Mindful☼Mondays: Attention Restoration Theory

Happy Monday! We hope you were able to get outside over the beautiful sunny weekend and that you’re feeling restored and motivated for your week ahead.

Today we’re inviting you to check out a fascinating theory called Attention Restoration Theory, which considers time spent in nature as a gateway to improving our focus and ability to concentrate. We know that time in natural spaces can be restorative for our heart and spirit, but there is also the real possibility that it can actual reset our minds and capacity to hold information!

The Four States of Attention, outlined by the authors of this theory Stephen and Rachel Kaplan, are as follows:

1. Clearer head, or concentration
2. Mental fatigue recovery
3. Soft fascination, or interest
4. Reflection and restoration

Interestingly, the “soft fascination” component involves being gently and easily distracted and engaged in a low-stimulation activity which helps to clear the mind and creates a space to relax. Next time you’re in the forest or at the beach, consider how each bird call or flight, every tiny mushroom you bend down to peer at, is contributing to this “soft fascination”.

Do you have a kiddo at home who is struggling to stay focused in Zoom or in person class? Perhaps a good daily or weekly dose of outdoor fascination could help!

There is much more to explore about Attention Restoration Theory. Check out positivepsychology.com/attention-restoration-theory for more info.

Photo of a Pacific Wren by @animate.earth

#nec #mindfulmondays #northcoastenvironmentalcenter #attentionrestorationtheory #attention #softfascination #ecotherapy #mindfulness