Day 16 - Information Overload

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Center for Contemplative Mind

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We’re increasingly bombarded with a firehose of information that we can’t possibly process effectively. As incredible as it sounds, almost 90% of the world’s information has been generated in the past two years. 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data are created every single day. 

Every 60 seconds, we generate 156 million emails, 16 million text messages, 2.5 million Google searches, 3.9 million Facebook posts, 29 million WhatsApp messages, a million new photo uploads, 18 million new texts, and on and on and on.   

Our minds are racing, our attention is fragmenting and there’s just way too much to ever grasp, or get our arms around - and it’s in our face, on our screens, every minute of every day. Our brains are wired to gravitate to the most novel, most insistent distraction, but this ultimately leads us to more stress, anxiety and negativity.

Like stress, the mental skill to eliminate information overload starts with attention control. When we follow our breath - or pay attention to precisely what’s going on in the moment - we’re intentionally choosing and directing our focus, and strengthening circuits in the brain that enable us to control our attention. 

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