Brain Change: Rewire with Focused Attention

by Scott Crabtree

A recent study showed that simply paying attention to what’s happening in your brain can change it. Research has found changes in learning and memory processes as well in emotional regulation in as little as 8 weeks.

How can you practice focusing your attention to create changes in your own brain? While science has found that meditation practices are an excellent way to achieve this, there are many other techniques you can incorporate into your workday for happiness and brain-function boosts:

  1. Pay Attention To The Positive. Whenever faced with things you can’t change; focus on the positive. Paying attention to the positive rewires your brain for happiness and increases your awareness. In Barbara Fredrickson’s Broaden and Build Theory and research, she has found that people in a positive state have higher levels of creativity and experience more “big-picture” thinking.
  2. Listen And Respond.  Truly focus your attention and listen to those giving you information and input; respond to let them know you’ve heard them. Focusing your attention rewires your brain and helps build relationships. The quality of our relationships is a key factor in our happiness, and happiness boosts productivity, creativity, resilience, health, and success.
  3. Focus To Get Into Flow. Focus undistracted on a task that is challenging but possible for 20 minutes or more – get in the zone! Flow is a super happy and productive state mind. Getting into and staying in flow strengthens your brain’s ability to maintain attention.

Each of the activities above, when practiced repeatedly and consistently, can literally rewire your brain. So much so, that some studies have found visible physical changes the brain as a result of repeated and consistent focused attention.

Boost productivity, happiness and build relationships within your organization by encouraging yourself and team members to rewire brains by paying attention to the positive, truly listening and responding to others, and focusing to get into flow.

Have you experienced the positive effects of focusing attention at work? Do you focus to get into flow? How does this boost your happiness and productivity? Please comment to let me know what’s working – and not working – for your workplace happiness.