Conquer Anything with the Power of Concentration - Common Sense Living Newsletter
 
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Conquer Anything with the Power of Concentration

Jan 14, 2015

 

I'm going to start by giving you a small exercise to do.

Choose a quiet room to sit in.
Ensure you're wearing loose clothing.
Sit upright, but not too stiff.
Flatten your shoulders, relax your facial muscles.
Finish reading this and then close your eyes.
Focus on the space between your eyes, or the third eye.
Blank your mind, don't let any thought enter.
If it does, watch it and let it go, consciously try thinking of nothing.


Do this every day for a minute or two. And watch your concentration improve and your mind relax over a period of time.

Why concentration?

My interest on the topic of concentration was triggered when I chatted with an interesting person recently whose passion brings him in contact with the youth in India. He goes across the country, conducting workshops in different schools and colleges. And his biggest grouse was - the youth can't pay attention for long. In his own words, "You can put a Narendra Modi or a Barack Obama in front of them and they'll still be looking down at their phones."

It's a feeling we all sense nowadays. No matter how serious the task at hand or no matter how important the person in front of us, technology and gadgets seem to be overtaking us and the flipside is, that our attention spans are shrinking.

The benefits of concentration

But should we really let our concentration deteriorate? Of course not, because the benefits of complete concentration far outweigh a distracted mind. To quote a line from a blog: Normally the rays of sun do not burn a paper, because these rays are dispersed but if the rays of sun are converged on paper with the help of lens, it burns the paper at once.

That's the true power of concentration. When all your energies, thoughts and efforts are focused on one task alone, the results from it will be as desired, if not more. Your work and study will become more purposeful, its rewards will be more plentiful and you will gradually gain excellence in everything you do.

Source: Ollyy / Shutterstock

Concentration is will power

Concentration is like will power. It is something we have to consciously decide to do. We have to make an effort to stay away from a few things and make an effort to include a few things in our daily schedules. And sometimes to abstain from what we were previously used to, we need to add more positive elements. For instance, if you've always worked in a room with a TV, now try working from a room which has no access to a TV or remote. Instead, add soft instrumental music that works better to improve your focus and soothes the mind.

Similarly, if you're used to looking at your phone every now and then. Put your phone on silent and keep it out of sight for some time till you have completed your task. Another disturbing gadget is your computer itself. While it may be your mode of working or studying, it has plenty of inherent distractions, like the multiple tabs we keep open at one time.

I must say I'm guilty of that too. But I keep them open mostly as reminders and try to go back to them only in my free time. (I do take an occasional peek now and then.) So surf the net when you need to relax rather than in your peak productivity hours.

Concentration & your environment

Not only virtual clutter, but real clutter is also said to reduce concentration. Keeping the room you're working in neat and clean helps to clear your mind and focus better. Put away everything that you don't need while you're working. Don't even let a stray book off the shelf as it may just catch your fancy and take you away from what you're concentrating on.

A good way to enhance concentration is by sitting near a window that faces nature. Trees, the sea, flowers, any natural view aids concentration and also soothes the eyes. So choose an area in your home or office that faces the outdoors. And every time you need a break, look outside, instead of browsing on Facebook.

For heightened concentration, one also needs to choose a place that has less ambient sounds and noises. It is difficult to do so in India, where street noises and neighbours' voices are so loud, but you can choose to work and study out of quiet libraries or other relatively peaceful spaces that you find.

Concentration as a daily habit

Concentration is built by developing it day after day. Like an exercise regimen or a diet you follow, it needs to be worked on and monitored every day. It's like a muscle that only becomes stronger when you flex it some more.

And like most activities, the morning time is supposedly the best time for enhanced concentration. Working late at night tends to be less effective as the mind is already fatigued. But the time can differ from person to person, so identify when your concentration dips and when it improves and schedule your activities accordingly.

A lighter diet as opposed to heavier meals also keeps the mind more alert. Drinking plenty of water works better than more cups of tea and coffee. Tea and coffee are only temporary stimulants but a hydrated body keeps you going longer. Regular hours of sleep, a minimum of 7-8 hours, results in better concentration too.

Concentration techniques

In addition to your diet, daily habits, will power and environment, there are also some techniques that can be used effectively for building concentration. One such is the 'the two minute mind' where you observe the seconds' hand of a clock for two minutes non-stop. Initially this can be hard, but after 21 days you will do it without moving your eye away from the hand.

Another is to count your footsteps as you walk. This brings your thoughts to the activity and your mind doesn't keep wandering and thinking about other things. Inhaling and exhaling up to five counts each is also effective.

