10 Exercises for Better Focus and Concentration
You can find strong powers of concentration in yourself. When you are decisive and sincerely want to excel in your studies, pass an important exam, or playing one of your favorite games; the power of concentration becomes available to you. This kind of concentration is raised because of some need, or desire. Increasing it in a systematic way, brings it under your control, and grants you the ability to use it easily, with no exertion whenever you need it. Real and good concentration is developed slowly, through daily work, and with special exercises. It has to be approached in a reasonable and practical way.
- When starting to learn to concentrate you have to find a suitable place where you can be alone and undisturbed. You can sit crossed legged on the floor if you can, or on a chair. Sit with spine erect. Take a few calm deep breaths and then relax your body. In your mind go through each muscle and part of the body and relax it.
The following exercises should help you develop concentration skills:
Select some thought and see how long you can hold your mind on it. It is nice to have a clock at first and keep track of the time.
Suppose you decide to think about health, think of health as being a great blessing in the world. Do not let any other thought drift in. Just the moment one starts to obtrude, make it go away. Make it a daily habit of concentrating on this thought for, maybe ten minutes. Practice doing this until you can hold it to the exclusion of everything else. You might have to do this exercise regularly for 10 days or more in order to sharpen your concentration skills.
Take a book and count the words in any paragraph. Count them again to be sure that it was correct. Start with one paragraph and when it becomes easier count all the words on the page. Perform the counting mentally and only with your eyes
Take a small simple object such as a spoon, a fork or a glass. Concentrate on it and watch the object from all sides without verbalisation, that is, with no words in your mind. Just watch the object without thinking with words about it
Draw a small geometrical figure, about 3 inches in size, such as a triangle, a rectangle or a circle. Paint it with any colour you wish and concentrate on it. Only see the figure. Do not think any words, only the figure exists. Watch the figure in front of you and try not to strain your eyes.
Concentrate on the Within. Lie down and thoroughly relax your muscles. Concentrate on the beating of your heart. Do not pay any attention to anything else. Think how this great organ is pumping the blood to every part of the body; try to actually picture the blood leaving the great reservoir and going in one stream right down to the toes. Picture another going down the arms to the tips of the fingers. After a little practice you can actually feel the blood passing through your system.
Watch Concentration. Sit in a chair and place a clock with a second hand on the table. Follow the second hand with your eyes as it goes around. Keep this up for five minutes, thinking of nothing else but the second hand, This is a very good exercise when you only have a few minutes to spare, if you are able to keep every other thought in the stream of consciousness subordinate to it. As there is little that is particularly interesting about the second hand, it is hard to do this, but in the extra effort of will power required to make it successful lies its value. Always try to keep as still as possible during these exercises.
Close your eyes and start to visualize the number one in front of you and say “one” in your head when you see it clearly. Allow the one to disappear and start to visualize the number two and say “two” loud in your head when you see it. Repeat this procedure up to 100 if you can.
Select an object like a half eaten cookie, a coin, a pen – anything – try to relax every muscle in your body and concentrate on the object. Start thinking about its shape, color, material etc and try to memorize its form. Then close your eyes and try to visualize it in front of you. If you can’t, open your eyes again and start over.
Write a dream log each morning when you remember a dream and every night before you go to sleep, review your day in reverse. This exercise will help you remember your dreams.
Choose a spot on the wall and look at it – do not focus too much on it though. Erase all thought from your mind and concentrate as hard as you can on your breathing. Hold on as long as you can.
When You Read. No one can think without first concentrating his thoughts on the subject on hand. Every man and woman should train himself to think clearly. An excellent exercise is to read an article in a newspaper, and see in how few words you can express it. Reading an article to get only the essentials requires the closest concentration. If you are unable to write out what you read, you will know you are weak in concentration. Instead of writing it out you can express it orally if you wish. Go to your room and deliver it as if you were talking to some one. You will
find exercises like this of the greatest value in developing concentration and learning to think.
The Benefits of Developing Concentration:
• Control of thoughts
• Peace of mind
• Inner strength
• Will power
• The ability to focus your mind
• Better memory
• The ability to decide and carry on your decisions
• Better functioning in daily life, whether at home or work
• The ability to study and comprehend more quickly
• Stop being carried away with every passing thought
• Freedom from needless and annoying thoughts
• Think when you want to, about what you want to think
• Inner happiness
• Help in developing psychic abilities
• More powerful and efficient creative visualisations and guided imagination
• True meditation
• Spiritual enlightenment
Put your whole attention into the exercises. Do not think about anything else. Be careful not to fall asleep, daydream or think about other matters. The moment you find yourself thinking about something else, stop the exercise and start again. When you become proficient, lengthen the time and, if possible, include another session in the afternoon. Do not attempt too much at the start. You may think the exercises are too simple and easy and try to perform them all at once. Go slowly, do not overdo or tense you brain. Try to reach perfection before you move on to next exercise.
If you find it too difficult, or thoughts distract you and make you think about other matters, do not worry. Everyone encounters difficulties along the way. The successful ones are those who go on and never give up. If you persist in spite of difficulties and disturbances, success will crown your efforts.