Staying focused and concentrating for long periods of time can be difficult. Here are a few exercises that will help improve your concentration span in order to stay mentally sharp.
The “exercises to improve concentration and focus” are 12 exercises that can help you improve your concentration.
Is your mind always flitting from one subject to the next? Do you find it difficult to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes? Do you have a lot of half-finished projects laying about the home, a dozen half-baked ideas still rattling around in your head, and a pile of regrets about where you are with those things and in your life as a result? What should you do if this is the case?
If you went to the gym and attempted lifting weights only to discover that your arms and legs were weak and flabby, you’d begin a weekly workout regimen to develop your muscles. Your mind, too, is a kind of muscle! Your brain, like your muscles, requires weekly training to maintain the power of its attention and concentration. What’s a good way to keep your noodle in shape? So, I found some intriguing concentration exercises in a beautiful old book from 1918 called The Power of Concentration by Theron Q. Dumont, and I’ve included some extracts from the book below, as well as some fantastic artwork by Mr. Ted Slampyak. While some of the exercises are a bit silly, and you may seem to be gazing at an extended glass of water like a crazy person, you’ll get the final laugh when your concentration ability rises to Professor X levels. Use this book to strengthen your brain or to get ideas for your own concentration exercises. Let’s get started by putting your finger on the bridge of your nose.
From 1918, there are Concentration Exercises.
When the sun’s rays are concentrated on an item using a sun glass, the heat produced is several times more than when the same source of light and heat is spread. This is especially true when it comes to paying attention. When you scatter it, you get average results. But if you concentrate on one issue, you’ll get considerably greater outcomes. When you concentrate your attention on a single item, all of your intentional and involuntary actions are directed toward achieving that goal. You may build the power that can deliver you what you desire if you concentrate your efforts on one thing to the exclusion of all else.
When you concentrate your thoughts, they become more powerful. The activities that follow are dull and repetitive, but they are beneficial. If you stick with them, you’ll discover that they’re quite beneficial since they improve your focus abilities.
It will be required to teach the body to follow the mind’s orders initially. I’d want you to master your physical motions. The following exercise is very beneficial in aiding you in gaining complete muscular control.
Sitting Still on a Chair (Exercise 1)
Place yourself in a comfy chair and observe how still you can remain. This isn’t as simple as it seems. You’ll have to focus all of your concentration on remaining motionless. Make sure you’re not producing any unintentional muscle movements. With a little practice, you’ll be able to sit motionless for fifteen minutes without moving your muscles. I recommend starting by sitting in a comfortable position for five minutes. Increase the duration to 10 minutes and then fifteen minutes until you’ve mastered absolute stillness. This is as lengthy as it needs to be. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself to remain motionless. You must be entirely at ease. You will discover that this soothing practice is quite beneficial.
Exercise 2: Focus Your Eyes on Your Fingers
Sit up straight on a chair with your chin out and shoulders back. Raise your right arm until it reaches shoulder level and is pointed to the right. For one minute, look around with your head alone, concentrate your sight on your fingers, and maintain your arm completely steady. Exercising your left arm in the same way is a good idea. Increase the duration until you can do this for five minutes with each arm after you’ve mastered keeping the arm totally still. When the hand is extended, the simplest posture is to turn the palm downward. You’ll be able to detect whether you’re keeping your arm totally steady if you keep your eyes fixated on the ends of your fingers.
Exercise 3: Fix your gaze on a piece of outstretched glass
Fill a small glass with water and hold it between your fingers with your arm squarely in front of you. Fix your gaze on the glass and attempt to keep your arm as still as possible so that no movement is visible. Start with one second and work your way up to five. Perform the exercise with one arm first, then the other.
The goal of the exercises listed above is to establish control over involuntary muscle activity and make your movements completely voluntary. The purpose of the following exercise is to put your voluntary muscles under the control of your will, allowing your mental forces to direct your physical actions.
Focus on opening and closing your fists in Exercise 4.
Place your hands on the table, squeezing your fists and maintaining the back of your hand on the table, the thumb doubled over the fingers. Fix your focus on the fist for a few moments, then gently extend the thumb, all the while concentrating your whole concentration on the deed as if it were vital. Then progressively expand the rest of your fingers by extending your first, then your second, and so on. Then reverse the procedure, closing the last one that was open first, then the others, until the fist is back in its original position, with the thumb closed over the finger. Use your left hand for this workout. Continue doing this exercise with one hand first, then the other, until you’ve completed it five times with each hand. You may boost it to 10 times in a few days.
The aforementioned activities are likely to make you “weary” at first, but it is critical that you repeat these tedious exercises in order to train your attention. It also allows you to be more in control of your physical activity. Of course, your attention must be focused on each movement of the hand; otherwise, the exercise will be rendered useless.
You may believe that these exercises are insignificant, but I guarantee that within a short period of time, you will notice that you have much better control over your muscular movements, carriage, and demeanor, and that you have greatly improved your power of attention, and that you can center your thoughts on what you do, which will be extremely beneficial.