One more technique is to actively block out any external activities that you feel are distracting you. An article by Sam Hom suggests: "Cup your hands around your eyes so you have "tunnel vision" and are looking solely at your text book. Placing your hands on the side of your face blocks out surroundings so they are literally "out of sight, out of mind."

Take a break every now and then but keep bringing your mind back to the task. And most importantly, complete one task first and then move on to the next. Multi-tasking is a definite no-no for improving concentration.

In school, I used to play a game with friends called 'Concentration is fun, concentration has begun.' It was played by chanting names in a circle. Each one had to be alert to catch their names from someone else, before they passed it on to another. And those who were caught unawares, got out of the game... it helped us pay attention.

Concentration is not only a powerful tool to reach all your goals, but one that can make your work more enjoyable too. So use these techniques, switch off those multiple distractions and become an unstoppable force!

 
 

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19 Responses to "Conquer Anything with the Power of Concentration"

madeeha kanwal

08 Dec, 2017

hanks it is great advise

CA. Ameya Pai

27 Jul, 2015

Very nice and important topic explained.

Dhandayudhapani

27 Jul, 2015

I have acheived and i got experienced by doing this art to get rid of many things in my life

Venkat

26 Jul, 2015

Very nicely written article. Loved reading it with my daughter.

capt.ghosh

14 Jul, 2015

thanks it is great advise everyone to accept reality.

SHIVANAND RAI

27 May, 2015

Ritika you really great "Conquer Anything with the Power of Concentration" is inspiring and simle to understand at the same time

H Kolawale

27 May, 2015

This article can change the person.Really useful

NAVEEN

02 Apr, 2015

really True .

Ramanath

19 Mar, 2015

As a layman I find Ritika's message as inspiring as emanating from any Guru speaking on Meditation ! She deserves our accolades !

ramesh

15 Jan, 2015

Very nice article!

Like (1)

Ramachandran

15 Jan, 2015

Very interesting and informative article. What is concentration? It is the power of paying full attention on one task. Suppose you are seeing an interesting movie, you will be completely engrossed in it.; you will not know how time passes so quickly? If you want to do a task with full concentration, you should be fully interested in it.

YOGENDRA PAL SINGH

15 Jan, 2015

I meditate since 1970. People who recommend concentration, need understanding, few preliminaries. MEDITATION HAPPENNS. it leads to CONCENTRATION. Hence starting with concentration is like putting the cart before the horse. In the article, activity, yes yes concentration has been explained as intense action, using will power etc. leading to ..NO THOGHT mental experience.Such approach will tire one's mind. Which could be at times injurious to mind. CONCENTRATION arrived through meditation is a state of total Bliss. Thanks.

Like (2)

G E NAMPOOTHIRI

15 Jan, 2015

Very useful and easy to practice. Thanks.

Like (1)

Ankitha

15 Jan, 2015

This article very well summed up everything about concentration. There were some things like taking those 5 minutes break at a task or the counting of footsteps, I already used to do without knowing it actually improves concentration. A very nice and 'must-be perceived and enacted' upon article.

sundaravaradan

14 Jan, 2015

Hi I agree concentration is very important element while accomplishing every activity. Just wanted to share my experience in this area. In the early morning 5.30am to do concentration through meditation, after brushing the teeth, I try to walk inside my house from bed room to living room closing my eyes and going around a few times. Then i sit down and try to hear some bird sound. Initially, I may not hear any sound at all but after sometime i hear a few different sounds from different birds. I always feel that when we are concentrating more we could hear more of what we are seeking for . I even do close my eyes during walking upto 50 steps and then open again and then walk another 50 steps. ofcourse look in front and sides before closing. This also helps me concentrate on walking and not wander the mind. Guru Vaswani in one of his inspiring speech at Singapore gave a very useful tips for concentration.. Connecting with God through 4 steps.. Breath in Breath out - 5 times Deep in breath.( inhale) Slow release( exhale) - 5 times Be calm inhale ...Be relax exhale - 5 times Be present (inhale) ...Be now ( exhale ) - 5 times I generally go to sleep after this ....It is very powerful for being in the present.

vedaravishangar

14 Jan, 2015

Great, Very beautiful concept and you deliver with sense, logic & practical. Concentration is base, root for every things. your every words Ignite their concentration power. Thank you.

Prakash Rath

14 Jan, 2015

Very nice blog. Thanks

ch sanjeevarao

14 Jan, 2015

Thank you for your technique on concentration. and also keeping our mind on breath is also a good technique.

Srini

14 Jan, 2015

Excellent article.

Like (1)
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