It’s widely known that there are many benefits to be achieved through meditation: from relaxing the mind and body to healing the soul, meditation truly is a powerful tool. One of the key aspects of meditation that many people forget about is its ability to improve concentration. In this article, we will explore how to concentrate better and easier and use meditation to improve your concentration through various techniques as well as walking you through a meditation for focus and concentration that you can try yourself. Let’s start off by looking at why meditation can be used in such a manner.
How to Meditate to Improve Concentration
So before we cover how to do meditation to increase concentration, let’s take a look at the absolute basics. What does it mean to focus or concentrate? Believe it or not, there is actually a difference between the two.
The focus is seen as the power through which you’re consciously aware of something e.g. you focus your attention on something. Concentration is the ability to hold your focus in place without your mind wandering.
Within meditation, being able to focus and hold your concentration are key parts of the process. As with everything, they can require practice to perfect.
You’re probably wondering how to concentrate better for longer periods of time during your meditation practice. The truth is that it’s completely natural for our minds to wander during meditation.
They key isn’t so much holding the focus, but being aware that your concentration has wavered so that you can return to the task at hand.
Some people are lucky enough to know how to concentrate better without their focus drifting but for many of us, it’s easier said than done. So let’s take a look at how to improve concentration through meditation.
Learn to Concentrate with Meditation
If you’ve never meditated before then you may wish to begin with a guided meditation. You don’t have to view this as a step up or down as many people find using guided meditation to be easier.
This is largely due to the concentration element which is why they can be a great first step. Once you’ve adjusted to the aspects you need to focus your concentration on, you can then move onto your own meditation.
So let’s take a look quickly at a meditation you can carry out to learn to concentrate more effectively.
As with any meditation, you want to set up your environment to be relaxing and distraction/interruption free. This is, even more, the case when it comes to trying to improve your concentration.
The last thing you need is your phone buzzing or your favorite TV show suddenly starting. Turn everything off and get into a comfortable position.
You can sit with your legs crossed, sit on a chair, lie down on a bed, it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re comfortable and can remain so in that position for 10-20 minutes. If you’re worried that you might fall asleep lying down then it’s definitely better to stay sitting up with your back straight.
How to Concentrate better – Simple as breathing
This is now the part where we’ll learn how to concentrate better on one more effective way. In order to learn how to concentrate, we simply have to slowly expand our area of focus. We’ll start off small by focusing on your breathing.
At this stage, choose one area to focus on: it could be the rising and falling of your chest, it could be the movement of your stomach and diaphragm or perhaps even the feeling of air as it passes through your nose or mouth.
Notice where each breath in ends and where the following breath out begins. You essentially want to follow each breath from start to finish, focusing your attention on your chosen area.
As you begin to feel your body and mind relaxing a little, you want to expand your focus just before you enter into a meditative state. You can choose pretty much anything as long as it’s going to remain consistent throughout the rest of the meditation.
For example, you may choose to focus on your heartbeat, the warmth of the air in the room, the pressure of where your body makes contact with your chair, bed or floor. If there are noises outside such as traffic or birds then feel free to use these as well. Anything can be used as a tool to help you learn how to concentrate better and more effectively.
Push your Focus
The purpose of this style of exercise isn’t so much the meditation itself. Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t meditate once you feel like you’ve pushed your focus as far as it can go (at least for that session).
Just remember that you’re treating your focus and concentration almost like muscles. By training them to be able to successfully manage larger areas, you’ll find that you can focus more effectively.
Similarly, you can choose to work on the length of concentration rather than the number of items you focus on. For example, you could try meditating for an hour or more like many monks practice doing.
The biggest issue with this sort of training is that you’ll quite likely find it daunting and overall: a little boring. Your mind may keep wandering and even though the process as a whole would be beneficial, it would most likely create a negative memory of meditation.
It’s much smarter to take your time and work on expanding small aspects at first to truly get the most out of any meditation session.