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Mar
16
Focus

The key to completing a task, any task, is fine tuning the brains ability to Concentrate.

The brain as an amazing ability to follow your lead and focus on any one single subject of your choosing. In fact, the ability to concentrate on one task has been the saving point of many individuals suffering from anxiety. Like any skill, concentration is a cognitive skill that must be taught and practiced.

Teaching Focus

In my work with individuals with depression and anxiety, they have found the ability to deliberately and selectively choose to focus on one single thing. Teaching focus requires a two main steps:

1. It must be a deliberate act of will and it is not automatically engaging.

2. It must be taught.

Practice

Being able to get the brain going and focused must take deliberate will power and practice. Concentration in your brain requires that your mind be calm. Here are some long-term practice that will increase your brain's ability to concentrate.

  • Rest - get the right and consistent amount of sleep each night or day.
  • Plan - without a clear purpose, your concentration is doomed to fail. Let the brain know what you want it focus on and it will begin to more easily.
  • Meditate - even if you just begin with 5 minutes a day of clear focus on your breathing, you begin to train your brain to calm itself.
  • Get your Place - having a concentration place is helpful. Mine was Barnes & Noble or reading. Now it's just listening to myself breathe as I fall asleep at night.
  • Balance Eating - Eating light meals increase your brain's ability to concentrate.
  • Get Moving - the brain needs you to exercise so it clears out the junk of the day. It doesn't need to be intense, but consistency helps the brain focus more easily.
  • Breaks - it's said the brain works best in 90 minute increments or less. Focus your brain for 90 minutes, then "change the channel" and clear the brain out before you return to the next task.
  • Practice - like any skill, practice is needed to improve the functioning of concentration in your brain.
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