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How To Find Happiness

How To Find HappinessDo you ever wonder what makes some people just appear really happy, all the time? If you’d like to know how to find happiness, then who would be better to learn from, other than the happiest man in the world? According to researchers at Wisconsin University, French Tebetan monk and molecular geneticist, Matthieu Ricard, is happier than every other person on the planet. (I do wonder how they concluded their findings to be absolute, but let’s roll with it for now.) [Read more…]

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Exercises To Stimulate Your Brain And Senses

If you fear you may be getting forgetful, you may want to try a few of these exercises to stimulate your brain and senses written by Arti Patel for the Huffington Post Canada. Be sure to click through to the Huffington Post as there’s a slide show well worth viewing. Among it are tips such as turning your photos upside down in your work place as this will immediately puts your brain in “alert mode” according to Dr Stephen Brewer (cited below), and brushing your teeth with your less different hand can apparently induce creativity as it stimulates the brain’s senses.

Exercises To Stimulate Your Brain And Senses

Meditation For FocusDr. Stephen Brewer, medical director at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona says improving your memory is all about stimulating your senses.

“Using two senses can increase the likelihood of remembering something and smell is the most powerful sense for memory,” he said at the second annual St. Lucia Health and Wellness Retreat in Castries, St. Lucia.

Our senses work to engage our attention and helps our brain become more alert of our surroundings, Brewer says. Brain exercises, like playing Sudoku or crossword puzzles in the morning paper, have been shown to help improve not only intelligence,but also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, according to the Archives of Neurology. An estimated 500,000 people have Alzheimer’s or a type of dementia in Canada and over 70,000 of them are under the age of 65, according to the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto.

Continue reading on The Huffington Post

I was happy to see meditation featured in these exercises to stimulate your brain and senses. Meditation has a heap of benefits including its ability to boost your focus and creativity, and according to this article has even been shown to slow mental decline. The simplest form of meditation is to go to a quite place, uninterrupted, close your eyes, take deep slow breaths and to focus only your breathing. As soon as a thought enters your head, get rid of it and turn your attention back to your breathing. This empties your brain of thoughts and the longer you do it, the better you get at just concentrating on your breathing without the interruption of thoughts entering your head. It’s actually quite liberating, I’ve been doing it before going to sleep and waking up in the mornings. If you’re interested in meditation, this article explains a little more.

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‘Mindfulness’ To Focus And Reduce Stress

Have you ever come across ‘mindfulness’ to focus and reduce stress? Do you ever dwell on the past or worry about the future? ‘Mindfulness’ is a way of focusing on the present moment, rather than the past or future by concentrating on your breathing and paying attention to areas of your body, and it’s becoming increasingly common.  This article written by Julie Carr Smith for Mercury News explains how a member of Congress, Tim Ryan, uses mindfulness every day and he’s joined my marines, office workers, and tens of thousands Americans.

Mindfulness For Focus And RelaxationThe growing body of research showing the brain has the capacity to change throughout life is bringing mental fitness onto the same plane as physical fitness, said Georgetown University associate professor Elizabeth Stanley.

Stanley, who runs MMFT and conducts research for the Army and Marines, said mindfulness meditation “isn’t touchy-feely at all” in its new uses.

“There’s something very empowering about learning how and why the body and mind respond under stress,” she said.

Stanley said studies involving subjects engaged in repeated mindfulness have shown that it changes the way blood and oxygen flow through the brain, leading over time to structural changes. The practice can shrink the amygdala, which controls our fear response; enlarge the hippocampus, which controls memory; and make the insular cortex that regulates the body’s internal environment more efficient, according to recent peer-reviewed studies by Stanley and others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are touting several recent studies that have found the technique can reduce the severity of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms in women and reduce stress and pain in chronic sufferers of fibromyalgia and depression.

Click here to read the full article

In today’s fast paced and competitive world I’m not at all surprised to hear of new methods people are using to escape the daily grind. Reading this kind of article is making me want to try mindfulness to focus and reduce stress.  Whilst it’s apparently not the same as meditation, there are distinct similarities. As I read books about highly successful people and meet successful people, I’ve began to realise how, more often than not, they engage in a daily ritual and some quiet time themselves, namely meditation, in order to establish focus for the day to come and to remove all distractions.

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How To Focus Like A Monk

Monks are known for their laser-sharp focusing abilities.  If you would like to learn how to focus like a monk, then look no further. If you’re a regular on this site, this post may sound familiar, but it is in fact, different.  This excerpt, originally written by Leo Babauta has been take from zenhabits.net and provides straight forward guidelines of how to get your focus back on track.

How To Focus Like A Monk

Focus Best Practices

There is no one way to find focus, but what works for me is to clear everything away and create a little space of tranquil focus. Some tips for doing that:

  • Close the browser and your email program. If you need to work in the browser then make sure no tabs or windows are open other than the one you absolutely need.
  • Turn off all notifications. Trying to focus while something is notifying you of an incoming email or tweet or Facebook update is impossible.
  • Turn off the Internet. Shut off your connection, unplug your router, or best yet, go to a place where the is no Internet (yes, those still exist). This is the absolute best way to find focus.
  • Close all programs and windows other than what you need for this one task.
  • Have a very important task to do. Not just “check email” but “write chapter in my novel” or “write that kick-ass blog post I’ve been planning” or “write that new Android app”.
  • Clear your desk. No need to spend all day on this — shove everything in a drawer or put it in a box to be sorted later. Don’t fiddle with this now. In fact, don’t fiddle with anything — don’t worry about the perfect setup or perfect notebook for writing or the perfect anything.
  • Plug in the headphones. If you have people around who might distract you, wearing headphones and playing some good, peaceful music is perfect.
  • Use a simple program. For writing, I like plain text editors (TextEdit, TextWrangler) or writing programs that block everything out (OmmWriter, WriteRoom). No distractions.

Click here to read more and visit the original source of the article

So there you have it, your focusing challenges are over! You may have come across similar tips on how to focus like a monk but I thought these were so straight forward and made a lot of sense.  The full article explains how to learn how to focus for longer, by taking small steps and increasing your focusing time incrementally each day. What did you think of this article? Please share below.

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Meditation Increases Focus and Reduces Stress

If you haven’t already tried meditating in order to focus, then this article might just entice you to do so. Meditation increases focus and reduces stress according to Heidi Thompson who has recently written a book called CALM FOCUS JOY: The Power of Breath Awareness.

Thompson writes, “The world’s most valuable resource is the human mind. Let us do everything within our power to protect, nurture, and develop this precious commodity. We know that happiness and health are achievable through the cultivation of calmness, focus, and joy; therefore, by establishing peace and happiness within, and empowering children in the same way, we will have taken a giant step in transforming our world into a better place.”

I think a number of people turn their noses up at meditation without having a full understanding of the benefits it can bring to your life. This is not the first time that I have read how meditation increases focus and reduces stress. It may just be worth picking up a copy of this book to see how it could make a difference in your life. What are your thoughts on meditation?

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Boost Memory With Meditation

According to Susan Morales, psychotherapist and student/practitioner of meditation, there is a mass of proof that you can boost your memory with meditation. We pay better attention, increase our mental capacity, and become more patient which helps with memory and retrieval.

Instead of daydreaming, worrying or strategizing about the future or reflecting or agonizing about the past, in meditation we learn how to be aware and alert in the present moment. This means our focus is on what we are doing.

Next time you find yourself day dreaming or stressing about the future, take some time out, look at these meditation tips and see how you can boost your memory with meditation

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