Our Shrinking Attention Span

–A Mindfulness Practice Can Help To Increase It

 

It was brought to my attention that the average attention span is 8.25 seconds. Say what?!’ Yup. 8.25 SECONDS. Here’s some stats from  BridgeCare ABA Therapy:

–Women usually have longer attention spans than men (hmm that explains a few thangs…)

–Attention spans can range from 2 seconds to over 20 minutes

–25% of teens forget important information about their close family and friends

–The average human attention span decreased by 25% from 2000-2015 (day-um! that’s fast!)

–Humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish!

These stats are definitely quite alarming. As our population is living longer, what pray tell could be the Quality of Life as the population ages?

As the attention span continues to diminish, our levels of stress, anxiety and discomfort rise, sometimes exponentially. We can’t focus or concentrate and lose interest in things rapidly, always in a hurry to get to the next thing. Satisfied by nothing.

In my other profession as a choreographer and master teacher, I have worked with children for decades and have witnessed the rise of ADHD and other behavioral issues (the pandemic made it a lot worse). The arts are a wonderful thing for these young people to participate in as it helps them with focus, discipline, memory, and concentration. And it truly does help to mitigate the short attention span over time if they stick with it.

 

More on the Short Attention Span

 

From an 2023 article in the New York Times written by Dana G. Smith:

“In 2004, Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, watched knowledge workers go about a typical day at the office. Using a stopwatch, she noted every time they switched tasks on their computer, moving from a spreadsheet to an email to a web page to a different web page and back to the spreadsheet. She found that people averaged just two and a half minutes on a given task before switching.

When Dr. Mark repeated the experiment in 2021, the average time office workers spent on a task had dropped to 75 seconds. And it has continued to drop from there.”

The article goes on to say, “anyone who’s tried to study for an exam, write a report or read a book knows how hard it is to concentrate for significant chunks of time. Typically, digital devices are to blame for the disruption. The internet is omniscient, our phones omnipotent, and together they demand and destroy our concentration. Even when we really try to focus on a task, we often find we can’t, our eyes glazing over and our thoughts drifting.”

 

How to Increase Our Attention Span

 

Back in the day, we used to have to learn how to do stuff, and while I hated having to, I am sooooooo Grateful that I did. I always had some type of craft in my hand whether it was a crochet project, jewelry making, sewing, and/or reading, my dad was huge on keeping the mind capacity and focus growing.

And while many of my peers did not do crafts, there were games we played where if you wanted to win you had to have some skill. And how did you build skill? By working at something, keeping a focus and with discipline.  We played games like jacks, handball, jumped rope and had yo-yo’s and tops. If you didn’t wanna suck, you practiced!

So learn how to do something you’ve never tried and yes, you will suck at it badly. But one of the most rewarding things is to improve upon something you used to suck at. It’s like receiving a hug or a pat on the back for doing something well and achieving aptitude.

Another EXCELLENT way to catch that disappearing attention span before it goes ZIP! is to begin a Meditation and Mindfulness Practice.

 

Mindfulness and Meditation, the Superfoods For The Attention Span

 

I know you’re like, ‘BIRD. I can’t sit still for 8.25 seconds and you’re telling me the solution is to friggin’ meditate and practice mindfulness?!’ 

YUP. That’s exactly what I’m telling you. And remember that part when I said you will suck? You will. But that’s if you’re taking score.

Learning to meditate is not a race, nor a competition. It is for your Well Being, Wellness, Self Care and overall feeling so much better–especially if you take your practice with you after sitting still and breathing for however long you can. It means nothing to sit for hours in meditation, only to later get into a fight with someone over a parking space.

Meditation and Mindfulness will help you with focus, concentration and discipline. Yes, your mind will wander. In the beginning, your mind will wander LIKE CRAZY. Let it. Don’t judge yourself but see if you can catch yourself. That’s an important milestone. Then gently bring your mind back to the breath. That is part of the process in the Journey.

Deep breathing calms you, helps you release stress and anxiety in the moments you manage to be still for however long–eventually you will be able to increase the time with dedication.

And with that, your attention span will grow.

 

I’ve Got Some Tools and Tips to Assist

 

WELL-BEING RESOURCES

from Jacquie Bird, Spiritual Wellness:

Self Help Book 28 Daily Thoughts & Mantras 4 Mindfulness

Check out my Wellness Guide 28 Daily Thoughts & Mantras 4 Mindfulness–Keys 4 Stress Relief & Personal Growth,

 

SoundSoulVibin' Quick Fix Guided Meditation Audio by Jacquie Bird, Spiritual Wellness

Guided Meditation Audio 

To help you reduce stress and anxiety. They are offered  with a choice of 5-6 minutes and a longer deeper session for about 30 minutes.

 

Order Custom Guided Meditation tracks

You can also order Custom Guided Meditation Audio tailormade to fit your needs.

 

Jacquie Bird, Spiritual Wellness Guided Meditation. Reduce stress, anxiety, gain mindfulness and personal growth

And keep in mind my StressBusters Guided Meditation sessions to book in-person or virtual.

 

Music for sleep. SoundSoulVibin' Music for Sleep. Reduce stress, anxiety, gain mindfulness and personal growth

SoundSoulVibin’ Music

Sound Healing Music for Sleep, Meditation, Yoga and to Rejuvenate.

 

For more ideas, tips and How-To’s on getting your Zen Zone Mojo happnin’ and to reduce stress, anxiety, anger, depression as well as increasing Mindfulness and Awareness, Follow me on Instagram FaceBook & Tik Tok

 

Thank you for being here, won’t you share this blog with a friend, family member and/or colleague? 

 

Jacquie Bird, Spiritual Wellness

Your Wellness Guide

 

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