ADD Attention Deficit Disorder. It seems that everyday more and more people in the world are suffering from this already common problem.
It is not strange when we analyze the environment we live in these days. Watching TV there are so many commercials about many products offered every hour; so many channels and programs to watch that there is no physical time to see them all. We are involved in lots of activities or subjected to many elements to keep an eye on, to control.
Even when we are at a computer we are exposed to many elements that are trying to grab our attention, all at once! When we surf the internet or try to read a blog there are many flashing banners, dancing figures, moving numbers in both sides of the page, and lots of pop up windows too.
While driving a car not only we have to deal with the steering wheel and pedals to control the vehicle in the street, but now also we have stereos with lots of possibilities to control volume, balance, bass, treble, etc. and also the possibilities to play radio, CD, mp3. The car itself has now so many more features and switches, knobs and instruments to watch, and the streets have a bigger number of faster traveling vehicles that can quickly change direction without warning, forcing us to maintain an eye all around.
Just a couple of decades ago bill paying was a lot simpler than now, no cable TV, cell phone bills, internet connection, registration and insurance for several cars. Also the “machinery” at home was easier to deal with, no computers, microwaves, several TV sets, cable boxes, several phones around the house, etc.
Activities were developed at a slower pace, even going to have some fast food was a time for chatting; the only car for the family was repaired on the weekend with simple tools while talking and receiving (welcomed or not) advice from the neighbor next door.
So it is no wonder that our brains have to automatically self protect and learn to discard most of the information we are constantly receiving day and night in order to keep sanity, and because of that we learn to just “skim” over the continuous flow of information without really learning to pay close attention.
I believe this self protection mechanism becomes one of the reasons why many people, after a while, cannot keep concentration in one subject for a prolonged amount of time since the brain has become already trained to jump from one piece of information to the next as a normal procedure.
So now we have to reverse the process and learn to concentrate in one element at the time leaving the rest aside.
The most difficult part then becomes to get accustomed to change our lifestyle and leave behind the system of paying little attention to many elements, and switch to giving lots of attention to a small number of elements every time.
We have to force ourselves into a new system of going one step at the time and focusing in one element only, so we can give it the most attention without getting distracted. Only when we are finished with that task we move to the next element and give it all our attention, and so on.
It might seem a slow process at the beginning, but after getting some practice it’ll become second nature and we’ll be able to go naturally in this new procedure, and with it, reverse one of the common “sicknesses” of the actual times.