RESTLESS MIND

The Power of Concentration

As a child, you would have seen the power of a magnifying glass which could focus the power of the sun’s rays to create fire and burn a piece of paper, right? This fire is ignited only when the rays of the sun are concentrated at one point. If the magnifying glass was very close or very far away from the paper, then the fire could never be ignited.

This is how the power of concentration works. It is an important skill that helps you fix your attention on one subject or thought while keeping out all distractions so that all your energies are focused on that one thing. Focusing helps you conserve and not dissipate energy on non-productive thoughts and activities. Therefore, developing your power of concentration is vital to build efficiency and achieve more success than before. The lack of this power will result in your efforts being scattered, preventing you from accomplishing great things.

The power of concentration is essential to use creative visualisation techniques effectively. With this powerful power, your mind is more likely to obey your commands and not be distracted by wasteful thoughts and activities. It is an important tool to get your meditation techniques right as well. 

In order to develop your power of concentration, you must train and exercise your mind. With a bit of desire, a little bit of planning, and oodles of dedication, you can sharpen this extremely important skill to attract success and happiness in your life.

The Restless Mind

Thoughts are consuming our attention day in and day out. In fact, they demand our attention to the effect that we have begun to believe that thoughts are naturally made like this. It works like breathing. While breathing, we do not focus on our breath. Breathing in and breathing out happens as a habit, and we are doing this unconsciously. 

Only when we have a cold, or we have some other breathing problem, do we realise how much we have taken for granted this vital aspect of our life. The same goes for our thoughts too. We are unconsciously thinking without being aware of the onslaught of these unproductive and sometimes even harmful thoughts. 

It is only when we feel emotionally agitated, that we realise that we have no control over our wild thoughts and they are running amok in our lives. We cannot calm our restless mind. We cannot concentrate or focus on anything. We find it difficult to focus while studying or reading or working, and our efficiency takes a huge hit because of this restless mind. During times of fear and worry, we become aware of the huge problems these reckless thoughts are creating in our lives.

Excellent Exercises to Improve the Power of Concentration

Exercise # 1 – Sitting Still in a Chair – Sit comfortably in a chair, and see how long you can keep yourself still. It is definitely not as easy as it looks. You have to ensure you are sitting absolutely still, and make sure you do not make any involuntary muscular movements. Initially, it is going to take time. But with practice, you will see that sitting still will become a habit, and soon you will begin to enjoy the process.

Start with five minutes only, and when you have achieved perfect stillness for five minutes, then increase the duration to 10 ten minutes and then, to 15 fifteen minutes. Be patient with yourself, and take as long as you need to perfect this exercise. Don’t strain yourself, and ensure you are relaxed throughout. With practice, you will notice that these exercises will actually help you relax.

Exercise # 2 – Focus on Your Fingers – Sit comfortably in a chair, and raise your right arm until it is level with your shoulder. Let your fingers point to the right with the palms facing downward. Now, turning only your head, fix your gaze on the tips of your fingers, and keep still for one entire minute. Repeat this exercise with the left arm as well. If you keep your gaze fixed on the tips of your fingers, you will be able to check if your arm is perfectly still.

Exercise # 3 – Fix Your Gaze on an Outstretched Glass – Fill a glass with water, and hold it outstretched directly in front of you. Now, gaze at the glass ensuring your hand is steady and unmoving. First, try for 10 ten seconds and, slowly, increase the duration until you can do this exercise for 5 whole minutes at a stretch. 

The purpose of the above exercises is to ensure you have control over the movement of your involuntary muscles, thereby making sure all your physical movements are voluntary. 

Exercise # 4 – Focus on the Opening and Closing of Your Fists – Sit at a table, and place your hands on it, and clench your fists with the thumbs covering your fingers. Rest the back of your hand on the table. Fix your gaze on the fist for a little while, and, slowly, extend the thumb focusing on the movement.

Then, slowly, extend each of your fingers starting from the forefinger until your palm is outstretched and open. Now, reverse the process until the fist is formed again focusing on the entire act. Repeat the exercise with the left hand also. Keep up this exercise for about 5 five times on each hand, and, slowly, increase it up to 10 ten times.

Exercise # 5 – Focus on the Smells around You – When you are driving through a garden, or a park, or through the countryside, focus on the smells of plants and flowers around you. Observe how many of them you can detect, and discern one particular fragrance. Focus on this smell, and you will notice that the smell actually gets stronger than before. 

You will need to be particularly attentive to achieve this level. Initially, focus only on one particular odour, and shut out all other smells from your mind. You will have plenty of opportunities to do this. During your walk, be sensitive to all the smells around you, and focus on any one of them. Well, while it would be nice if it was the fragrance of a flower, you can also choose to focus on everyday smells, such as the smell of the engine of a car or a bus, the smell of your own perfume, etc.

Exercise # 6 – Focus on the Beating of Your Heart – Lie down comfortably, and relax your muscles. Focus on the beating of the heart. Avoid thinking of other things. Even if your mind wanders to other things, gently bring it back to the beating of your heart. Think about how this little powerful organ is pumping blood, and imagine the flow of blood being sent to every nook and corner of your body. Focus on the blood flowing along your limbs. With practice, you will actually begin to feel the flow of blood through your body when you are doing this exercise.

During all these exercises, it is important to achieve stillness of the body. The restless mind will slowly but surely come under your control. The key element is to persist in your efforts.

The Gratitude List

The Quantum Evolve

 NLP Consultancy, specialising in Smoking and Substance Abuse and  advocates of general Mental Health & Wellbeing.