To concentrate is to place your full attention on one object. This means that you are making a choice to notice or give consideration to only one thing. It requires one to be still and focus. The one thing may be a person, place, idea, class work assignment, etc. For most people, concentration is hard because the mind, like the body, likes to move and is uncomfortable with stillness.
Typically, most of us choose to live in a way that is complex. For example, as a college student, I often chose to study at the library – with friends. While there, we each sat within close proximity to each other and this led to “side conversations” throughout our designated study time. The conversations could be about anything from what we were planning to do on the weekend to how hard the last exam was in a particular subject! At some point, we might’ve chosen to listen to some music too. Would you consider this a good practice of concentration? Probably not, but at the time, I did! And I really convinced myself that I was “focused” because I had a consistent study schedule and got decent grades. If I had been completely focused, however, all outside influences would not have been considered for the designated study time.
Focusing intensely on one thing helps you place all of your energy on that one thing. The result is that you strengthening it – whether it’s a good thing or bad thing. In the studying example above, I was not strengthening my concentration ability because my attention often shifted. At the same time, I was strengthening my ability to multitask. We do it all the time without thinking about it!
So, how can you increase your ability to concentrate?
Well, first decide that you are willing to make the effort to do it. Once you’ve made that decision, test it out on something that does not require too much thought. Start concentrating on something that you do automatically – breathe. Take 5 minutes to focus on your breathing. Notice how you breathe in and breathe out. As you do this, you will probably have thoughts flying through your mind like “what’s the point of doing this?” or “is this making a difference?” or “I never thought about how I breathe!” Just allow the thoughts to come and go and return to focusing on your breath – just for 5 minutes. Then, each day, spend another 5 minutes focusing only on your breath. After awhile, you will begin to notice that the thoughts don’t interfere as much as they used to because you are now concentrating on one thing better – your breath!
This one small practice will help you to concentrate better in any task that you encounter. Go ahead, give it a try and remember that it contributes to self empowerment, a key component of living a Growth in Motion™ lifestyle!
Take Care of Yourself,
“Living a Growth in Motion™ lifestyle!”