The Seven Day Attention Diet
Things are pretty heavy online at the moment. From divisive social media posts and sensational news headlines to misinformation campaigns and a huge rise in junk information.
It’s a lot to handle.
How are you holding up in the midst of that?
I’m hearing a lot of reports of distress, overwhelm, anguish and agitation from folks, so today I’m checking in with you.
Have you noticed that after clicking, scrolling or surfing the web lately you’re feeling more anxious, agitated, overwhelmed or distressed?
Are you spending too much time online and feeling continuously drained and down as a result?
Are you wanting to stay more grounded, present and calm while also staying informed and effective in the midst of all that is happening in the world?
If you’re nodding along to the above I’d like to share with you a great way to reclaim attention and find a more balanced and healthy way to stay informed and connected.
It’s called the attention diet.
My suggestion would be to start with a seven day attention diet and really commit to it 100% so that you can then feel what effect it has on you.
How to take an attention diet (in three simple steps)
STEP 1: MINIMIZE CONSUMPTION OVERALL
The same way a lot of junk food can harm our bodies, junk information can be really bad for our minds.
So the attention diet works very, very similar to a nutritional diet by cutting out a lot of unhelpful consumption for a period of time. Your body and mind adjusts and becomes healthier and stronger and often, eventually you just no longer crave so much for a fix of the junk because your whole system has kind of recalibrated how good it feels to stop consuming it.
So Step One is to consume just less information in general, but especially junk information (more on what that is below) and then that can open up a little more space in your life for other things that are more uplifting, nourishing and genuinely connecting.
STEP 2: CUT OUT THE JUNK
Step Two is to cull as much junk information out of your life as possible, if not all of it, at least for this initial ‘diet’ period.
The kinds of stuff that you might think of as junk information is information that’s sensational, emotionally charged, stuff that really isn’t important, helpful, or useful to you.
The trash tv, the doom scrolling, and also any of those addictive loops where you find yourself just scrolling, clicking, or watching without being fully conscious of what you’re doing. That is good stuff to cut out.
You can also apply this to the offline world too. In that case, junk information might be gossip, unhelpful relationships or environments or people who don’t treat you or others well.
STEP 3: ADD IN MORE NOURISHMENT
Step Three is to deliberately find highly nutritious, uplifting sources of healthy information and build your habits in your life around them.
So, the nutritious information that you might want to increase is information that’s from reliable sources, well thought out, helpful to you and relevant to your life. Nutritious information uplifts you, supports your personal growth and wellbeing, and informs you about things that are really important for you to know in your life.
Offline, nourishing connections are with people who treat you and others well, where there’s mutual trust and respect. People who speak thoughtfully and kindly and make you feel better when you’re around them.
Similarly, environments such as being in nature or being in supportive community groups can make a big difference too.
This week’s invitation
If an attention diet sounds like it might be of benefit to you, I invite you to experiment with it for the next seven days.
You might like to change only a few small things in your attention diet, or you might also feel like you want to make a bigger change like a full spring clean up. I’ll leave that up to you.
But whatever you decide, I wish you really well with this. I hope it leaves you feeling more empowered, clear-headed, and resilient as we navigate these tricky times.