what it is? Causes of distraction and concentration problems in adults. How to deal with scattered attention?

Distractedness and inattention: what is it and how to get rid of it?

Inat­ten­tive peo­ple always suf­fer from their own inat­ten­tion. They for­get every­thing and can­not com­plete even the most ele­men­tary things. Because of this, they have to lis­ten to reproach­es from high­er author­i­ties and from their loved ones. To get rid of the prob­lem, you need to show willpow­er and famil­iar­ize your­self with the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion.

What is it in psychology?

Scat­tered atten­tion is con­sid­ered a very sig­nif­i­cant dis­or­der of the ner­vous sys­tem. These chal­lenges must be tak­en very seri­ous­ly. It should be not­ed that they can affect any per­son. But you should not pan­ic.

With impaired con­cen­tra­tion, a per­son feels some dis­com­fort. If the prob­lem gets worse, then we can say that the per­son is suf­fer­ing from signs of dis­tract­ed atten­tion.

To com­pare 2 con­cepts, such as inat­ten­tion and mind­ful­ness, it is nec­es­sary to under­stand what mind­ful­ness is. So, mind­ful­ness is the process of the high­est con­cen­tra­tion of atten­tion or the com­plete pro­cess­ing of spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion, due to which any indi­vid­ual can eas­i­ly nav­i­gate in the envi­ron­ment.

When the process of inat­ten­tion is formed, then the process of con­cen­tra­tion fades away. It is in this way that absent-mind­ed­ness is formed in the human mind. It must be tak­en into account that a per­son is not born with absent-mind­ed­ness. This flaw is acquired over the years. Inat­ten­tion in adults and chil­dren can appear for var­i­ous rea­sons, it all depends on the char­ac­ter­is­tics of per­son­al­i­ty for­ma­tion.

Know that scat­tered atten­tion is a state of con­stant for­get­ful­ness. As a result of the onset of such a state, a per­son los­es the abil­i­ty to devel­op nor­mal­ly. He has prob­lems both at work and at home. There­fore, this con­di­tion must be elim­i­nat­ed by all avail­able means.

Care­less­ness is dif­fer­ent.

  • Func­tion­al. This type can appear when fatigue sets in. For exam­ple, if a per­son per­forms monot­o­nous actions at work, and his con­cen­tra­tion begins to dull in a nat­ur­al way.
  • Cre­ative. This species is seen in peo­ple pre­oc­cu­pied with cre­at­ing some­thing new and unknown. Cre­ative peo­ple are con­stant­ly look­ing for new ideas, and there­fore can­not focus their atten­tion on more mun­dane things.
  • Min­i­mum. This hap­pens when a per­son can­not focus his atten­tion on mean­ing­ful infor­ma­tion due to a strong immer­sion in his thoughts. The per­son is com­plete­ly immersed in expe­ri­ences and is no longer able to get out of this prob­lem.
  • Rigid. Basi­cal­ly, this con­di­tion is expe­ri­enced by peo­ple with epilep­sy and oth­er dis­eases of the ner­vous sys­tem. A per­son is sim­ply not able to hold his con­cen­tra­tion for a long time on some­thing and quick­ly switch­es from one top­ic to anoth­er.
  • Unsta­ble. When a child or an adult has hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty in his char­ac­ter, it is dif­fi­cult for him to focus on the same object for a long time.

Types of violation

Ner­vous sys­tem dis­or­ders must be tak­en seri­ous­ly. Before mak­ing any deci­sions to elim­i­nate this prob­lem, you should famil­iar­ize your­self with the forms that are inher­ent in such vio­la­tions.

For the first time, true inat­ten­tion was described by the Amer­i­can philoso­pher and psy­chol­o­gist W. James. He argued that dur­ing the onset of the above-described state, a per­son dis­con­nects from every­thing: from plans, from the exter­nal envi­ron­ment. When mind­ful­ness is lost, a per­son­’s con­scious­ness wan­ders and can­not stop for a long time on any par­tic­u­lar object. This kind of con­di­tion is com­mon­ly referred to as scat­ter­ing or pros­tra­tion.

More­over, this state has a very strong influ­ence on men­tal activ­i­ty. A per­son feels a break­down due to the fact that he can­not con­cen­trate. As a result, com­plete apa­thy sets in, and inter­est in any activ­i­ty dis­ap­pears. The rea­son for this con­di­tion is either insom­nia, or some kind of dis­ease, or com­plete fatigue from the tasks per­formed.

Often, dri­vers who are forced to dri­ve along the road for a long time, where noth­ing inter­est­ing hap­pens, suf­fer from this con­di­tion.

Chil­dren often have stu­dent absent-mind­ed­ness. Due to uncon­trolled mobil­i­ty, dis­trac­tion occurs. How­ev­er, prob­lems of inat­ten­tion in chil­dren may arise for anoth­er rea­son, name­ly: due to the man­i­fes­ta­tion of signs that are asso­ci­at­ed with psy­chopatholo­gies.

