The art of withdrawing and applying attention

Your experience of life’s journey depends on how you think and where you apply your attention. If you see negativity around you, perhaps you are paying more attention to what you dislike than to what you find pleasing. However, even if you notice negativity often, you can learn to change your outlook.

Changing how you think may seem like a complicated business; there are various techniques and many theories about how to change your mind-set. Perhaps the simplest way though, is to withdraw attention from what bothers you and give extra attention to what makes you happy. At first, doing so may feel strange, but this is because you are forming a new habit, which takes time and determination. Eventually, focusing on what brings you joy will be easy and not doing so will be difficult.

Do you remember when you learned to drive, ride a bicycle, or do something else new? At first, you had to think and apply attention to what you were doing. After a while, the fresh behavior you practiced came automatically, and what a joy that was! At last, you were empowered with the freedom of not having to think about the intricacies of what you were doing. The same might be said for how you will feel when you drop the burden of negative thinking, although you may not exactly drop it; you’ll probably slowly put it down.

Negative thinking weighs heavily on your mind and body, causing feel-bad chemicals to flow in your system. Concentrate on faults, and soon that’s all you see; you miss what could spread warmth in your heart when you focus on dissatisfaction. The pressures of responsibility, and fear of what might happen, can make you watch for potential disasters and become tense. Nervousness results in people trying to avoid problems, which, oddly, means they seek them, trying to flush them out, and the potential for difficulties shines brighter than the potential for happiness. Luckily, switching your focus is just a matter of time and application.

If you want to be happier, actively seek what makes you feel good. Look for beauty in your surroundings, focus on what you like about people, places, and situations rather than their faults. When unwanted thoughts pop into your head, accept them, but let them go by returning your attention to what you prefer. If there’s nothing positive to focus on, take a broad view, and don’t concentrate on anything other than what you are doing. Practicing often will change the way you look at the world, and in turn, your experience of life will alter.

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

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