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meditation

Meditating to Improve Focus

by BetterSleep
May 21 • 4 min read
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Meditation has so many benefits for physical and mental health. It can help you control anxiety and cope with stress. It lowers your heart rate and helps you relax. Regular meditation can also be a useful strategy for improving focus, developing concentration, and improving productivity.

The Benefits of Meditations for Focus

The modern world is full of distractions, and the human brain is already equipped to wander. We tend to feel sad or regretful about the past while being anxious and worried about the future. If you can hone your focus through meditation, you can bring these tendencies under control and gain important benefits:

  • Pinpoint focusing. When you begin meditating for focus, you will practice focusing on just one thing, one point, usually your breathing. This seemingly simple effort, over time, helps you focus more easily on one thing at a time.
  • Heighten awareness. Mindfulness is a common goal for meditation. It is the balance between focus and awareness. You do not have to sacrifice awareness of things around you for pinpoint focus. Meditation helps you build both together and in balance.
  • Develop concentration. One of the most important benefits of regular meditation if you want greater focus is the ability to concentrate. So many distractions can take you away from a task at hand, like social media, emails, and your own wandering thoughts. With regular meditation, you’ll develop an ability to concentrate in the face of distractions.
  • Enhance attentiveness. You will also become more attentive to external factors. If you need to focus on a presentation or lecture, for instance, enhanced focus through meditation helps.
  • End procrastination. Procrastination is a common problem, egged on by all of the available distractions. Meditating for focus will help you resist the urge to put off tasks and give you the concentration you need to get them done.
  • Develop a productivity mentality. Over time, as you begin to limit procrastination and improve focus, your entire mindset will change. You can transition from someone who lets wandering thoughts take over and puts things off to the last minute to someone with a mindset for getting the job done.
  • Step-up achievement. Ultimately, all this comes down to improved performance, at work, at school, or in other environments. If you can improve your self-awareness, limit procrastination, and be able to focus/concentrate better, you can achieve more in all areas of life.

The Science Behind Meditative Focus

The proof is in the research. People who meditate regularly improve their mental focus by changing patterns in the brain. A study by Italian neuroscientist Giuseppe Pagnoni, compared MRI brain scans of people who meditate regularly to those who do not.

He found that meditators have more stable ventral posteromedial cortexes, a part of the brain related to wandering thoughts. In the control group, and in most people, this area of the brain is active most of the time. He also tested participants on a tedious mental task that required concentration. The meditators outperformed the non-meditators.

The research only proves what regular practitioners of meditation already knew. Meditation improves focus, and in doing so, enhances your life in many ways. To get started with your own practice, try the guided meditations for beginners on BetterSleep.

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