Further Resources to Support Your Learning

Control Your Attention

Train the Brain

On the courses we talk about the need to Control Your Attention and the need to learn to ‘train the brain’ to do that. If you have ever sat exams you will know that when you first begin studying it is very hard to maintain your concentration but that over time this ability increases. It is the same principle with teaching your self to Control Your Attention and remain in the present.

Some activities for learning how to Control Your Attention include:

  1. Body Scan

    A body scan, in which attention is given to muscle groups in the body is one way to train the brain to hold attention. Here are two body scans produced by the Challenge of Change. The first takes about 10 minutes and the second one, about 18 minutes.

  2. Meditation

    Meditation is one way to learn to control your attention.  You can learn to meditate by giving attention to your body, for example, by doing a body scan, or by giving attention to your breath.

    The following are apps that you can use to learn to meditate.  Their free offerings are enough to learn to meditate, though you can also take a paid subscription to access more tools.

    We recommend starting with Headspace – it’s simple and free.
  3. Mind the Gap Activities

    On the course we talk about using gaps in the day to check in with yourself - to Wake Up and Control Your Attention.

    Here are some 5 minute activities that you can try:
     
 

Movie of the Month

Every month or so we post a video on a topic connected to what is taught on the course. 

University of Miami neuroscientist Amishi Jha studies how to keep the brain’s attention systems in peak shape over high-pressure intervals. She describes how when we lose control of our attention in pressure situations we wind up feeling stressed, and she discusses how we can learn to control our attention, and hence avoid stress, even in the most intense pressure conditions (military operations.)

How to tame your wandering mind.