gmusic@nurturingnatures.co.uk

ADHD, and good and bad attention

This week’s New York Times had an interesting piece about wandering minds. It noted that there seems to be a huge diminishment in the capacity to pay attention, concentrate and focus. Mindfulness quite rightly was mentioned as something that helps and once again things were said about the increasing speed of modern society, the rushing and short attention spans and the inability to step out of the whirlwind to reflect and be thoughtful.

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Telomeres, mindfulness, illness, dying young and our impulsive, inattentive world

A fascinating new study this week showed that people who have minds that wonder more, who cannot concentrate as much, also have shorter telomeres, a classic biomarker for ageing and cellular death. Telomeres protect the end of chromosomes and are a good predictor of immune functioning, early death and disease [1]. Participants were measured for aspects of psychological distress and well-being. The sample was highly educated and had a narrow range of both chronological age and psychological stress (most were low stress). Those with  a tendency to mind wander and concentrate less on tasks basically had shorter telomeres. Given that so much is suggesting that people’s attention spans are shortening, then this is a worrying finding.

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