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Living in an intense and fast-paced world has gradually made us accustomed to ignoring our anxieties and worries, to be dealt with at another time. While physical fitness receives the attention it deserves, mental fitness is often neglected, causing anxiety, depression and self-doubt. In such a scenario, many of us take to meditation to reduce stress and augment our mental health. However, the stressors surrounding us can make it difficult to concentrate or focus on meditation.
Meditation teaches its practitioners to focus on the present moment, breath by breath. It is described as a means of noticing what comprises in each moment of our existence, be it painful or joy. Meditation has been known to help individuals sleep better, cope with few symptoms associated with mental disorders like depression and anxiety, reduce psychological difficulties associated with chronic pain, and even improve cognitive and behavioural functions.
As per a study published in the journal Mindfulness, meditation can have a long-lasting influence on human cognition, including how we conceive new ideas. Another study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, found that mindfulness meditation lowers blood pressure, reduces depressive symptoms, and makes one more accepting and less judgmental.
Focus is the key when it comes to meditation. While there are multiple ways of meditating, one may simply choose to starts by:
1. Go in with an agenda
Although letting go of your stream of thoughts is a conventional way of approaching meditation, selecting an agenda will help you focus better. Identify a critical topic or question you want to explore in your session, such as, “How can I become more helpful towards my family and peers?” This technique can help you gain valuable insights, resolve infighting amongst your conflicting thoughts, and marinate the question in your consciousness. Doing this could help instill a sense of calm and improve the quality of your mediation practice.
2. Strive for a relaxed body
You may often experience a certain tension in your muscles when meditating. To help relieve bodily tension, try simple breathing exercises before you start meditating. Slowly inhale, making your body tensed, and then exhale to release the tension. You could also try sitting still without moving any muscles, increasing awareness towards your body.
Moving your body the slightest amount sends energy, or life-force, into the muscles. This will help you refrain from being fidgety while meditating and boost concentration.
If you find your thoughts to be straying, then don’t ignore or suppress them. Simply try to remain calm, and note and acknowledge those thoughts. You could then use breathing exercises to bring yourself back to the present moment. This tip will help you revitalise your focus and aid mindfulness.
So ladies, take charge of your mental health by using these tips to increase focus when meditating!