Problem with observation of common things

by Anonymous

Hi! I'm a 22 yr male. I think I have poor observation, i.e., I don't observe things, even simple ones like my friend's spectacle design, his handwriting, or furniture at a place where I go every day.

I can remember well if I consciously try, but it doesn't come automatically even with people or things I meet every day.

What kind of problem is it? Can anyone help me? I want to add that I am more than average in studies, I am a doctor.

Doug's Reply. Your problem sounds like one of "attention". You are not alone. Most people are preoccupied much of the time by the continuous stream of thoughts in their head. A powerful (and free) way to overcome this is to practice mindfulness meditation.

Meditation does not mean suppressing the mind, or turning off your thoughts, or sending the mind somewhere else. It's quite the opposite.

Mindfulness meditation brings you into the present moment. While meditating, you allow thoughts to arise, but instead of fixating on them, you allow each thought to pass.

Meditate to improve your attention and concentration
Imagine leaves in a stream. As the stream flows by, the leaves pass out of sight.

In the same way, during mindfulness meditation you allow the thoughts to happen BUT you don't become attached to them. You don't follow through with them.

And so you must give your mind an anchor to focus on instead. Your BREATH is the first and most obvious choice.

Research has shown that people who meditate regularly have enhanced powers of concentration. They practice being attentive during meditation, and this translates to stronger powers of attention when not meditating.

A common mindfulness practice involves 20 to 40 minutes a day of meditation. Give it a try. Meditate first thing in the morning, and be persistent.

Teach your mind to focus on breathing while ignoring distractions. There is a good chance this will translate into more powerful observation skills in your everyday life.

For more information on meditation, see my Mindfulness Meditation page.

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