Lately, I’ve been feeling more distracted than usual. My brain is buzzing with everything from random musings to worrisome thoughts to song lyrics.

You, too?

Maybe you’re also feeling the weary effects of a busy, easily distracted brain. Maybe it’s because of the cooling temperatures. Or the surge in responsibilities.

Maybe you’re feeling particularly itchy in your own skin. Or spread too thin. Pressed for time. Especially frustrated and worn out.

In her latest book Boundaries in an Overconnected World author and therapist Anne Katherine features a simple and helpful exercise — called a focus experiment.

In fact, it’s actually a prime example of how setting an external boundary can fortify our internal boundaries. Here’s how it works:

Carve out 5 minutes. Turn off all electronics, such as your phone and computer. Close the door.

Look around, and focus your attention on one beautiful or natural object. It could be anything from a picture to a leaf to even a drop of water, according to Anne.

“Notice what it feels like to have a simple, single focus.”

Next, slow down your breathing. Let your shoulders drop. Breathe in the beauty of that object.

“Breathe it into your center and let your awareness sink into your central places. Feel your connection to yourself, and from that connected place, bring your attention back to the object.

Rest in that stillness, breathing in and out.”

After you’re done, Anne suggests exploring what you’ve learned or discovered.

Shifting our focus to something natural or soothing is a simple way to quiet especially noisy thoughts and even help us feel more comfortable in our skin.

What helps you when you’re distracted? What helps you refocus and relax?



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    Last reviewed: 15 Nov 2013

APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2013). A Simple Exercise For Helping You Refocus. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 31, 2015, from




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