The art of pondering
I lost it again, my focus. I lose it about every 5 minutes, too often for comfort. I blame my addiction to technology i.e. my phone. It’s like a drug. My mind wants to be distracted or entertained at all times. My friend, Kristina, just posted a great article on Facebook: Why the Modern World Is Bad for Your Brain (I admit that while finding the link to the article, I ran down several Facebook rabbit holes.) This one little quote from the article clarified how the constant inflow and managing of information is affecting me:
“Multitasking has been found to increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, which can overstimulate your brain and cause mental fog or scrambled thinking. Multitasking creates a dopamine-addiction feedback loop, effectively rewarding the brain for losing focus and for constantly searching for external stimulation. To make matters worse, the prefrontal cortex has a novelty bias, meaning that its attention can be easily hijacked by something new – the proverbial shiny objects we use to entice infants, puppies, and kittens.”
Dar. No wonder the moment I stop to reflect on something, my brain urges me to check my phone. My brain tells me that perhaps there is an answer I can find, or -SQUIRREL-. And with all the answers to every question right at my fingertips, I feel I am losing the ability to ponder. I really have no need to ponder anymore. But that is a lie. As a contemplative person by nature, feeling this gift slip from my grasp is alarming.
I am facing NEURAL ADDICTION. The article says so.
“Make no mistake: email-, Facebook- and Twitter-checking constitute a neural addiction.”
What was I saying?
Truly though, I will be working on retraining my brain. Not sure how, so suggestions are welcomed. I’d like to really disconnect for a time, but that is difficult when running a business. Sometimes I’m really needed, and I never know when that will be.
One thing I do know is that all the origami tessellations I’ve been folding lately do get me in the contemplative zone. My hands are too busy to be distracted. My eyes are following my work. And my mind gets to wander freely. I am grateful that the tessellations take so long to fold. Ponder time.