Mental workouts for improving focus
The main exercise for gaining focus is the practice of meditation. Meditation is of many different types; all of them have benefits. The one that is most effective for improving focus and concentration is described below:
- Choose a good time and place:
Choose a time when you’re unlikely to be called away or disturbed in any way. Early in the morning is usually a good time, because everyone is usually asleep or busy with their own morning routines.
The place you choose should not be too hot or too cold, free of insects and other pests, secluded if possible, not a place where people are always passing by. If there is a door you can close, great.
- Find the right posture:
The main thing about the posture is that it should be relaxed and comfortable. It should be something you can hold easily for long periods. Many people sit in a cross-legged posture on the floor, but it’s not really necessary. Basically, you should be able to ignore your body for some time and that’s only really possible if you’re comfortable.
Spend some time on these basics, because they will help to make your practice fruitful.
- The process:
– Take a few deep breaths, breathing down into your abdomen and only then into the chest.
– Run a mental scan over your whole body, starting at one end (the toes or the top of the head) and moving your awareness from part to part. If you start with awareness of the toes, move your awareness slowly upwards, relaxing each part as you go. Go all the way from your toes to the top of your head.
– Now start looking at your breath. The most common way is to focus your awareness at the tip of your nostrils and feel the breath as it passes in and out.
– What will happen next is that your awareness will wander away. Don’t worry. That’s what’s supposed to happen. Just bring your mind back to focus on the passing of your breath at the nostrils.
You’ll lose it again. Bring it back again. And again. And again. The important thing is not to lose your cheerfulness when this happens. Just keep doing it again and again.
Just a few minutes everyday of this will surprise you. Scientists have actually recorded physical changes in the brain. These changes–for the better– happened in just seven or eight weeks of meditation. If you keep going, your focus and concentration will keep growing.