Autumn Leaves, meditative video by Sara Barkat
Research has shown that directed attention, like anything else, can get tired out. Directed attention is focused, purposeful attentiveness toward certain things.
Directed attention fatigue …occurs when … that part of the brain which allows us to concentrate in the face of distractions, becomes fatigued. [Signs are] feeling unusually distractible, impatient, forgetful, or cranky … it can lead to bad judgment, apathy, or accidents, and … increased stress levels [and is] caused by concentrating too much in the midst of external or internal distractions.
Attention Restoration Theory (ART) notes that being in nature, and viewing green spaces, allows the brain to unwind, to notice without noticing. This is called involuntary or undirected attention. It “recharges” your memory, reaction time, impulse control, and attention span, as well as lowering stress levels and just generally making you feel better.
Try it! Watch this autumn leaves meditative video. Don’t look for anything in particular. There’s no rush. There’s nothing to “miss.” It’s just a small experience that can brighten your spirits, even in town.
Going outdoors: A natural antidote for attention fatigue? by Eileen G. Merritt || “An emerging line of research suggests that a short walk in a natural setting may be the best way to restore students’ flagging attention.”
Quotes to Consider:
“It has been argued that people are physiologically wired to respond positively to natural scenery that include features such as vegetation and water sources (Ulrich, 1983) — simply being close to nature may have a calming and restoring effect.”
“Natural environments (particularly when they include sunsets, bodies of water, and other dramatic features) are inherently fascinating, powerfully drawing our attention; the extent of a natural environment is rich and multifaceted, with layers of dimension not often found in built environments; being outdoors gives people a feeling of being away from stressful routines of school or work; and, for many people, the natural world feels more compatible than built environments, which tend to put more demands on our voluntary attention (e.g., by requiring us to focus on traffic lights, street signs, moving cars, and such)” — Eileen G. Merritt, Going outdoors: A natural antidote for attention fatigue?