I am about to be zapped in the head with an electromagnet, once a second, for eight minutes. I fidget, trying to get comfortable in a huge black chair with jointed metal arms that stand between me and the door. I feel faintly ridiculous wearing a tight headband with what looks like a coat hook on the top. “All you need to do is relax,” says Mike Esterman, the researcher about to zap me. That’s easy for him to say – he’s holding the magnet.

I’ve come to the Boston Attention and Learning Lab in the US to try and train my brain to focus better. Esterman and fellow cognitive neuroscientist Joe DeGutis have spent nearly seven years working on a training programme to help wandering minds stay “in the zone”.

So far, their methods seem to be particularly promising for enhancing focus in US army veterans with attention problems linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and brain injuries, as well as people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But what I want to know is, can the mind-wandering of the average procrastinating person be improved? And if so, can they do it to me? Please?

A few months after arriving in Australia to start my Masters, I was met with my first tough challenge. I’d already got a student job and the burden of studies on my lousy shoulders was proving a little too much to handle. However, I was still doing reasonably well; flicking through piles of notes, skimming two or three books at a time and preparing rather slowly for my assignments so I would not go mad when the deadline came around.

Now, before I go any further I must tell you that I am a sports enthusiast and like to play both indoor and outdoor games. If someone told me that Arsenal were losers I would show them my latest edition of FIFA 2013 and beat any opponent of their choice (with difficulty level set to ‘easy’ of course). I also love to watch movies, so I do not miss any chance of going to the cinema – especially when I’m able to get a student discount.

If someone even hinted at any of these interests, I would easily get distracted and take my focus away from studies. And that’s exactly what happened! Result? I had fun, exercise and got opportunities to socialize. All sounds well? No. In the midst of all these adventures, I ended up falling behind my study timetable and could not prepare well for my next class.

Concentration is a lot like mindfulness, a concept that has been receiving quite a bit of attention lately in psychology and in popular culture. Mindfulness is basically the ability to pay attention to one thing in the moment, and it has been shown to have innumerable mental health benefits, from increased happiness and stress management to improved academic and test performance. For mindfulness to work, you have to focus.

I am about to be zapped in the head with an electromagnet, once a second, for eight minutes. I fidget, trying to get comfortable in a huge black chair with jointed metal arms that stand between me and the door. I feel faintly ridiculous wearing a tight headband with what looks like a coat hook on the top. “All you need to do is relax,” says Mike Esterman, the researcher about to zap me. That’s easy for him to say – he’s holding the magnet.

I’ve come to the Boston Attention and Learning Lab in the US to try and train my brain to focus better. Esterman and fellow cognitive neuroscientist Joe DeGutis have spent nearly seven years working on a training programme to help wandering minds stay “in the zone”.

So far, their methods seem to be particularly promising for enhancing focus in US army veterans with attention problems linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and brain injuries, as well as people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But what I want to know is, can the mind-wandering of the average procrastinating person be improved? And if so, can they do it to me? Please?

A few months after arriving in Australia to start my Masters, I was met with my first tough challenge. I’d already got a student job and the burden of studies on my lousy shoulders was proving a little too much to handle. However, I was still doing reasonably well; flicking through piles of notes, skimming two or three books at a time and preparing rather slowly for my assignments so I would not go mad when the deadline came around.

Now, before I go any further I must tell you that I am a sports enthusiast and like to play both indoor and outdoor games. If someone told me that Arsenal were losers I would show them my latest edition of FIFA 2013 and beat any opponent of their choice (with difficulty level set to ‘easy’ of course). I also love to watch movies, so I do not miss any chance of going to the cinema – especially when I’m able to get a student discount.

If someone even hinted at any of these interests, I would easily get distracted and take my focus away from studies. And that’s exactly what happened! Result? I had fun, exercise and got opportunities to socialize. All sounds well? No. In the midst of all these adventures, I ended up falling behind my study timetable and could not prepare well for my next class.

Concentration is a lot like mindfulness, a concept that has been receiving quite a bit of attention lately in psychology and in popular culture. Mindfulness is basically the ability to pay attention to one thing in the moment, and it has been shown to have innumerable mental health benefits, from increased happiness and stress management to improved academic and test performance. For mindfulness to work, you have to focus.

Recently, a SOAR ® subscriber asked for tips to help her daughter stay on-task with her homework. Just last night, a student in my Homework Action Group complained of the same problem. “I have a hard time staying focused on homework. It takes me forever to do it!”

I also remember, as a young student, sitting at my desk, wriggling and squirming. Soon, I would need a drink, or snack, or pencil… After getting lost in the kitchen and sucked into a TV show, it would be another hour before I returned to my homework.

It would get so late, I finally had no choice but to do my homework. By that time, I was irritable, annoyed, and impatient. (Don’t laugh, Mom!) That made homework even worse.

I am about to be zapped in the head with an electromagnet, once a second, for eight minutes. I fidget, trying to get comfortable in a huge black chair with jointed metal arms that stand between me and the door. I feel faintly ridiculous wearing a tight headband with what looks like a coat hook on the top. “All you need to do is relax,” says Mike Esterman, the researcher about to zap me. That’s easy for him to say – he’s holding the magnet.

I’ve come to the Boston Attention and Learning Lab in the US to try and train my brain to focus better. Esterman and fellow cognitive neuroscientist Joe DeGutis have spent nearly seven years working on a training programme to help wandering minds stay “in the zone”.

So far, their methods seem to be particularly promising for enhancing focus in US army veterans with attention problems linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and brain injuries, as well as people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But what I want to know is, can the mind-wandering of the average procrastinating person be improved? And if so, can they do it to me? Please?

A few months after arriving in Australia to start my Masters, I was met with my first tough challenge. I’d already got a student job and the burden of studies on my lousy shoulders was proving a little too much to handle. However, I was still doing reasonably well; flicking through piles of notes, skimming two or three books at a time and preparing rather slowly for my assignments so I would not go mad when the deadline came around.

Now, before I go any further I must tell you that I am a sports enthusiast and like to play both indoor and outdoor games. If someone told me that Arsenal were losers I would show them my latest edition of FIFA 2013 and beat any opponent of their choice (with difficulty level set to ‘easy’ of course). I also love to watch movies, so I do not miss any chance of going to the cinema – especially when I’m able to get a student discount.

If someone even hinted at any of these interests, I would easily get distracted and take my focus away from studies. And that’s exactly what happened! Result? I had fun, exercise and got opportunities to socialize. All sounds well? No. In the midst of all these adventures, I ended up falling behind my study timetable and could not prepare well for my next class.

I am about to be zapped in the head with an electromagnet, once a second, for eight minutes. I fidget, trying to get comfortable in a huge black chair with jointed metal arms that stand between me and the door. I feel faintly ridiculous wearing a tight headband with what looks like a coat hook on the top. “All you need to do is relax,” says Mike Esterman, the researcher about to zap me. That’s easy for him to say – he’s holding the magnet.

I’ve come to the Boston Attention and Learning Lab in the US to try and train my brain to focus better. Esterman and fellow cognitive neuroscientist Joe DeGutis have spent nearly seven years working on a training programme to help wandering minds stay “in the zone”.

So far, their methods seem to be particularly promising for enhancing focus in US army veterans with attention problems linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and brain injuries, as well as people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But what I want to know is, can the mind-wandering of the average procrastinating person be improved? And if so, can they do it to me? Please?

ConZentrate: Get Focused and Pay Attention--When Life Is.


ConZentrate: Get Focused and Pay Attention--When Life Is.

Posted by 2018 article

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