Continuing from yesterday’s post of ‘Your Gratitude Will Increase If You Improve Your Powers of Concentration‘, here is some more on this topic. Yesterday was about the benefits of concentration and gratitude. Today I will post some “How To Do’s” in order to train yourself to concentrate more.
3 ways to Train Your Mind to Concentrate
1. This may seem basic, but in order to concentrate better, simply focus on one thing at a time. When you focus on gratitude, you cannot feel sadness at the same time. This is related to simply concentrating on the task at hand. Focus your mind on the task you are doing in the present moment. Be present on just that task.
Take a look at an example – Recall the last really good movie you were watching. Think about how you acted when you were engrossed in a thrilling movie or a new romance. You were present and in the moment; you were actually concentrating on the movie and not letting any outside distractions in your thoughts. Try to duplicate that experience of focusedness (Did I just make up a word?). For me, when I am concentrating and ‘In the Zone,’ Imy gratitude levels soar knowing I am accomplishing what I need to complete!
Sometimes it is hard to be that focused on something, especially if you don’t feel passionate about the particular task. In that case, look for some meaningful aspect to help motivate yourself with the desire to complete it in less time. You will feel more gratitude when that icky task is completed.
2. Along the same lines of thought, abandon distracting thoughts. For many people, your mind will wander (my immediate thoughts when to when I mediate – wait! Did my mind wander just then?) This happens to everyone! The key to this is to remain aware of your thoughts. Think about what you are thinking about! When you notice a distracting thought, dismiss it and decline to pursue it. As I have discussed on one of the Gratitude Conference Calls, I use the word ‘Cancel’ to physically shift my thinking. Once you cancel that thought you can return your attention to your chosen object. Just like the shampoo bottle reads, ‘Lather. Rinse. Repeat.’ Repeat this as often as necessary. With time and practice, it will get easier and your gratitude will also increase for you knowing that you can focus your mind.
3. And speaking of mediation, you should Meditate. To enhance your progress on focusing and concentrating, try meditating. Generally speaking, when you mediate you try to clear you mind and NOT focus on anything (or just focus on one thing). This may seem like a contraction. In fact, when you can clear your mind when you mediate, it makes it easier for you to stop the monkey-mind and the thoughts that fly around your head. This in turns makes it easier to focus and concentrate. What is the benefit of focusing and concentrating? You got it! More Gratitude!
There are many ways and styles to mediate. Here is one way to mediate. Sit and focus on your breath or spiritual attainments. You can extend that mindfulness to all your daily activities from eating lunch to playing with your children. Another way is to try to clear your mind of any thoughts. By keeping one thought or no thoughts you can easily train your mind to concentrate.
The process is easy – implementing it and working at it may not be so easy! Try it out and let me know how it works for you.
Come back tomorrow and I will talk about 6 other ways to improve your concentration if you find it interesting enough. Again, please let me know by leaving a comment.
The Gratitude Guru