Feeling Frazzled? Overwhelmed? Do you think about too many things at one time? Does your ability to concentrate and focus seem compromised? Are you easily overwhelmed?
Many of us (myself included) would answer “yes” to these questions. Since highly sensitive people process and absorb more emotional and physical information than average, these feelings are very common. Left unchecked, they can become road blocks to a peaceful and productive life.
Getting caught up in everyday activities distracts us from what’s really important in our lives. We clutter our brains with trivial things that interfere with our concentration and drain our energy.
True concentration, on the other hand, is devoting your full attention to a specific task. I know from personal experience that this is easier said than done. As a deep-thinking highly sensitive person, my mind is always going in many different directions. This causes even more stress on my already overactive nervous system.
Below are some tips to break the pattern of frazzled thinking.
* Formulate a specific plan for what you’d like to accomplish. Lack of a definite plan creates unfocused action and muddled thinking, which opens the floodgates to unwanted and unproductive thoughts. The more you know what you want and have the desire to do it, the better your focus becomes.
* Work with your biological clock. What is the best time of day for you to concentrate? When do you have the most energy? Whenever possible, use this “optimal” time to work on tasks that are important or require deep concentration. Save the mundane activities for the time of day when your energy level is lower.
* Be aware of what distracts you. Make a list. In order to fix a problem, you must first be aware of it. Once you know your distractions, reduce or eliminate them whenever possible.
* Know what relaxes you. Pay attention to the things that soothe you. One thing that works really well for me is listening to Essential Sound CDs (these are designed specifically for people with overactive nervous systems and are available on my site). When I wrote Making Sense of Your High Sensitivity, I found the Calm CD to be a godsend. I never would have stayed on track without it.
* If you find that you are truly stuck and unable to concentrate, take a short break. While many of us will instinctively try to force our way through a dry spell, this can do more harm than good. Lack of concentration is usually a sign that your mind needs a breather. Sometimes just a 15-minute break can do wonders for a frazzled mind.
* Schedule time for leisure and enjoyment. Allowing yourself to relax and recharge can pay huge dividends in the long run. This should be obvious, but how many of us actually do this?
* Take care of your mind and body. Proper rest, diet, and exercise are the foundation for being able to think and feel your best. When you don’t feel right, you won’t think right.
There will always be distractions in your life. It’s crucial to implement strategies that can cut through the clutter and help you focus on what’s truly important. The benefits, which come in the form of less stress, better self-esteem, and a greater sense of accomplishment, are well worth the effort.
I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have. Feel free to share this information.