Today everything is going fast, our attention can no longer stay in a single activity. I’m sure many people in your immediate circle have been diagnosed (some self-diagnosed) with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – the symptom of our time. I’m not saying there aren’t people with ADHD, but I don’t know if the vast majority just haven’t learned or unlearned to focus, to be bored, to do one thing at that time.
The amount of information we receive through our senses is overwhelming. The eye perceives all the movements of vehicles (cars, motorcycles, bicycles), pedestrians, as well as information that is not in motion, the famous visual pollution; the ear perceives all sounds (alarms, ambulances, horns, shouts); the sense of smell perceives a wide range of odors.
Psychological Dynamics Emerging in Today’s World
Usually we don’t pay attention to everything around us; we only focus on the information that serves us. But our brain, which has an impressive capacity, receives this information and responds to it by activating our alert system (the fight or flight response), the nervous system.
The famous scrolling – we don’t even stop to see the photos and videos that interest us for more than 10 seconds, because there are so many photos and so many videos, that you have to see them quickly to be able to see them all. I remember, with nostalgia, when we watched television and there were advertisements. It was like a break, you could get up in the bathroom, eat or get bored and talk to whoever was sitting next to you.
Before, there was the “mango season” and we ate all the mangoes that existed, because he knew that there weren’t going to be any for the rest of the year; now all year there is mango (more expensive and maybe frozen), but there is no break, there is no waiting. We can get anything we want quickly and easily.
A hectic pace of life
We do not know how to defer the satisfaction of pleasure. There is a famous experiment in psychology in which a small child of 4-5 years old is placed a marshmallow or a candy in front of him and says to him: “don’t eat it, I’ll go out and get it. If when I get back you don’t you haven’t eaten it, I’ll give you more, but if you eat it, I won’t give you more.” All children of this age are expected to eat it when the adult turns around or leaves the room. This is due to the maturity of the child’s brain; he is unable to delay the gratification, although he knows that if he waits a little, he will have more. He can only think of immediate gratification, then he takes it and eats it.
In this direction, we are a very infantile society, because although our brain may have the capacity for maturation, most adults do not stop to think that in the future they will benefit more from it. The famous YOLO (“you only live once”, for its acronym in English), which can be an expected answer in a teenager, but not in an adult.
If we maintain this childish attitude, it is very difficult to have confidence in nosotros mismos, our self-esteem is affected. Well, how can we trust ourselves if we fail to take care of ourselves, we fail to make the right decision, we fail to fulfill our goals and purposes. By not trusting ourselves, or the most mundane and small, we again turned all our attention outward and not inward.
The speed, the amount of information, don’t have this idea that we should satisfy all our needs and instincts immediately, subjects us to high levels of stress all the time. It doesn’t give us time to pause, get bored, stop and see what we’re feeling, what we’re thinking and what’s best for us. We move on to this second level of importance, bottling up our inner world to survive in the outer world.
What if, instead of surviving, you offered to live? Learn to go at your own pace, learn to appreciate everyday things, learn to connect with your emotions and not just react to your environment. Learn to be bored, to concentrate and to explore the potential of your mind.
What to do
I leave you here some tips for taking care of your mental health in the modern world:
- Several times a day, stop what you’re doing and call attention to yourself. First, to the physical sensations: observe your breathing and how when you breathe in your chest expands to give space to the air that fills your lungs and when you breathe out your lungs empty and your body expands. feels relaxed and liberated.
- Read, instead of spending time on the screen, open your favorite book and spend the time it takes to finish a page (maybe little by little there will be more than one). It stimulates your imagination, your concentration and your sense of well-being.
- Make a to-do list to organize your day and feel more efficient with time management.
- End the day by looking for a reason you feel grateful for, this will help you cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
- Exercise and eat healthy.
- Take off your shoes, stand in the grass and feel the sun’s rays on your skin.
- If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help. Don’t wait for everything to be bad to know you can be better.