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How To Train Your Focus Muscles

Sometimes, I just love the articles that I read. I’ve called this article “How To train Your Focus Muscles” as our brain is a muscle and our ability to focus can be strengthened much like our muscles can be. We live in an era of ‘hyper distraction’ where the majority of people are multitasking (or task switching), being bombarded with alerts from left, right and centre, and this is causing havoc with our levels of concentration and focused attention and it’s really not good for our brains. In fact, multitasking has been proven to be damaging to our brains. Thankfully, there are ways we can boost our ability to focus, one of which is a very basic form of meditation. Kelly McGonigal, author of “The Willpower Instinct,” explains a basic  technique to get the part of your brain responsible for focused attention, the prefrontal cortex, pumping:

How To Train Your Focus Muscles1. Sit still, either on a chair with your feet flat on the floor or on the ground with your legs crossed. Try not to move or fidget around, especially when that itch starts to creep up or you feel the urge to change positions. Stay still. It’s important to train you not to follow your impulses.

2. To help you concentrate, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. When you breath in, in your mind, say “inhale.” And think “exhale” when you breathe out. It activates the prefrontal cortex and quells the stress and craving parts of the brain.

3. Hone in on the way you breath and how wandering feels. After a few minutes of inhale and exhale, focus just on the sensation of breathing. If you notice your mind start to wander, focus back on breathing and say inhale and exhale a few times. That helps to train both self-awareness and self-control.

Continue reading the full article on Mobiledia here

If you’d like to know how to train your focus muscles other using a method other than meditation, then one technique is to concentrate on one task for as long as you can, having unplugged from all distractions, until you notice that your attention is taken away. Note how long you lasted, and then try it again the next day. You can actually build up your concentration span over time. I’ve done this myself. Meditation is clearly one of the most effective ways of boosting your focus muscles as described in this article but it may not be for everyone! Having said that, it really doesn’t have to be that weird and “out there”.  You don’t have to do it in public, and you don’t have to sit like a monk – unless you want to of course.

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