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. 

The movie ‘Bridge of Spies’, is based on the true story of the trial of a Russian spy in America, Rudolf Abel. The charges he faced were serious enough to warrant the death penalty, but instead the trial ended in a prisoner swap. (Abel was exchanged for Gary Powers, the U2 spy-plane pilot shot down over Russia). Throughout the trial Abel faces adversity, not the least of which is the very real threat of execution and on more than one occasion his lawyer asks him why he doesn’t seem bothered or anxious about his fate; in other words, why isn’t he ruminating? Watch this clip to see his replies.