Focus Exercises - Boost Your Concentration And Focus!
Focus exercises are meant to clear your mind. This way you will be able to concentrate and think better. Many people have issues with this in todays busy world. We have our cell phones, laptops, and tablets permanently connected to the internet.
We also have our kids around, need to think of work and also what you want to prepare for dinner. Being able to switch off sometimes is very helpful. But if you need to boost your focus for a moment, focus exercises will be able to help a great deal!
Difference Between Focus And Concentration
Before we get into focus exercises we wanted to highlight the difference between focus and concentration. Although the focus exercises will be able to help you both focus and concentrate better, we think it is important to understand the difference.
After all, it is important to understand the goal of each exercises. Only then can you really assess whether it truly works for you!
Being in focus means that you are fully in tune with reality. Someone who is fully focused is aware of his or her surroundings, who they are and why they are there.
Being focused means that you are “focused” on one specific task. You do not allow your mind to wander off and get distracted.
Concentration in a little different. In this case, you isolate your “focus” on one specific task or an aspect of consciousness.
Let us illustrate the difference between the two with a real life example. Say you are reading an article at a cafe. Your concentration may be divided as you hear two people arguing nearby. However, you are still focused on reading the article in front of you.
As opposed to focus, concentration does not allow you to simply turn it on or off. There are many degrees of concentration.
On the other hand, you are able to switch your focus between on and off with some training. You are either focused on something, or you aren’t!
Focus exercises are great for your focus, as well as concentration!
How To Get Focused
Let us have a look at how to get focused. This way you will know the basics before learning more about focus exercises. After this section, we will talk about how to improve focus and then get to the focus exercises.
The author of “Hack Your Brain”, Elie Venezky, says that you should always calm your mind before beginning a task. At best, you should simply sit down and take a two minute break. Simply sit down and breathe into your stomach.
There is no need to sit cross legged like when meditating. No chanting is needed either. All you need to do is calm your mind and body before you work. You will be able to feel the difference with this simple step.
The reason why we need to do so nowadays is because human beings have a lower attention span than a goldfish. This has been found by a study from Microsoft. In fact, we only have an attention span of about 8 seconds. T
his number has been continuously going down in the recent years. This is because of the many distraction we as humans have around us. The most troubling one is the internet and all of the gadgets that came along with it in the recent years.
However, the great news here is that focus is a muscle which you can train. In many cases, people do not realise this. As they fail to focus, they simply accept that fact instead of working on it.
In the end, this becomes more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once you realise this, you are able to fully work on your focus and build up the muscle.
How To Concentrate
So, you would like to know how to concentrate? Do you procrastinate often? Let us have a look at how to tame a wandering mind!
This is actually an important step to take. The reason for this is because a 2010 study suggested that people who tend to day dream or have a wandering mind are less happy. In fact, it proved that it lead to stress, illness and relationship problems.
Just as above, the first step is to calm your mind and allow yourself to relax before beginning your task. Many also opt for meditation to clear ones mind completely. The key here is actually to focus. Try to blend out everything else around you which distracts you.
And most importantly, get rid of everything physical around you which may distract you. Your friends of Facebook won’t take it out on your for having some alone time! After all, they should most likely also be concentrating on something else!
How To Improve Focus And Concentration
Let us have a look at how to improve focus and concentration! Then we will get to the focus exercises! There are a few things you can do in your daily life to do so. After this list, we will go on to some focus exercises and concentration games.
Caffeine Helps You Wake Up, But Not Focus!
Although you may find yourself more focused after your have had your first latte in the morning, reality is very different! Although it is true that you are more focused after having coffee, the issue is during the times when you are not buzzed. What you do is basically train your brain to only be alert if you have coffee.
Luckily enough for us, there is a much better way to get both benefits. That is being awake and focused in the early morning hours! The word here is exercise!
Physical activity has been proven multiple times to increase focus and concentration. This is because you release the chemicals required for learning and memory during and after your workout.
Drink Water And Always Stay Hydrated!
A study done by the Journal of Nutrition has shown that even the slightest amount of dehydration will lead to a loss of concentration and focus. At this point, they are even talking about such a mild form of dehydration that one would not even feel it.
During the study, they tested the levels of concentration of women who were 2% dehydrated. Their concentration and focus scores were highly impaired.