The old­er gen­er­a­tion also suf­fers from the prob­lems that a lack of focus caus­es. Such prob­lems are called senile absent-mind­ed­ness. Due to poor switch­a­bil­i­ty, which is direct­ly relat­ed to the lack of con­cen­tra­tion on the object, focus­ing on some­thing becomes inef­fec­tive.

There are oth­er types, such as imag­i­nary absent-mind­ed­ness. The rea­son for this phe­nom­e­non is the many pic­tures that are in front of a per­son­’s eyes and replace each oth­er very quick­ly. Often this state is caused by both deep feel­ings and expe­ri­ences. Strong emo­tions also pre­vent a per­son from con­cen­trat­ing nor­mal­ly on objects that are around him.

It should be not­ed that any indi­vid­ual can under­go such a state, and this is not sur­pris­ing.

Experts in Gestalt psy­chol­o­gy argue that con­cen­tra­tion can be weak­ened when an emo­tion­al state occurs. For exam­ple, if a per­son received a dose of adren­a­line, then his atten­tion will decrease sig­nif­i­cant­ly.

Some­times a per­son quite con­scious­ly tries not to notice some of the details that sur­round him. Such inat­ten­tion is called moti­va­tion­al. It man­i­fests itself when a per­son specif­i­cal­ly does not notice any objects that can cause him stress. Cog­ni­tive inat­ten­tion is expressed in the fol­low­ing man­i­fes­ta­tions: a per­son often does not notice the sound of the hands on the clock or the beat­ing of his heart.


Peo­ple who suf­fer from absent-mind­ed­ness quite often make mis­takes at work and suf­fer from a gen­er­al lack of con­cen­tra­tion. Imag­i­nary absent-mind­ed­ness can be caused by psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems. If any dif­fi­cul­ties arise, a per­son con­cen­trates his atten­tion on over­com­ing them, while oth­er infor­ma­tion or objects fade into the back­ground.

By the way, chron­ic fatigue syn­drome can also cause prob­lems relat­ed to con­cen­tra­tion.

How­ev­er, it must be remem­bered that imag­i­nary and gen­uine inat­ten­tion are very dif­fer­ent from each oth­er. If experts do not con­sid­er imag­i­nary inat­ten­tion to be a dis­ease, then when true absent-mind­ed­ness occurs, they sound the alarm, since in this case a seri­ous pathol­o­gy may devel­op. Con­sid­er the symp­toms that may indi­cate clin­i­cal prob­lems:

  • the occur­rence of headaches;
  • loss of work­ing capac­i­ty;
  • mood swings and behav­ioral changes;
  • con­stant sleepi­ness;
  • per­sis­tent feel­ing of fatigue, even after a great rest;
  • inabil­i­ty to con­cen­trate on any­thing;
  • fre­quent loss of per­son­al belong­ings;
  • decreased activ­i­ty in gen­er­al, as well as sex­u­al activ­i­ty.

It should be not­ed that chil­dren also suf­fer from scat­tered atten­tion. It may appear as fol­lows:

  • slow­ness;
  • fast switch­ing from one activ­i­ty to anoth­er;
  • bad mem­o­ry;
  • rapid excitabil­i­ty;
  • fre­quent tantrums.

Chil­dren can often behave this way for a num­ber of rea­sons, so don’t wor­ry too much. How­ev­er, if such man­i­fes­ta­tions are per­sis­tent and long-term, you need to make an appoint­ment with a spe­cial­ist and get advice.

Causes of concentration problems

Inat­ten­tion occurs for var­i­ous rea­sons: from fatigue, due to a headache, due to monot­o­nous work. Let’s look at the most com­mon rea­sons.


If you have impaired con­cen­tra­tion and gen­er­al for­get­ful­ness, then these prob­lems could arise due to var­i­ous phys­i­o­log­i­cal con­di­tions.

  • The onset of a cer­tain age. A per­son ages, and his body begins to fal­ter in dif­fer­ent direc­tions. Var­i­ous fac­tors affect the good func­tion­ing of the brain, includ­ing dis­or­ders in the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem.
  • The onset of menopause in women can also cause inat­ten­tion.
  • Tran­si­tion­al age. Teenagers often suf­fer from such a fac­tor due to hor­mon­al fail­ures.
  • Preg­nan­cy and lac­ta­tion can cause a lack of con­cen­tra­tion.
  • Dis­eases asso­ci­at­ed with the ner­vous sys­tem direct­ly affect the func­tion­ing of the brain as a whole. And this means that the lack of con­cen­tra­tion is becom­ing the norm.
  • Decreased immu­ni­ty can also cause inat­ten­tion.


Such rea­sons arise due to the fault of the per­son him­self. Often, an indi­vid­ual, with­out get­ting enough sleep, takes on work that requires increased atten­tion. As a result, all his efforts come to naught.

Very ner­vous peo­ple may suf­fer from inat­ten­tion. They con­stant­ly find non-exis­tent prob­lems around them. Because of this behav­ior, their psy­che begins to fail. There­fore, psy­cho­so­mat­ics aris­es, which indi­cates prob­lems.

