What is attention?
William James defines attention as “the taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what may seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought…” It may seem obvious when you pay attention to something, yet upon more careful analysis a simple question emerges – who exactly is paying attention?
What aspect of yourself is taking control of a specific part of your brain to conduct a particular action? At the heart of attention is a profound riddle. Some say it is the most important question of consciousness. Modern research indicates that attention is born of the relationship between your heart and brain. This is why the team at Mindwell Labs looks to autonomic markers, and especially the vagus nerve, as crucial to understanding the quality of attention.
No matter how intelligent you may be, intelligence is only as good as where you apply it. This is why attention is so important. It is the filter through which your entire life is lived. Your attention is a remarkable gift. And yet we give to whoever elicits our strong emotions, rather than those who can help us grow and develop as individuals.
And while our educational system places a high emphasis on fostering quality intelligence, there is much less emphasis on attention. The way you employ your attention can have a profound impact on the quality of your life, and especially, your happiness. We are taught to be smart but rarely learn the skills for improving our attention. Utilizing tools for improving attention can make our adult lives as satisfying as our childhoods.
By understanding the individual sub-components of attention, you can gain insight into the individual components that determine our attentional quality discretely, This, in turn, can give us insight into the proper order of interventions. For example, if your rest is disrupted, it is important to stabilize your sleep before moving deeper into other sub-components. This is why our AQ™ test measures and tracks Awareness, Rest, Introspection, Anxiety, and Somatics in order to provide a holistic assessment of your overall attentional quality.
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