What is Applied Attention and How Can it Transform Your Life?

Applied Attention is a life skill

Life is messy.

You cannot control what shows up in life, but you do have a choice about where you put your attention and energy.

You are more capable than you think. This means that you have access to resources and abilities that your brain sometimes hides from you.

Everything you do is practice. The human brain is constantly rewiring itself to become more skilled at what you do repeatedly. This means that you need to be careful what you practice.

The benefits of Applied Attention include:

A greater ability to focus attention and energy on what matters most

A more graceful and effective relationship to stress, anxiety, distraction, and setback

Deeper connection with others through clear, kind and assertive communication

Increased clarity of values, goals, and commitments

Applied Attention is an approach to life, not a quick fix

Your brain is shaped through practice over time. It is repeated behavior that wires your brain for a peaceful and powerful life. Breakthroughs and epiphanies are great, but on their own, they do not create lasting change. This practice can be incorporated seamlessly into daily life.

Applied Attention is research-based and human-centered

This practice is based on principles derived from the study of neuroscience, human development, and behavior as well as lasting wisdom from major contemplative traditions. It has been practiced in different forms for thousands of years.

The human brain has a phenomenal system for learning and creating automatic behavior to ensure your survival. This habit-survival system allows you to do an amazing number of things without having to think about how you do it. This is the system that is effortlessly decoding the words you are reading at this moment. It is also the system that tenses your body when you hear a loud noise.

Your habit-survival system is very active and always looking for ways to keep you alive. The challenge is that in its eagerness not to miss something, it can make false associations between some of your behaviors and your survival. You can be left with habits that aren’t useful or, in some cases, even destructive.

Fortunately, you also have a conscious-choice system in your brain that can align behavior with values and goals. This system can prioritize commitments and incorporate information beyond what feels familiar and comfortable. This means that you have the incredible ability to do something even when you do not feel like it in the moment. You also have the ability to refrain from a behavior even when you really feel like it in the moment.

Mindful Self-Regulation helps the habit-survival system and the conscious-choice system work together. You can use your conscious system to install or uninstall automatic behaviors through deliberate practice.


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