Concentration depends on your ability to focus. For many, developing concentration is not an easy task as it is influenced by external factors and your internal mindset.
However, concentration can be achieved through discipline. Here is a list of 12 progressive exercises you can implement in your daily routine to improve your concentration.
Before we get into the exercises to improve concentration, it is vital that you set the mood. Find a place where you are alone and free of any disturbances. Sit cross legged on the floor or upright on a chair, breathe deeply and relax your body. By practicing any of these exercises for 15 minutes a day, you are well on your way to improving your concentration.
Let’s start with the simplest of all brain exercises.
Take any book, magazine or newspaper, and count the number of words in a single paragraph. Then count them again to ensure that you counted them correctly.
You can start off with one paragraph, and once you get used to it, start with counting the number of words in two paragraphs. Then move on to counting the number of words for the whole page.
Make sure that you are counting them mentally without pointing your finger at each word.
Another one of the simplest brain exercises is to count backwards from one hundred to one.
Try to suppress your thoughts for at least one minute. Considering our busy lifestyle, this may be hard but it is doable.
Start off with one minute and gradually increase the time. Try your best to keep your mind blank for 5 minutes without a single thought. You won’t succeed instantly (but if you do, great!) so take your time. Once you are finished, stop and try again the next day.
Choose an inspiring word or phrase, and repeat it silently in your mind for 5 minutes.
When your mind can concentrate more easily, switch it up to 10 minutes to silent repetition.
Fill a glass of water. Put your arms directly in front of you, and grasp the glass with your fingers. Now fix your eyes on the glass, focusing all your attention to it, whilst keeping your arm so steady that no movement is noticeable. Start with 1 minute, and increase it to 5 minutes when you are ready.
Sit on a comfortable chair and see how long you can keep still. All your attention must be placed on sitting still. Start with 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, and then 15 minutes. This may not sound so difficult, but once you do it, it can get pretty tough. This exercise is great for relaxing you completely, but don’t strain yourself to keep still.
Take a small object such as a spoon or fork, and concentrate on the object. Watch the object from all sides without thinking with words about it.
Draw a small triangle, square or circle on piece of paper, and paint it any colour you wish.
Put the drawing in front of you, and concentrate solely on the shape you have drawn. Right now, only the shape exists, nothing else.
Learn to concentrate from within with this exercise.
Start by lying down and thoroughly relaxing your muscles. Concentrate on your heartbeat without paying attention to anything else. Concentration on how it pumps blood to every part of your body, and try to visualise it happening.
Sit on a chair in an upright position. Press one finger against your right nostril, take a long deep breath. Draw the breath in gently as you count to ten and expel the breath through the right nostril as you count to ten. Repeat this exercise with the other nostril. This exercise should be repeated at least 20 times at each sitting.
Focus on a specific sound such as the birds chirping outside. Then switch over to a different sound such as the photocopying machine. Then switch to another sound such as the traffic outside, and so forth. When you are focusing on a particular sound, you do not think or hear anything else.
Colouring is a great way to develop concentration. It keeps the mind engaged on a single activity. Invest in a colouring book and a set of coloured pencils, and start colouring daily to improve your concentration.
With these 12 easy exercises, you will notice that your concentration is getting stronger, and you will certainly develop an insight into how the mind functions, and how to use it effectively.
Do you have any other progressive exercises that you would like to share?