Nowadays it is tough to keep our minds still even for one single minute. And there are always halves of ideas and unfinished projects around every one of us.
If you came here wondering how to escape today’s numerous distractions, then you’re in the right place. Here are 10 simple exercises to strengthen your attention.
1. Count Backward
Counting is a great way to increase your focus. Start by finding a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed by day to day activities and worries.
Once you have found a comfortable place, start counting backward. If you are new to concentration exercises, start by counting down from 100 to 1. In time, you can increase the count to 500 or 1000 and even include variations by skipping numbers.
2. Counting Words
For this exercise, you will need to get a book or a magazine. Start by counting the words in a paragraph, then, if you feel like doing more, on a page, several pages, or even an entire chapter.
Remember not to point your finger at each word. Use your eyes only!
3. Analyze Interesting Objects
While focusing your senses on one object at a time might seem like a small deed, it will help your attention efforts long-term.
Choose any article that captures your curiosity and analyse it thoroughly. It can be anything: a fruit, your wallet, a pencil box.
Notice its colour, texture, shape, maybe even the smell. While doing this, don’t let any other thoughts in. Focus only on the object at hand.
4. Water Fascination
This particular exercise aims to help you control involuntary muscle movements.
After you have filled a glass full of water, grasp it by the fingers and stretch your arms in front of you. Now, fix your eyes on the glass. At the same time, try to stop any uncontrolled movements of your arm. It is not as easy as it seems.
5. Candle Gazing
From the legend of Prometheus to the actual cavemen, and up until today, there’s just something about fire that has always fascinated people. Flames capture attention and help focus one’s thoughts.
What to do? Simple. Take some time one evening to sit in a quiet room and light a candle. Next, take a comfortable seat nearby and focus on nothing else but the flickering light. Try to engage your attention this way for about 5 minutes.
6. Use Cannabidiol
When you hear of cannabidiol, your thoughts might wander off to marijuana. However, there are some major differences.
Marijuana contains two main substances. One of them is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is a psychoactive compound and the other one is CBD or cannabidiol, which on the other hand, has no psychoactive effects. Instead, CBD has many positive properties on the body. One of them is enhancing one’s ability to focus.
How? Maybe you’ve heard of Lexapro or Zoloft, which are synthetic substances used to fight depression. CBD works in a similar manner and increases the serotonin flow inside your brain. Therefore, you are less anxious and more focused.
If you are curious about trying it, head over to Palm Organix and check out their CBD products.
7. Sit Still
You might long for a comfortable chair at the end of a tiresome day. But have you ever noticed how difficult it is to actually keep still in it?
To complete this exercise, you will need to stand still for at least 5 minutes. Of course, if you can do it for 10, or even 15 minutes, that’s even better.
This might sound simple, however; controlling your involuntary muscle movements is not an easy task. Just remember to choose a comfortable position.
8. Use Your Reflection
Making eye contact with another person is one of the most rewarding shapes concentration can take. It gives us a sense of confidence and strength, but also calmness.
While keeping eye contact for too long with an actual person is not really possible, you can practice this by using your own reflection. Start by finding a mirror and making two marks on its surface. These marks will be drawn at the same level as your eyes.
Imagine these marks as a pair of human eyes that are looking deeply into yours. Focus on keeping your head still and take deep breaths. Slowly, you will feel all your inner timidity be replaced by calm and strength.
Do this for about 3 minutes each day.
9. Think Without Words
If you take just one moment to analyse your own cognition, you will realize that, although unspoken, most of your thoughts take the shape of words.
This simple concentration exercise revolves around letting go of inner verbalization. To get started, take a small item in your hand, like for example a fork or a decorative object. Then, for about 5 minutes, analyse it from all sides, but without using words in your mind. Just observe it as blankly as possible.
10. Add ‘Brain Foods’ To Your Diet
There are several types of foods that enhance your ability to concentrate. They also work by relaxing your mind and relieving stress.
Try to add the following brain foods to your diet:
- Green Tea – intake of caffeine and theanine;
- Blueberries – intake of natural antioxidants;
- Leafy Greens – intake of carotenoids and vitamin B;
- Fatty fish (salmon, cod) – intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Of course, eating blueberries once will not increase your ability to focus. But if you aim for long-term improvement, then you need to start taking small steps.
It is the age of overwhelming stimuli and distractions and regrettably, our attention span decreased to only 8 seconds.
It is tough to advance in between everything that transpires around us, but it’s never too late to learn how to focus on what’s truly essential.
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.