In The Now

All of us have been told to pay more attention, to concentrate & focus; but have you ever been shown how to?

Learning to concentrate is actually a skill that takes practice, just like going to the gym to build up the strength in your muscles, you need to practice concentration to strengthen the mind.

Training yourself to pay attention helps you to finish tasks or get better grades in school, concentration develops your ability to think more creatively, make clear decisions and become the master of your own reality. Deep concentration is an ancient craft that has existed for thousands of years and is taught as meditation or mindfulness, learning deep concentration helps you to hear your thoughts and see the images of your imagination, without being caught up in it. This skill of observing your own mind offers you the power to change your mind as you learn to navigate it in the direction you want it to go.

Developing strong concentration not only makes you more productive and successful, but it also has an impact on how you feel and behave. People with the ability to concentrate for long periods of time are more intelligent, less stressed, think more creatively, solve complex problems easily, and feel more connected to their friends and family. When you learn to concentrate you begin to become aware of yourself, your own thoughts and your surroundings, and experience things as they are happening. This experience of being present or ‘in the now’, creates a feeling of complete calm and timelessness; You can’t feel bored, anxious, worried, irritated or sad because your mind is completely clear.

To experience this state of ‘in the now’ all you need to do is focus on one thing without your mind wandering off into daydreams, memories, plans, ideas or conversations. Sounds easy, right!.

Let’s give it a go…

1 Minute of Mindfulness

If you are reading this right now, stop for a moment and see if you can remain focused on the moment you are in without your attention drifting into thoughts, labels, ideas, comparisons, songs or images. See how long you can focus on a single thing before you are distracted by a thought, or the impulse to get up, move, fidget, worry or plan ahead. You might like to pick something to look at or try listening to your breathing and the sounds of the room around you. Try it for one minute and everytime you lose concentration, refocus the mind back on the object you chose or your breath and hearing…

How long were you able to focus on a single thing for? If you lasted more than 30 seconds before you formed a thought, idea, picture, plan or memory you are doing pretty well, if you could make it to a whole minute then you are on your way to being a master of your mind.

If you practice for just one minute a day you will notice a difference in your focus and attention. Once you have suceeded in focusing for one minute, why not try five. The more you practice, the more you will enjoy the experince and the benefits of being ‘in the now’ and eventually these short minutes will turn into hours.

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