Distractions in Life: The Not-So-Obvious Edition

distractions focus Dec 08, 2021

It's hard to know what is going on in our heads sometimes. Some of the things that distract us are those that exist in our minds, and you might not realize the effect they have on your life. These things can cause a lot of stress and anxiety if we're not careful about them. This blog post will explore how these distractions can affect your life and tips on managing them, so they don't interfere with everything else you want to do.

The mental clutter that is affecting you

When we talk about the things in life that can distract us, most people will mention the physical clutter that can take away their focus. Examples include social media, smartphones, TV, text messages, notifications, other people, etc. Distractions prevent us from maintaining our focus, so we can't concentrate on doing the important things in our lives.

One kind of distraction might not be so obvious to us. I'm talking about the mental clutter in our minds. They are not readily visible to us, yet they insidiously affect our lives by constantly distracting us. What's more, we don't notice them most of the time because they become bad habits, and we don't acknowledge them as a distraction. Therefore, if you want to live your life to the highest potential and achieve your goals, it's necessary to identify the not-so-obvious distractions in your life and take action.

1. Waiting for a bright tomorrow

There's nothing wrong with thinking about the future. You can make plans to have an idea of what to do. Then, if changes happen to your objectives, you can make adjustments. The problem occurs when you only keep thinking about what can happen tomorrow. You become distracted when you spend more time daydreaming and wondering what could happen in the future instead of taking action in the present moment. How often does it happen to you that you are only looking forward to the weekend or retiring from the job you hate? You miss the chance to enjoy the present if you keep worrying about what will happen tomorrow.

2. Being a worrywart

Worrying is related to overthinking what could happen tomorrow but instead focuses on what could go wrong with your life. When you worry, your brain keeps on thinking of possible scenarios that could go wrong and mishaps that could happen. Spending too much time worrying becomes a distraction that could eventually lead to catastrophizing. The catch? All your worries are about things that are yet to happen, or they might not happen at all. So why waste time worrying when you can take action in the present moment and be ready if things go wrong.

3. Reminiscing about the past

Sometimes, we can't help but think of things that happened in the past. We think about happy moments and glorious days. And then, there are also regrets and grudges. If you keep getting stuck in the past, you can't be fully present at the moment. You end up getting distracted and can't move forward in life. Don't let these things trap you. Instead, accept that these things already happened, and you can't do anything to change them. Use them as learning experiences and give yourself a second chance and try doing things better.

4. Keeping up with the Joneses

Counting all the material possessions in your life, how many of them did you buy because you wanted or needed them yourself? How many did you buy because you were influenced by what you saw in others? If you purchased most of your material possessions because of others' influence, it's time to check your life. Seeing what others have and do and basing your purchases and activities on them serves as one of the biggest distractions in your life. You're not doing yourself any favor by following what others do instead of pursuing your own goals that matter to you. By accumulating possessions, you are giving yourself additional stress by piling up things that you don't need but bought anyway for fear of missing out.

5. Making money as your life goal

We all need money. It's difficult to break free from the grasp of the system that requires money for almost everything in our life except oxygen. Most people would have to get rich and earn lots of money as one of their big goals in life. Many think they will attain happiness once they can secure large amounts of money. That's not the case, though. Money is just the means to get to our actual goals. Happiness is something you trigger anytime, not an outcome. If you make money-making your life goal, you are prone to get controlled by others for the sake of money. You might even do unethical and immoral practices to get more money. You are distracting yourself from doing something more meaningful and fulfilling.

6. Focusing on the negative

If you are the type of person who always sees situations as a glass-half-empty scenario, you will end up putting mental clutter in your mind by emphasizing negativity in your life. Negativity is like a poison that continuously hampers your thought processes and makes you think your actions are meaningless if they only end up as failures. You can also miss out on many opportunities by not trying new things. And then, some people add misery and more negativity to your life. You can't make much progress in your life unless you change your way of thinking and focus more on things that will positively impact your life.

7. Comparing yourself with others

Modern society makes it easier to peek at other people's lives through social media and the Internet. Some people like to compare their stuff with others. They get some feeling of satisfaction when they think they are better than others in terms of status and possessions. If other people are better than them, they feel jealous and regret not having the same or more fabulous living or level than others. Looking at others often is one of the biggest distractions you can have, and you might not notice it. You are focusing on the life of somebody else, not yours. It makes you focus on what you don't have instead of expressing gratitude for what you have. You can make better use of your time and energy if you focus on improving yourself to achieve your dreams. If you happen to see what others have and do, think about this: the reality you see might not be what it seems, and there could be a bigger story behind that well-polished picture. Move on, and use others' success as an inspiration to become better.

8. Perfection

Striving for perfection every time you have to do something can be a distraction. There is that ideal outcome in your mind, so what you do is that you keep on doing things until you hit your ideally desired outcome. You could end up distracting yourself by spending too much time perfecting things when they are already excellent in the eyes of other people. Perfectionism sets a high standard, but if you focus on it too much, you will not have enough time to finish other tasks because you wouldn't stop doing something unless you achieve the perfect outcome.

Stay focused by clearing your mind.

If you want to achieve your goals and become successful in life, the first step you should take is recognizing the distractions in your life, both physical and mental. When you eliminate distractions, you gain more focus and be more efficient in doing things, and you don't waste your time. You also bring a positive impact to others at the same time.

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