Using Meditation To Boost Concentration
Considered just a few short decades ago “hippie” nonsense, the benefits of meditation are today well established and highly sought after. Performed religiously (both literally and metaphorically) for centuries in the Far East, it has been attributed to an elevated sense of spirit and mind and enhanced overall wellbeing.
This meditation technique for concentration is designed for people who are having trouble keeping their focus during meditation, or for those who wish to have a higher rate of concentration during meditation.
There are many times in your life you will have to concentrate on something or many things at one time. The best way to concentrate on anything is to use meditation techniques for concentration.
When you are meditating to help your concentration there are a few steps you should follow to make sure you get the most out the meditation techniques for concentration.
So can meditation boost concentration? Definitely.
In fact, its utility shouldn’t be reserved for the elderly who need that major boost in concentration and memory, but from as young as teens, since the benefits of discipline and curricular performance bide well.
If you’re considering trying meditation for the first time in your life, with the intention of sharpening your concentration levels, here’s how you can go about it:
Understand What You’re Trying To Achieve
You’re not going to magically become psychic by performing meditation, but rather learn to empty your mind of clutter and achieve inner calm and heightened awareness. You can meditate anywhere doing anything as you become proficient; but to begin with, peaceful surroundings can help.
By quiet, we do no mean away from civilization, as effective meditation transcends minor distractions. In fact, it can be done quite effectively in your back yard; the sound of birds or dogs barking should not break your meditative session.
On the contrary, meditation makes you even more aware of distractions but equips you with the ability to quickly let go of wavering thoughts.
Once you find the perfect place you can sit and meditate in peace at you will want to find something to sit on such as a pillow. Then you will want to sit with your legs crossed or in a chair in a natural seating position. Some people sit with their legs on top of each other while they are crossed or you can simply just cross your legs, whichever is more comfortable for you.
Do not attempt meditation in tight-fitting clothes that restrict free-breathing, or leave you wanting to pop out of them. Clothing should be loose, and you should feel utterly comfortable in what you choose to wear. Cold or extreme heat can also break your meditative focus, so also account for the weather if doing it outside.
Decide How Long You Want To Meditate Before Starting
Since you are likely new to meditating, 5 minutes per day should be sufficient. As you progress, you will be able to go longer, up to 20 minutes per session, and up to twice daily. It is also important to try to remain as consistent as possible; do it every day, at the same time.
Make it a ritual and you are likely to progress. Setting a gentle alarm to tell you when time is up is also advised, and constantly checking your watch makes no sense and defeats the exercise in concentration.
If you do not want to sit and meditate you can try walking meditation. This is where you will meditate while you are walking, focusing on each step you take.
Next, if you choose to sit you will want to sit with your hands in your lap.
If you choose to do the walking meditation you will want to stand with your hands naturally by your side.
The most important part of meditating regardless if you are walking or sitting is to relax.
If you can not relax you will not be able to mediate, so make sure you are relaxed because this is the most important part of meditating. You will want to breathe naturally but deeper than you normally do. To start breathing deeply you will want to first breath in then out very slowly. You will continue to do this until you are taking very deep breaths and exhaling very slowly for each breath.
Close Your Eyes
Experienced meditation practitioners may even have a session with eyes open; however, this can be very distracting to someone new as a visual stimulus may easily overload your mind. By closing your eyes, you eliminate the majority of distractions, and this allows you to concentrate better on the recommended breathing meditation.
Incorporate Mindfulness Meditation
It is not necessary to always meditate in a “closed” environment. Rather, meditation for short periods of time, such as when under extreme stress, can help alleviate the frustration you feel and can help refocus your mind.
The hardest part of meditating is to think of nothing.
You have to sit and just breathe or stand and walk with only breathing. Do not think. Concentrate on your breathing.
When you are ready you can stop meditating whenever you feel like it.
You can sit there as long as you want but when you feel you are ready you can simply just stop meditating.
Mediating this way is teaching you to concentrate on one thing and one thing only and that is your breathing. This will help you when you need to concentrate on one thing at work. You will have the ability to simply take deep breaths and get the job done.
Today, there are a lot of things that help in keeping us entertained. On the internet alone, there is a multitude of websites that do such that like video sharing sites, gaming sites and other websites that cater to our interests.
While there is nothing wrong with entertaining ourselves, a problem arises with our constant need for distractions. Because of that, it becomes difficult for us to focus on one thing.
We do not need to take extreme measures to help us focus. There are practices which can do the job for us. It includes the practice of meditation.
People take up meditation for different purposes and improving concentration is one of them. There are several methods by which meditation does its job.
One is through breathing exercises. Even an exercise that is as simple as being aware of the times we inhale and exhale can do wonders for our ability to concentrate.
While it may sound easy, it can be quite difficult especially if one has to deal with distractions such as outside noise.
Another method is by reciting a mantra. A mantra is a phrase or a sound that is recited repeatedly. For Catholics, praying the rosary is a form of a mantra.
The repetition becomes the center of the meditation to which the person’s attention becomes focused.
There are other more methods by which meditation can help improve concentration. However, the two mentioned above are the most basic and could help beginners start out with the practice.
In addition to improving your concentration, the major effect it has on relieving stress and decreasing levels of cortisol also improves your memory and makes your brain more efficient. Levels of positive neurotransmitters improve, and symptoms of depression (if any) are reduced. Your body will thank you, for improved sleep as a bonus!