How to Improve your Mental Focus
A number of people find it difficult to focus on their tasks because there are increasing levels of distraction all over. It seems almost impossible to have quiet moments these days, as there are always social media notifications and news updates to check.
All of these make it more challenging for people to direct their mental effort to learn new things, achieve goals, and perform excellently in their endeavors. Your ability to focus may be a major determinant of your success or failure at your tasks.
It is absolutely possible to build your focus. The more you work on building it, the stronger it gets. Let`s see how to develop laser-like mental focus and concentration.
5 Ways to Improve your Mental Focus
Distractions prevent people from focusing on their tasks. Such distractions may come as noise in the background or a co-worker who stops by to chat at one`s office.
To focus better, you should minimize the likely sources of distraction around you. Now that`s not as easy as it sounds. For some, it may be turning off the radio or television; for others, it may be dealing with the child, co-worker, spouse, or flatmate who causes distractions.
An effective way of dealing with this is to set aside a specific time and place to work and ask to be alone in that place and at that time. You might also need to get out of your comfort zone by going to a library or a quiet coffee shop.
When we talk of distractions, people are quick to think of the ones from external sources, however, not all distractions come from outside. There are distractions that come from within, some of which are anxiety, poor motivation, exhaustion, worry, among other internal disturbances. Some of these may even be more difficult to deal with.
There are a few strategies that might help you minimize or eliminate internal distractions. You could try focusing on positive thoughts and imagery to ward off worry and anxiety. You should also make deliberate efforts to manage distracting thoughts by consciously taking your focus back to your task.
Limit your Focus
As much as multitasking seems like a great way to achieve goals quickly, it is actually not an effective way to work. When you juggle multiple tasks at the same time, you reduce your productivity, and that makes it difficult to focus.
If you see your attention as a spotlight, then you would realize that shinning it on a particular task helps you see all that there is to it clearly. Spreading the same amount of light across various tasks only gives you a glimpse of each. Someone says that when people claim they multitask, what they actually do is task-shifting. Henceforth, give your full attention to one thing at a time till you complete it. Think about focus as Following One Course Until Success. You will work more effectively.
Live in the Moment
Trying to stay mentally focused while your mind wanders through the past, as well as worries about the future can be challenging. Try as much as possible to be present. Live in the moment. Learning to keep your mind focused on the present can take a while and a lot of effort because the human mind gets naturally inclined to wander. Keep practicing; you will get better at it.
Take Short Breaks
It can be challenging concentrating on the same thing for a long period of time, as your focus gradually breaks down, and invariably, your performance suffers. Taking brief breaks will help you improve your mental focus. Such breaks will help you to shift your attention to something unrelated to the task, and eventually keeps your mental focus sharp, as well as increase your performance.
Practice Mental Focus
Achieving mental focus will not happen overnight. It requires a lot of time and practice to strengthen concentration skills. The more you practice, the better it gets. As you practice, take note of how well you improve on concentrating, and identify the major barriers.
How to Focus Better with Meditation
Meditation is an effective way to concentrate better. Let`s look at quick steps to meditating for better concentration.
- Find a quiet place that is devoid of distractions.
- Decide on how much time you want to spend and set a timer for it.
- Sit in a comfortable chair or find a convenient spot on the floor.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- When distracting thoughts enter your mind, don’t struggle with them; don`t reject them either. Just acknowledge them and calmly focus your attention back on your breath.
Meditation Facts you Should Know
- Meditation may actually be more popular than you think. Studies show that about 500 million people meditate globally.
- Meditation reduces the wake time of insomniacs by 50%.
- Mindfulness meditation reduces the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Meditating for four consecutive days can increase your attention span.
- By 2022, the value of the United States` meditation market may rise a bit above $2 billion.
- In 2018, about 52% of US employers enrolled their employees in mindfulness classes.
- Meditation has reduced school suspensions by 45%.
- About 14% of US adults have tried to meditate.
- Since 2012, the number of people practicing meditation has tripled.
- Meditation is as popular as yoga in the United States.
- Women are more likely to meditate than men.
- 60% of people living with anxiety exhibited exceptional improvements in anxiety levels after 7-10 months of meditation.
- Meditation boosts mental endurance and resilience.
- Meditation has relieved lower back pain more than many over-the-counter prescription medications.
- 75% of insomniacs who meditate daily succeed in falling asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed.
- Women who suffer severe PMS show signs of improvement after five months of daily meditation.
- Meditation improves empathy and spurs social connections.
- You are advised to use a mantra while meditating, as it helps to focus your thoughts.
- A common meditation mantra is “hamsa,” which means “I am the pure, unchanging, godly subject.”
- Women show more signs of self-compassion and mindfulness after regular sessions of meditation.
- Meditation reduces stress, and as a result, heightens creativity and innovation.
- Mindful meditation has been helpful in quitting smoking more than many other alternatives.
- Transcendental meditation causes some chemical changes in the brain, owing to its ability to release a soothing hormone called prolactin.
- The most popular types of meditation are spiritual, movement, mindfulness, focused, transcendental, and mantra.
- People who practice yoga and some other kinds of meditation are usually more resilient, as well as produce mitochondrial energy better.
- Some studies link meditation with better immune health.
- People who practiced long-term meditation experience an improved sense of touch.
- Caring for your garden is a helpful form of mindfulness meditation, as it helps to connect with the earth and cultivate a healthy mind and a calm feeling.
- The brains of longtime meditators generally age slower than the brains of their non-meditating counterparts.
- People who meditate regularly are better at curbing impulse shopping than those who don’t.
- Chakra meditation focuses on placing the seven chakras of the body in harmony.
- You can meditate in any of these four positions: sitting, lying down, standing, or walking.
Now that you Know…
Now you can improve your concentration with these simple steps that you have just learned. Remember that it will not be easy initially, however, with practice, you will perform excellently at it.