In an era where humans are creating newer technologies for the purpose of ease, they are also becoming its slaves. The thought of not being able to be distracted by constant notifications from your social platform accounts and your cell-phone can set off panic attacks or at least leave behind a feeling of uneasiness. It is no surprise that the technological era brings with itself many advantages, but, the Human Mind today continues to lose its ability to continually FOCUS due to the pervasive nature of such technologies.
Concentration is the ability to focus on a particular subject for a considerable duration of time in the absence/presence of external stimuli. However, this ability to be humble and attentive to even to the simplest conversations with our near and dear ones has become a task unto itself.
We suggest a few simple and effective methods to help you get off of this slippery slope and promote MINDFULNESS even in the face of adversity.
1) Counting Numbers Backwards
A task that requires effort for its successful completion, requires a steady supply of attention(and concentration). While counting numbers can seem menial, it is difficult to recite numbers backwards in the absence of any parallel verbal thoughts. This exercise, though relatively simple, has provided me with excellent results by taking my attention span from a few seconds to at least 5-6 Minutes. The next phase to this challenge is skipping two numbers in the count from 100 to 1. This constant demand for attention exercises the Mind-muscle to develop its concentration, very similar to working out at a gym.
2) Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga
Termed as the most Potent Mind-Detox, Mindfulness meditation is literally as simple as it gets. In our constant hurry to get through life, the Human Brain manages to accumulate half-processed emotions, anger,frustration and even Happiness. Mindfulness Meditation, sitting still for 10-30 minutes, provides a fertile platform for the disposal of these emotions effortlessly. Further, requiring you to sit relaxed for 10-30 minutes is known to improve our ability to focus multifold.
Binaural Beats and Isochronic Tones have also known to negate the continuous stream of distractions going inside our head and increase attention span in patients with ADHD. Maintaining a proper sleep-wake schedule can only help your body to be most focused during your work-hours.
3) Trataka Exercises
Based on the Philosophy that, “Still eyes make a still Mind” Trataka exercises propose concentrating on a particular object for increasing time-spans daily. It could be the Candle-flame or a dot on the leaf ( or anything distinct). When you’ve reached the threshold of this exercise, the Mind will lose the dimension of time and can concentrate/focus on anything almost endlessly. This exercises has been increased my Grasping power multifold and allows me to maintain “Tunnel Vision” at my the topic of Interest.
Some other basic measures to maintain good focus levels are to understand the need to maintain adequate Micro nutrient stores in our body – like Vitamins and Minerals. (recent studies have shown the importance of Vitamin-D and Selenium for neuronal health.) A diet rich in Unsaturated fatty acids like Avocados and Fish-oil not only reduce inflammation in the brain but increase the “Shock-absorbing” capacity of our brains.
The need for novelty is a basic human-instinct, studying a new language and/or practicing a new instrument lights up numerous dormant areas of the brain. This discovery has led the researchers to be literally “Mind Boggled”. In fact, scientists are now using this to prevent Dementia and age-related neurological disorders in patients. A sort of vaccine that improve all parts of your brain-function including Concentration.
A word of caution and Myth Debunking about the effects of Nicotine. Nicotine enhances your concentration by blocking out outside noise – It has both the roles of Stimulation and Excitement. However, Nicotine is an addictive substance and requires increasing doses to give you the feeling of “High”. Further, Nicotine present in Cigarettes and other products are best avoided due to their cancer causing potential.