Using Concentrated Focus to Tune Out the World

Is it any wonder so many folks walk around totally stressed-out these days?

Between all the advertisements that beg for our attention, bosses who question our actions daily and family responsibilities, we’re forced to make thousands of mini decisions each and every day. Exhausting work.

We’re constantly pulled this way and that to answer a zillion unrelated questions. Rare are the times when we can give our undivided attention to just one task. And that’s the problem.

Ever notice how when you’re working quietly (uninterrupted) on JUST ONE thing, be it a favorite hobby, or intricate task at work, or even just reading a book – my how the time flies! And you leave that period of concentrated thought feeling more relaxed rather than more stressed?

Ah-hah! Yes. Concentrated thought, concentration leads to less stress. Feeling good.

And that is exactly my point when I say that photography (your camera) can be the ultimate tool for achieving better health – better mental health in this case.

You see, our eyes are constantly scanning the world to receive input. 140 degrees of peripheral vision being scanned 50 times/second puts a massive load on our brains. Now imaging that instead of looking at 140 degrees of wide vision we narrow that down and only let you see 20 degrees looking through a camera’s telephoto lens. Now you’ve got 120 degrees less to look at. Instantly the input to the brain is decreased.

Less input, less stress.

Try this experiment for yourself:

Use the longest lens you have for your camera, maybe 200mm for your DSLR folks. If your camera of choice right now is a zoom point-and-shoot camera, zoom to the maximum setting and see how much less you see cluttering up your view.

Practice photographing animals or something else from far away. Remember to hold your camera very still (better yet brace it against a building wall or other solid structure to prevent the blur that magnifies itself at these longer lens settings…or best is to use a tripod if you have one.)

Notice that as you concentrate on just getting a good picture of your subject, you are conscious of fewer sounds around you, of people movements nearby and literally all of your senses have been hijacked to work on capturing the image you are focused on.

Yes…you have entered “The Zone”.

Now your only trick will be chiseling enough time out of each day to grab your camera and get in “The Zone”.

But rest assured the more you get there, the better you’ll feel.

The bonus to your more relaxed body (as if we need anything more than that!) is while all this mental body repair was going on, you actually did take some cool pictures to share with your friends or family.
Ah…sweet recognition.

When you think about it…everything in this world that’s really great is here because someone concentrated on one single thing. Tom Monaghan -Dominoes Pizza, Donald Trump -real estate, “The Colonel” -Fried Chicken and every great professional sports player. Does Tiger squander his focus?
Bet not.

While we don’t all aspire to be focused at that level, we could all use just a bit more. And photography is one great, easy way to get your RDA of all the benefits it brings. So grab your camera and get started today!

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