intense it is, it disturbs the flow of action.
A compulsive, uninvited thought is a great example here, let's say you're in the middle of a writing task, when suddenly an irrelevant intrusive thought arises to remind you of something you were supposed to do, but have completely forgotten about it causing your awareness to spot the light over that forgotten task, leaving the current task at hand abandoned, which in our example is a regretful thought. Think of it as a sharp blade (Intrusive thought) cutting through a chain of thoughts (Current task).
| This can go back and forth, your thoughts are battling over your awareness, so it's not only that our thoughts are out of control, but also that our awareness is lost within the density of our thoughts |
| Now with that in mind, let's talk a bit about that practical side, which takes us to the second reason ... |
2) We don't practice enough awareness
At the beginning of this article, I associated concentration with awareness, because being in a focused state of mind means that your awareness is immensely concentrated on a certain task and is free from all distractions, therefore it's logical to understand that concentration is highly driven by awareness.
| Concentration is the maximum amount of time and power that is directly and steadily focused on a certain act |
We often have a deeper and a greater attention span while being entirely engaged in an enjoyable activity, and that is the kind of concentration that we'd love to access at any time! however, there's no denying that our lives are full of things that we don't really enjoy doing, so we are on many occasions left with no choice but to do many things forcefully and unwillingly, and that produces nothing but misery.
If you get distracted so often, in whatever you do, this indicates that you have been practising Distraction instead! think of distraction and concentration as habits that can either be trained and developed or neglected and devolved. That doesn't mean we should prevent distraction from happening, and praise concentration for shedding the light, but simply acknowledge their inner workings and learn to increase our attention span.
| The next time your mind wanders away during an active task, just remember that you control your awareness |
And last but not least, thanks for reading my article, and don't forget to leave your thoughts down in the comment section ^_^.