May 5, 2013

Lets Focus on Distraction & Mind-Wandering

I am not sure if it is just age or the effect of being on the internet a lot and being distracted continuously by various hyperlinks - Facebook, Twitter (the bane; it just made things so much worse though I always was intellectually curious and hence drawn from one thing to another when online), etc..... but being unable to focus on one thing and the mind-wandering or being distracted from what I was doing is something I recognize as an issue and need to grapple with it somehow. I've wondered if I should start meditating or yoga (pranayam helps a lot, my mom keeps advising) and so when I see three such related articles, I decided to at the very least put them together in one place. For the record, I did get distracted mid-way through readng the first article, by the way. Read the last one in one sitting and have not seen the video at the second one yet.

Brain, Interrupted - A Focus on Distraction
What constitutes distraction? Does the mere possibility that a phone call or e-mail will soon arrive drain your brain power? And does distraction matter — do interruptions make us dumber? Quite a bit, according to new research by Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab.

The Science of How Your Mind-Wandering Is Robbing You of Happiness
There's a great embedded video TEDxCambridge by Matt Killingsworth on his research findings from his Track Your Happiness project but bottom-line is: "People are less happy when they’re mind-wandering, no matter what they’re doing."

Minutes After Meditating, Your Genetic Profile Improves
Just minutes after meditating, participants in a recent experiment showed beneficial changes to their genetic profile with helpful genes becoming more active and harmful ones becoming less so. "The boosted genes had three main beneficial effects: improving the efficiency of mitochondria, the powerhouse of cells; boosting insulin production, which improves control of blood sugar; and preventing the depletion of telomeres, caps on chromosomes that help to keep DNA stable and so prevent cells wearing out and ageing."

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