Many people lump alertness and motivation in with attention. The common thing we hear is something like: " coffee helps me wake up,. I need it to start my day and I can pay attention better". However, caffeine really only effects alertness for short durations and may cause unwanted effects in motivation and attention.
Motivation is the force that moves us. BUT….. we can be moved toward something OR away from it. Not feeling motivated is actually avoidance. If you’ve followed our previous posts about anxiety, you might have just had an “aha” moment! Motivation AWAY from something, (avoidance) is typically fear-based. The more we give into avoidance, the more we actually reinforce anxiety. (read prior posts for more info). Motivation also controls how effectively we can switch topics vs merely get distracted.
Attention is the ability to concentrate and absorb information over time, to the exclusion of other stimuli.
In the next posts, we delve deeper into how each of these affect the other. In the meantime, want to improve motivation, switching and attention – subscribe to the Squirrel Chaser app.