• Danielle Aubin, LCSW

Protecting Our Attention


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Time vs Attention


Most of us have heard at some point that time is the most valuable resource we have. Although time is extremely valuable, priceless in fact, an often overlooked resource is our attention. How we direct our attention is how we direct our lives and what we pay attention to impacts us.


What we pay attention to co-creates who we become. What we pay attention to has the capacity to shift our entire lives. Time usually gets all the credit for being our most valuable resource. I beg to differ. Do we protect our attention? Or do we let our attention wander and get picked up by advertisers bidding for it? Do we curate the types of media we are exposed to? Do we protect our attention from people who feed off of it and want it for their own agenda?

Protecting and valuing our attention is extremely important. I can't emphasize it enough. What you focus on and what you let into your field of awareness can deeply affect you in either a negative or positive way. Choose what you pay attention to carefully.


Protecting Our Attention


What we pay attention to matters. If we are watching disturbing news or TV shows, that is the food we are feeding our brain and nervous system. If we allow others to converse with us on topics that we don't enjoy or that unnecessarily bother us, we are allowing them to rob our precious attention. We could have been using that attention for something worthwhile.


Many of us were not taught how to protect our attention and set healthy boundaries for ourselves. We allow our attention to wander and land on areas that are not productive or helpful to us. We allow others to co-opt our attention when we don't understand its true value. We allow advertisers and salespeople to catch our attention. Our attention is worth billions of dollars in our society, advertisers know this and they bid $$ for our attention every day. We don't get anything in return by letting others catch our attention for their own agenda. When we take our power back and mindfully use our attention for our own benefit, we are creating a life that serves us instead of serving the agendas of others.


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Feed Your Attention


Identify what you actually want to pay attention to. What do you want in your life? Surround yourself with reminders of it. Read books about what you want to pay attention to. Follow content creators who are positive, helpful, and provide useful content for your life. Make a list of what you want your life to be about and fill your home with items in those categories. You don't owe anyone or anything your attention. Protect your attention from those who wish to co-opt it for their own agenda. Create your own agenda for yourself. Just as you should be fiercely protecting your time, protect your attention too.





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