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Train Your Brain To Focus Like a Monk

If you would like to learn how to train you brain to focus like a monk, then this article is a must read.  Susan Perry, Ph.D, a social psychologist and writer for of Psychology Today talks about what happens with our brains when we focus and break focus, and provides some useful ways to focus.
  • Wear headphones or earplugs: If loud noises are the biggest cause of distraction then the most logical approach is to remove them from the equation. Noise cancelling headphones or earplugs can do this easily. The important thing to remember is that distraction doesn’t come from just loud noises that are directed at you (someone shouting your name) but loud noises in general. That includes the car bumping Cyndi Lauper, the fire truck screaming down the road, and even a loud furnace turning on. All of these are enough to break your focus. If you want to get really hardcore about blocking your outside sound cues, consider recording your entire day on a digital recorder to find where and when those sounds are coming so you can reschedule your day around them.
  • Strap on your digital blinders: Seeing as how you probably don’t want to literally wear blinders when you want to focus on a task, the next best thing you can do is remove the visual cues from your environment. For most of us, this means blocking audio and visual notifications. We’ve mentioned before that notifications are evil and since they typically come with both distraction triggers, audio and visual, they can wreck serious havoc on your concentration. You can set up timed internet blocks that block the likes of email or Facebook, use browser extensions to keep you on track, or if all else fails, simply close down your email, throw your phone in another room and get to work. Your solutions will vary, but the point is you want to block those notifications that call attention to anything other than the task you’re working on.  Click here to visit the original source of the article

Removing distractions is key to focus.  What I appreciated in this article was the point about ‘notifications being evil’, and by notifications, she refers to anything that can interrupt your focus. This can be emails, phone calls, texts, television sounds, loud noises, someone calling your name etc.  If you want to train your brain to focus like a monk, then you need to exclude yourself from the outside world, and remove notifications.  Each time you allow yourself to get distracted, it apparently takes 25 minutes to re-establish your focus.  Not only that but it tires your brain if this happens over and over again – a very interesting point!

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Focus Through Meditation

Many people would not feel comfortable with meditation. I for one, when I was younger, would look at someone strangely if they were meditating on Brighton Beach in broad daylight. Little did I know back then, how beneficial it is for your brain, as well as taking you into a state of deep relaxation. You can establish focus through meditation and become mindful of thoughts, feelings and sensations. Not only that, but according to UCLA researchers, it can strengthen the connections between brain cells and actually thicken the brain!

UCLA researchers have long studied the awesome powers that meditation has on the human brain. Two years ago, they found that specific regions within the brains of long-term meditators were larger and had more gray matter than those who did not practice the ancient tradition. MRI scans found that the hippocampus and other areas known for regulating emotions had larger volumes, and therefore allow for well-adjusted responses to “whatever life throws your way.”

The deeper I get into the world of entrepreneurialism, the more people I speak with who tell me they gain focus through meditation. It seems to be becoming more and more popular, possibly as today’s world gets increasingly hectic.

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