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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can't stay focused, what should I do?

    I'm 28 years old and have only ever been able to read books with pictures in them and no more than 50 pages. As far as I can remember, my memory has been shocking and even to this day I'm a vivid day dreamer. My grades have usually been C/B level at school and then around 63% at university. Whenever I'm set with a task I try to leave it until the last minute. For the last 2 years, I haven't been able to wake myself to get out of bed, always sleeping through alarms. Even then it takes me a while to wake up (45mins+). Further to that point I also struggle with social skills as i'm constantly forgetting information in conversation. This has always been a problem as far as I can remember, from consistently needing re-explaining simple tasks in the class room to not engaging with people in the work environment. Is there anything I can do to try and fix this problem and how should I go about doing it? What is it? Are there others out there that experience a similar condition?
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  • Emma Pinn

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I'm a Clinical Psychologist who has expertise working with children, adolescents, young people, and adults in managing anxiety, depression, emotional problems, insomnia, low motivation, and … View Profile

    Different practitioners will have different ideas about what you can do to improve your concentration. From a psychological perspective, something that may help you is to start practising mindfulness. Mindfulness is derived from eastern religious practices but it's not a religious ritual. Essentially, it involves paying attention to the present moment with a sense of openness and acceptance. It's strongly supported by empirical research for ameliorating a range of psychological symptoms. I also believe there is some research to suggest it can help improve focus and attention. There is lots of information about mindfulness available on the Internet. To learn how to do it, it's best if you download some guided mindfulness meditations onto your phone/iPod. Some websites and resources that might help you learn more about mindfulness include:
    http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/docs/ACF3C5B.pdf
    http://www.livingwell.org.au/mindfulness-exercises-3/

    If you still have questions and concerns, perhaps talk to your GP about making an appointment with a psychologist who has experience in mindfulness.

    Best of luck.

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