In fact, thirst turns out not to be the first sign of dehydration. This is because you only feel this occurring later. Concentration and focus are the first things that you can feel when you begin to dehydrate.
Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture!
As it turns out, the body does need some form of stimulation every now and then to stay alert. If you are, for example, working very hard on a paper, you are only able to do so for a limited amount of time. At some point, your brain basically drifts off - sometimes even without you realising it!
There is a great way to solve this problem. As mundane as it may seem, all you have to do is wiggle your toes and focus on them for a short while. If you do this every 30 minutes for a few seconds, you basically wake up your brain. This tip has been given by the author of “The Charisma Myth”, Fox Cabane.
Focus, Concentration And Sleep
High quality and quantity of sleep have been proven to have an effect on our focus and concentration. With healthy sleep, you will be able to learn better and improve your memory.
As mentioned above, caffeine is also a substance which has a negative impact on your focus and concentration. You will most likely end up drinking more coffee as you get sleep deprived as well.
When we are sleep deprived, we find it much more difficult to receive information. This way, our interpretation of events may also be affected. In turn, this also has a negative effect on your mood. You can do as many focus exercises as you want - without healthy sleep they won’t be as effective!
In other words: always make sure that you get sufficient healthy sleep!
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How To Focus On Studying
Many of you may also be looking on how to focus on studying. Are you looking to help yourself? Maybe someone in the family? Focus exercises are great, but we also have other tips here for you! Look no further, we have some fantastic tipps and tricks for you!
Create Your Designated Learning Space
Remember when we said that you are basically teaching your brain to run only on coffee? How about if we told you that you could do something similar with a positive effect? See this as a great focus exercise as well!
A great thing to do is to create a fixed learning space. This does not matter whether you have one in the library, at home or even outside. The point here is that you can trick your brain this time to run on full capacity every time it reaches a certain location.
The brain will then recognise all of the sensory triggers. This includes sight, feel, smell, sound, and possibly taste. No, hopefully not coffee taste!
Make sure you are fully equipped and prepared
Are you one of those people who tends to get up every 10 minutes to get something? That’s right, that is counter productive to your focus and concentration!
Make sure that you have everything there with you. We mean truly everything. Regardless if its your stationary, notes, and so on.
Very important here is also to bring some snacks. And most importantly: always bring enough water!
Here are a few other tipps and tricks which your may find helpful:
- Make sure your designated learning space is well lighted!
- De-clutter that space too - you need as little stimulations around you as possible!
- Get rid of all distractions! This includes your phone, tablet, and so on.
- Create a study ritual. You could, for example, meditate for a few minutes before beginning!
- Make sure to study during your high energy level times. These differ from person to person!
So, you have tried everything above. Now you are looking for some focus exercises! You came to the right place. Focus exercises are designed to basically train your focus muscle. We recommend to do focus exercises regularly. Especially at the beginning, you will be able to feel the difference quite fast! Let’s get to the focus exercises!
Focus Exercises 1: Meditation
Meditation allows your mind to relax, keep calm, and improve focus. It also allows for many other positive mental functions to improve. This includes the attention span.
A study was done with 140 participants over 8 weeks. They participated in meditation training. During this time they showed measurable improvements in terms of their attention span and other brain functions.
Against popular belief, you do not need to become a monk to incorporate meditation into your life. Just 10 to 20 minutes a day will already do wonders. Especially if you have trained yourself to do so which will come with time. For some it is very easy. Others may need to practice a while to get the hang of it.
However, you will most likely begin to notice the improvements within the first week. Just give it a try!
Focus exercises 2: Mindfulness
Experts have confirmed that adding mindfulness practices throughout your day also improve your focus and concentration. Mindfulness is simply allowing yourself to focus on what you are doing whilst allowing everything around you to flow through you. This includes all sensation, from physical to emotional. And most importantly: live in the moment.
You can do this at any time of the day. Do so, for example, while eating. Allow yourself to taste every single ingredient in the food. Don’t chew fast, but simply enjoy each bite. Focus on the texture as well. If you haven’t done so, we guarantee it will be an amazing experience.
Focus Exercises 3: Memorise Things
This may seem mundane, but this is the perfect way to train your focus muscles. There are many concentration games as well that you can use. There are many concentration games available nowadays even on every app store. Many of them are also for free!