Internal distractions come in the form of stray thoughts, emotional upheavals and daydreaming. You can learn to be more mindful and more observant of your emotions. This will help you become more familiar with and appreciate your powerful brain.
According to Dr. Jan Chozen Bays MD, mindfulness is “deliberately paying full attention to what is happening around you and within you – in your body, heart, and mind.” Being mindful is about taking the time to observe what we are thinking and doing without judging ourselves or others. It is about becoming familiar with, accepting and appreciating things as they are.
When we are not mindful, we tend to automatically think judgmentally about ourselves and others. We also focus internally on the past and the future, sometimes daydreaming and sometimes frightening ourselves with imagined worries.
We are mindful when we direct our attention to whatever we are dealing with, in the present moment, with a heightened awareness of our surroundings and incoming information. We are alert and present and involved in whatever we are doing so we are better able to work at our peak performance level.
Our brain likes certainty and the feeling of being in control, sometimes called autonomy. We can improve certainty and autonomy by having:
- clear goals
- unambiguous feedback about how we are proceeding toward our goals
- challenges that match our skills
- few distractions