“Concentration of the mind is in a way common to both Knowledge and Yoga. Yoga aims at union of the individual with the universal, the Reality. This Reality cannot be new. It must exist even now, and it does exist.”
– Ramana Maharshi
The ability to concentrate and focus on a single task is something that many of us take for granted. When you’re unable to concentrate, you’ll have countless thoughts and ideas running through your mind, distracting you from completing the task at hand. Unfortunately, millions of men, women and children experience this very problem. But there are ways to control your thoughts and regain your mode of concentration, all without the use of harmful prescription drugs.
According to a chart published by Quartz, the average American spends 444 minutes (7.4 hours) each day staring at screens. More specifically, this breaks down to 147 minutes in front of the TV, 151 minutes on the smartphone, 103 minutes in front of the computer, and 43 minutes on a tablet. Numbers such as this are shocking to say the least, but they paint a stark picture of how society has shifted in recent years.
Relax Your Eyes
The first step towards improving concentration is to relax your eyes. Staring at screens all day causes significant strain on the eyes and its associated muscles. Over time, this can lead to vision loss, fatigue and headaches, all of which can negatively impact your ability to concentrate.
When you are ready to begin, find a quiet, comfortable area that’s free from distraction. Now, close your eyes, allowing them to relax completely. This may or may not be an easy task, depending on how much tension has built up. If your eyes are severely stressed, try performing a simple exercise by rotating your eyes clockwise and then counter-clockwise for a couple of minutes. This should work out some of the tension, at which point your eyes will rest more easily.
Relax Your Face
After relaxing your eyes, you’ll want to relax your face. Facial tension is directly linked to the eyes, so if you experience tension in your eyes, you’ll probably experience it throughout your face as well. And similar to the eyes, your face may hold stress and tension, impeding your ability to focus and concentrate.
To relax your face, allow your facial muscles to relax. Some experts recommend visualizing the weight of your face pulling down on your cheeks. In addition, you should allow your forehead to soften, with the muscles releasing tension and reverting back to their natural state. Continue doing this as you visualize each part of your face until it’s completely relaxed with no tension remaining.
Position Your Head and Neck
The third and final step involves positioning your head and neck. As explained by F.M. Alexander of “The Alexander Technique,” all vertebrates, including humans, have a dynamic relationship between their head, neck and back that is constantly changing. Poor posture, improper lifting, bodily injury or other elements, however, can interfere with this relationship, causing discomfort, lack of concentration, fatigue and other problems.
Begin by allowing your head and neck to relax in its natural state. Some people have a tendency to “hold up” their head, which further stresses the supporting muscles. To overcome this, you need to consciously avoid this habit, and instead let it adjust itself by resting on your spine. You should also shift your attention to the center of your head, located just a few inches towards the back of your skull from your eyes.
Get the support you need to make important life changes. If you would like to complement your therapy with an alternative treatment option (or need a place to start), you might consider trying hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy can help you sort out your feelings and give you the courage and strength you need to move on with your life, set new goals, and rebuild an always damaged self-esteem.
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