Hard work affects the func­tion­ing of the brain and, as a rule, atten­tive­ness. In addi­tion, poor con­cen­tra­tion of atten­tion can be caused by cer­tain fac­tors.

  • Stress. The con­scious­ness of a per­son in this case is com­plete­ly direct­ed to solv­ing a prob­lem.
  • Seden­tary lifestyle. A per­son in this case is very relaxed and reacts bad­ly to the changes tak­ing place around him.
  • Lack of order in thoughts and in sur­round­ing things. When a per­son takes on every­thing at once, then noth­ing works out for him, since in this sit­u­a­tion it is very dif­fi­cult to focus his atten­tion.

How to fight?

If the case is not start­ed, then inat­ten­tion can be defeat­ed by var­i­ous means. If you have been suf­fer­ing from dis­trac­tion for quite a long time and you feel that the prob­lem is of a seri­ous nature, then you can cope with it with the help of med­ica­tion.

How­ev­er, this issue should only be dealt with by a spe­cial­ist who has cer­tain knowl­edge and a license.

In oth­er, less severe cas­es, you can use the advice.

  • Try to get enough sleep and rest in time so that your phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal capa­bil­i­ties do not suf­fer.
  • You can get rid of inat­ten­tion with the help of sports. The restora­tion of the gen­er­al tone will sig­nif­i­cant­ly affect the restora­tion of con­cen­tra­tion.
  • To restore your brain activ­i­ty, you need to make some efforts on your­self and over­come lazi­ness and drowsi­ness.
  • Pri­or­i­ti­za­tion will help to over­come the fac­tor under con­sid­er­a­tion. It is nec­es­sary not to post­pone prob­lems for lat­er, but to solve them as they arise.
  • So that dis­trac­tion of atten­tion does not inter­fere with you, you need to stop being dis­tract­ed by tri­fles. Do not think about non-exis­tent prob­lems, and even more so, do not “unwind” them in your head.
  • You need to put things in order around you: wash the floors and put all things in their places.
  • Put things in order in your head too. To do this, you need to plan your activ­i­ties so that you can act accord­ing to a cer­tain plan.

Effective Exercises

Of course, in order to increase mind­ful­ness, you need to work on your­self every day. The fol­low­ing exer­cis­es can be done in your spare time. They are suit­able for both adults and chil­dren.

  • You have 2 hands. Take 2 pen­cils at once and start draw­ing dif­fer­ent shapes with them at the same time. More­over, the fig­ures should be dif­fer­ent. If you draw a cir­cle with one hand, you must draw a square with the oth­er. Engage in such manip­u­la­tions every day, and you will feel how your brain will begin to respond to the activ­i­ty and “turn on” the pos­i­tive dynam­ics.
  • Con­sid­er any sub­ject (it is desir­able that it be bright and have many bends). Remem­ber the small­est details. Remove the thing and try to repro­duce its image in your mind. The descrip­tion can and should be car­ried out by hear­ing.
  • Var­i­ous pic­tures titled “Find 10 Dif­fer­ences” or “Find a cat” will help you restore lost func­tions.
  • Try count­ing from 1 to 100. At the same time, do not call every fifth num­ber, but instead say: “I am atten­tive.”

If you can’t force your­self to com­plete the above tasks for what­ev­er rea­son, then at least try to com­bine busi­ness with plea­sure at every oppor­tu­ni­ty. And for this, you can offer the fol­low­ing series of sim­ple exer­cis­es.

  • Get out­side and just take a walk. Dur­ing this activ­i­ty, count the flow­ers on the lawn, look at the build­ings. You need to remem­ber every­thing that will meet you on the way. Before going to sleep, review your walk again in your mind and try to remem­ber as many details as pos­si­ble.
  • Don’t act auto­mat­i­cal­ly. And to ful­fill this con­di­tion, you need to care­ful­ly look around in the room and remem­ber if you turned off the light, the iron. These actions must be done before leav­ing the house. After you leave the entrance, once again scroll through all your actions in your mind before mov­ing in a giv­en direc­tion.
  • When com­mu­ni­cat­ing with peo­ple, try to remem­ber all the details. Lis­ten care­ful­ly to how and what they tell you, and what your inter­locu­tors are wear­ing and shod. Con­sid­er every lit­tle thing on clothes and shoes. Let this hob­by become a habit. So grad­u­al­ly you will learn to pay atten­tion to all the incon­spic­u­ous details and events tak­ing place around you. Thus, you will elim­i­nate low mind­ful­ness.
  • Curios­i­ty is not a vice. Be inter­est­ed in every­thing that comes your way. Let this also become a habit.
  • Con­cen­trate on the activ­i­ty you are doing. Car­ry out your actions con­scious­ly and slow­ly.
  • Think over your every step and choose your words care­ful­lythat you are about to say.

Your rep­u­ta­tion depends on it and the poten­tial of men­tal activ­i­ty increas­es.

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