You have a natural tendency to focus more on certain aspects of your environment than others. This narrowed focus is often based on your current internal state which is made up of a combination of your recurrent thoughts and overall mood. Items that naturally set off a higher level of emotional or physical response within you can also contribute to an attentional bias.
When you see your internal state in the external world
Knowing that your focus colors the world around you, you can make allowances for it and remind yourself to maintain the proper perspective. It's important to realize that you naturally have the tendency to wear blinders in this way. When you narrow your view without being aware that you've narrowed your view, it can impact your decision making in meaningful ways.
For example, we know that if you have anxiety issues you will often focus on the world around you in a way that reinforces that anxiety. You will see more threats in the environment around you. We also know that if you suffer from depression you will tend to focus more on the negative events and even the negative words spoken to you throughout your day.
An attentional bias distorts your overall view and often reinforces the narrowed out-of-balance view.
Remind yourself to pull back and see the balance
Be aware of how your internal state colors your perception of the world around you. Remind yourself of your attentional bias.
Fridays – Flaws in Thinking
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My Writing and Other Resources for Students
A growing collection of writing and other resources for students to use to continue their growth.