Concentration depends upon the ability to focus. Developing concentration is not an easy task as it depends upon a number of factors including the external environment and your own mindset. Concentration is basically concerned with disciplining your mind to improve focus. However, your mind will tend to resist your efforts as it loves its own freedom. By practicing 10 to 15 minutes of exercises to improve concentration on a daily basis, you will be able to train and discipline your mind, and hence improve your concentration.
Before proceeding to do these exercises, there is a need to set the mood for it. First of all, you will have to find a place where you can be alone without any disturbance. You can sit cross legged on the floor or on a chair with your spine erect. Take a few deep breaths and then relax your body to direct your attention to it. To start off, you can practice these exercises for 10 minutes and then lengthen the time to 15 minutes after a few weeks of training.
Take a book or a magazine and count the number of words in a single paragraph. Count them again to ensure that you have counted correctly. You can start off with one paragraph and as you get used to it, move on to counting words in two paragraphs. Then move on to counting words on the whole page. Make sure that you perform the counting mentally and only with your eyes without pointing your finger at each word. This is one of the simplest brain exercises to improve concentration.
Another exercise to increase concentration is count backwards in your mind from hundred to one. Once you have mastered this, move on to counting backwards from hundred to one but this time skipping three numbers such as 100, 97, 94, 91, 88 etc.
Select an inspiring word or just a simple sound and think about it in your mind, repeating it in your mind for 5 minutes. Once your mind has begun to concentrate on it easily, move on to 10 minutes of uninterrupted concentration.
Try to suppress your thoughts for at least 5 minutes. This appears pretty tough, but with regular practice, you can do it. Start off with one minute and gradually increase the length of time. Try your best to stay blank for 5 minutes without a single thought in your mind. This will take time, but gradually you will improve and thus your concentration will also excel. Don’t try to push yourself if you find it difficult initially. Just try to give your best. Once you are finished with it, stop and try again the next day. This is one of the most difficult exercise for concentration.
Sit straight on a chair with your head up, chin out and shoulders back. Raise your right arm up to the level of your shoulder, pointing to your right. Look around, moving your head only and fix your gaze on your fingers. While doing so, keep your arms perfectly still for one minute. Repeat this exercise with your left arm. Once you are able to keep your arms perfectly steady, increase the length of time to reach up to 5 minutes with each arm. The easiest position is to turn the palm of your hand downwards when it is outstretched. If you are able to keep your eyes fixed on the tips of your fingers, you will be able to tell if your arm is perfectly still.
This exercise aims to improve your focus. Hold a fruit such as an apple, banana or an orange in your hand and examine it from all sides, while focusing your attention on it. Do not get carried away by irrelevant thoughts that might arise in your mind or thoughts related to the fruit such as the grocery from where you bought it, its nutritive value etc. You should stay calm and ignore all these thoughts. Focus all your attention on the fruit without thinking of anything else and examine its shape, taste, smell and the sensation you get on touching it.
Fill a small glass full of water. Putting your arms directly in front of you, grasp it by your fingers. Now fix your eyes on the glass, focusing all your attention on it. While doing so, try to keep your arm so steady that no movement becomes noticeable. Do this for one minute and then gradually increase it to five. This exercise should be done with one arm and then with the other.
Take a small simple object such as a spoon, fork, cup or a glass. Now concentrate on one of these objects, watching it from all sides without any verbalization, that is, with no words in your mind. Just concentrate on watching the object closely without thinking about it.
You can try this exercise once you have gained proficiency in the above exercises. Draw a small geometrical figure of about 3 inches in dimensions, such as a triangle, rectangle or a circle. Paint it with any color and then concentrate on it by looking at just the figure you have drawn and nothing else. Ward off any unrelated thoughts or distractions such that only the figure exists for you and nothing else. Focus your attention only on the figure but do not try to strain your eyes. Once you have mastered this, you can try to visualize the figure with your eyes closed. If you forget the appearance of the figure, open your eyes for a few seconds; watch the figure and then close your eyes to continue with the exercise.
Start off by sitting on a comfortable chair and see for how long you can keep still. This might sound easy but it is quite tough to do initially. All you need to do is to center your attention on sitting still. Ensure that you are not making any involuntary muscular movements. With little practice you will be able to sit still without a movement of the muscles for 15 minutes. You can start off by sitting in a relaxed position for 5 minutes. Once you are able to do it perfectly, gradually increase the time to 10 minutes and then to 15 minutes. Do not strain yourself to keep still. This exercise is great for relaxing you completely.
Move your chair by the table and place your hands upon it, clenching your fists and keeping the back of the hand upon the table such that the thumb is doubled over the fingers. Now look carefully at the fist for a while and then gradually extend your thumb. While doing so, all your attention should be focused on this act as if it is a matter of great importance. After this, extend your first finger followed by your second and so on until you open all of them. Then reverse the process, first closing the last one opened and then the rest to bring your fist in the original position with the thumb closed over the finger. This exercise should be done with one hand and then with the other such that five repetitions are performed with each hand. Once you master it, you can increase it to ten times in a few days.
This exercise enables you to concentrate from within. Start off by lying down and thoroughly relaxing your muscles. Now concentrate on your heartbeat without paying attention to anything else. Think about your heart and how it is pumping blood to every part of the body. While doing so, try to visualize the blood leaving your heart and flowing in one stream right down to the toes. Think of another picture with blood flowing down the arms to the tips of the fingers. After doing this exercise, you can actually feel the blood passing through your system.
Sit on a chair in an upright position, keeping your back high. Now pressing one finger against your right nostril, take a long deep breath. Draw the breath in gently as you count to ten and expel the breath through the right nostril as you count to ten. Repeat this exercise with the other nostril. This exercise should be repeated at least 20 times at each sitting.
Standing in front of the mirror, make two marks on a level with your eyes and imagine them as two human eyes looking into yours. You might blink a little initially, but keep standing erect without moving your head. All your thoughts should be concentrated on keeping your head perfectly still and avoid other thoughts from coming into your mind. Now keeping your head, eyes and body still, think that you look like a reliable person, someone whom anyone would have confidence in. Ensure that there the room in which you are standing is well ventilated. Practice deep breathing in front of the mirror. You will feel that as it permeates every cell; your timidity is replaced by a sense of peace and power, making you more focused. This exercise should be practiced for 3 minutes.
This exercise is concerned with focusing on sounds. In our day to day lives we keep hearing several sounds. Try to focus on a specific sound such as a voice. Then deliberately switch over to another sound such as that of a bird. Again switch over to another sound, say the sound of traffic. Continue to switch between sounds after focusing on one sound for one minute. This exercise can also be done visually by focusing on the person or thing that is creating the sound and refocusing on another. Ensure that while focusing on one particular sound, you do not think of or hear anything else.
Drawing and coloring are great activities to keep the brain relaxed and to stimulate creativity. It also improves his concentration levels. As it is a task that involves complete focus while going about it, coloring improves an individual’s powers of concentration. It keeps the mind engaged on the single activity at hand. Children and adults benefit a great deal from creative pursuits like sketching, painting and coloring. Improved concentration is one of them. You may use coloring pages to aid you in developing this essential skill of concentration.
So friends, do you plan to try out these exercises for better concentration?
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