It’s difficult to stop your attention from wavering as you go about a busy day. That’s why you need concentration exercises.
We show you how concentration exercises can enhance your focus and share examples of those that you can do from the comfort of your office or home.
Why do we need to improve our focus?
Focus exercises may seem like a waste of time, but we need them to keep our minds in top form. Mental activities can do a lot for them, as you will read from the details that follow. You’ll also need them if you want to do well in sports.
According to experts like Daniel Kaufman, author of Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow, two brain systems help us to control our attention. The first is the reflexive network system that absorbs and processes stimuli.
It makes decisions for us automatically, causing us to turn our heads when we hear sounds or scream when we see cockroaches. Mode 2 is voluntary. It processes the responses and decisions that the first mode makes and selects where we should focus our attention.
We tend to assume that we solely use it to make conscious decisions. In reality, all our actions depend on the automatic suggestions the first system feeds us. Furthermore, concentration exercises give us peace of mind and free us from negative thoughts.
They enable you to choose what you think and enhance your will to resist distractions and urges. Mental activities like these also improve our cognition. Research proves that mindfulness meditation can enhance memory. It also increases self-confidence, inner happiness, and will-power.
People become decisive and have a better understanding of ideas. Creativity increases. Furthermore, when we focus on an object or goal, we put ourselves in the direction of attaining it. All our actions align themselves with it. You generate the force to get what you want.
13 Concentration Exercises That Will Boost Your Ability to Focus
Each of these exercises improves the well-being of your brain and makes it more efficient. For example, you may need them if you’re a student who is studying for an exam. Similarly, an employee who is going about their tasks in the office will find them useful too.
Concentration activities also improve synapse connections and tease the neurons of the brain. Like other workouts, some of these are warm-up concentration exercises.
This concentration activity is a simple one that will let you focus on your work tasks or school assignments.
Inhale deeply through your nose. Bend your elbows and lift your fingers to eye level. Your palm should be facing each other, and your fingers should touch.
Breathe out through your mouth and lower your right hand. Bend the fingers of your left hand and use them to cover the fingertips of your right hand. It should seem like you are trying to catch it while it’s sliding down.
Breathe through your nose and straighten the fingers on your left hand. Bend the fingers of your right hand and cover the fingers of your left repeat this exercise about 15 times. You should find your breathing faster than usual.
Sit still in your favorite chair and see how long you can remain that way. Make sure that you center your attention on keeping still, and control your involuntary muscle movements.
With some practice, you should remain in this position for at least 15 minutes. When you can see perfectly still, increase the time you spend in the chair. You will soon find yourself relaxing completely.
Keep your hands in front of your chest. Make sure that your palms face each other and touch. You should press them together, and you shouldn’t feel any strain.
Breathe in and out a few times, as you would usually. You’ll be able to concentrate before the upcoming quick movements. Quickly separate your left and right wrists. Spread your fingers wide. Only your fingers should be touching.
Bring them back together. You should press your fingers apart. Make sure that only your fingertips touch and breathe out at the same time. While pressing your fingertips together, turn your wrists so that your middle fingers point towards your chest. Keep repeating the same movements in this position.
Looking at your fingers helps you to concentrate on your tasks. Raise your right arm until it’s on the same level as your shoulders and stay still for a minute. Do the same with your left and steady it.
Increase the time you spend focusing on your fingers each time you do this exercise. You should find yourself concentrating on your tasks better than before.
You can complete this concentration task anywhere. All you need are your fingers.
Lift your arms to your mouth and bend them at the elbows. Face your palms towards you, making sure that your fingers touch. Bend each of your fingers, starting with the little one on the left. Finish with the thumb on your right.
You’ll need four walnuts to complete this focus exercise. You can use any nut that’s big enough.
This exercise works on the premise that rolling movements relieve tension and anxiety. They also prevent your brain from aging and promote longevity.
Take one of the nuts and roll them around in your left palm. Press on it with your right palm, making sure that your movement takes some effort. Do this for at least a minute. Roll the nut on the backs of your hands as well.
Then, it’s time to vary the exercise. Take two walnuts in each hand and roll them around in a circular motion. Move the ones in your right hand clockwise, and the ones in your left counter-clockwise. Do this for at least a minute.
This concentration exercise enhances memory. With your right hand, press your thumb and forefinger together. You should curve your pointer slightly. Repeat this movement for your middle, ring, fourth, and little fingers, twenty times for each hand.
Fill a glass with water and grab it with your fingers. Stretch your arms out in front of you. Fix your gaze on the glass and steady your arm, trying not to make your movements noticeable. Repeat this five times, first with one hand, then the other.
Grab a chair and move it close to a table. Place your hands on the table and double your thumb over your fingers. Look at your fist for a while, then stretch out your thumb.
Concentrate on the act as if it is the most important one you’ll ever do. Then, stretch out your first finger slowly. Do the same for the rest of your fingers, on both hands. Reverse the process, making sure that you end with the thumb of your right hand closed over your finger.
Note that you will feel tired when you do this exercise because you’ll have to concentrate fully on what you’re doing. Remember that it will do wonders for your ability to focus.
Place the fingertip of your thumb on your right finger. Do the same for your middle, index, and ring fingers. Repeat this with the other hand. You should feel yourself applying some effort to complete this exercise. Repeat the motion twenty times for both hands.
Nothing helps you concentrate better than nature. Focus on the smell of the plants when you pass a garden or take a walk in the park with your dog.
Then, choose one type of scent and focus on it. You’ll find that this intensifies the smell. You’ll have to develop a particularly attentive attitude. Shut your mind off to any thought but that smell.
This concentration exercise also boosts your attention span. Hold your hand in a loose fist, with the fingers of your right hand pointed towards it. Make sure that they are straight and gathered together.
Bring your fingers toward the bottom of the little finger of your right hand. Do the same for the left. Repeat these movements about twenty times for each, as quickly and precisely as possible. Do ten repetitions for each hand. Breathe out through your mouth each time.
The brain has connections with the hands. That’s why right-handers enjoy a more developed left brain. The opposite applies to left-handers.
This concentration activity will help you activate both hemispheres. Try doing everyday activities with your non-dominant hand. For example, brush your teeth with your left if you are a right-hander. Research shows that it improves neuroplasticity and concentration.
In all, there are concentration exercises that will improve your focus if you feel that yours is lacking. Do these today and train your attention.
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