Everyone struggles with distractions to some degree. When the distraction involves something that puts you at risk, such as drug use or compulsive behavior, it's important to find ways to train your attention on something positive.  

Practice Mindfulness

Staying in the moment is one of the best ways to avoid a distraction. Mindfulness means focusing on what you are doing at the moment and what's going on around you. Start by listening to your breathing. Once your focus shifts to your breath, take inventory of what is going on at that moment:

  • What do you see?

  • What do you feel?

  • What do you smell? 

It's a practice designed to train you to focus on the moment and push distraction away. 

Shift Your Focus

If you are distracted by a desire to do something unhealthy, shift that focus towards a positive activity. For instance, take a walk outside or even around the room. The exercise will help pull your attention away from the urge that is distracting you. 

Regular exercise may help you avoid distractions, too. Working out releases endorphins into the blood that makes you feel good, which can help you maintain your attention on positive activities. 

Practice the ABC Method

The ABC method is a technique to retrain your brain and avoid distractions, especially harmful ones. ABC stands for:

  • Awareness - Stop what you are doing and recognize the distraction. 

  • Breathing - Shift your focus from the distraction to your breathing. 

  • Choose - Choose to let the distraction go by addressing the potential harm it can do to you. 

Have patience with yourself. Strengthening your attention is a process. The more you practice, the better you'll get at it.