Imagine it as your primary goal in life, no matter what you’re doing. Assume you don’t care about anything else in the world except what you’re doing right now. Allowing your focus to wander away from the task at hand is not a good idea. Your attention will undoubtedly revolt, but control it rather than allowing it to rule you. You have won a larger triumph than you know at the moment after you have conquered the rebellious attention. You’ll be grateful you learnt to focus your whole attention on the object at hand many times in the future.
Allow no day to pass without practice focused on a boring familiar item. Never choose an intriguing thing because it demands less focus. It will be a better workout if it is less interesting. With a little effort, you’ll be able to focus your attention on dull issues whenever you choose. Concentration allows a person to have complete control over his body and mind, allowing him to be the master of his tendencies rather than their slave. You can control people if you can manage yourself. When compared to a guy who lacks Will Power, you may create a Will that will make you a giant. Experiment with your Will Power in various ways until you get it under control to the point where you can accomplish something as soon as you wish to. Never be content with a “I did rather well” attitude; instead, give it your all. Be content with nothing less. You will be the man you were meant to be after you have obtained this.
Concentration Improves Smell Sensitivity (Exercise 5)
Concentrate on the odors of flowers and plants whether you go on a stroll, drive through the countryside, or pass by a flower garden. Count how many distinct types you can find. Then choose a certain kind and attempt to detect just that. The sense of smell will be much enhanced as a result of this. This distinction, however, requires a particularly vigilant mindset. When developing your sense of smell, you should not only block out any thoughts other than odor from your mind, but you should also block out consciousness of all odors save the one on which your mind is now focused. There are several opportunities for workouts to improve your sense of smell. Keep an eye out for unusual scents while you’re out in the air. You’ll notice a variety of scents in the air, but focus your attention on the one you’ve chosen so that the aroma of it will clearly remember the circumstances of this exercise years later.
The goal of these exercises is to help you develop focused attention, and you’ll discover that with practice, you’ll be able to control your mind and guide your thoughts just as you can your arm.
Concentration on the Inside (Exercise 6)
Relax your muscles completely by lying down. Concentrate on your heart’s rhythm. Don’t let anything else distract you. Consider how this massive organ pumps blood to every part of the body; see the blood leaving the enormous reservoir and flowing in a single stream all the way down to the toes. Imagine another travelling all the way down your arms to the tips of your fingers. After a little practice, you’ll be able to feel your blood flow through your body.
Concentrating on Sleep (Exercise 7)
The water approach, despite its simplicity, is quite successful in inducing sleep. In your sleeping chamber, place a full glass of pure water on a table. Sit alongside the table in a chair and look into the glass of water, thinking about how peaceful it is. Then imagine yourself in a similarly tranquil condition. The nerves will go calm in a short time, and you will be able to fall asleep. To induce sleep, it’s often helpful to imagine yourself feeling sleepy, and the most chronic insomnia has been conquered by seeing oneself as an inanimate object–for example, a hollow log in the depths of the cold, calm forest.
Those who suffer from insomnia can benefit greatly from these nerve-calming sleep activities. Keep in mind that getting to sleep is not tough; this will help you overcome your dread of insomnia. You will fall asleep if you do these activities.
Exercise 8: Practise Speaking in Front of a Mirror
Make two markings on your mirror on the same level as your eyes, and imagine two human eyes peering into yours. At first, your eyes will probably blink a bit. Stand straight and don’t move your head. Concentrate all of your thoughts on maintaining absolute stillness in your brain. Allow no other thoughts to enter your head. Then, while keeping your head, eyes, and body steady, imagine that you seem to be a trustworthy man or woman; someone in whom anybody would have faith…
Practice deep breathing while standing in front of the mirror. Make sure there’s enough of fresh air in the room, and that you’re soaking it up. Your hesitancy will vanish as it pervades every cell in your body. A feeling of tranquility and strength has taken its place.
The person who stands up straight and has complete control over his facial and eye muscles is always the center of attention. He can better impress individuals with whom he comes into touch via his talk. He gains a sense of serenity and power that causes resistance to crumble in front of him.
This exercise may be done in as little as three minutes every day.
Exercise 9: Concentration in the Eastern Tradition
On an upright posture, sit in a chair with a high back. One finger should be pressed on the right nostril. Take a long, deep inhale and gradually pull it in as you count to 10; then exhale through your right nostril as you count to ten. Replace the other nostril and repeat the process. Each sitting should include at least twenty repetitions of this exercise.
Controlling Desires (Exercise 10)
Desire, which is one of the most difficult energies to manage, will provide you with superb concentration workouts. It may seem natural to want to share people what you know, but learning to manage these cravings may greatly improve your focus abilities. Remember, you have all you need to take care of your own affairs. Don’t spend time worrying about others or talking about them.
If you discover anything negative about another individual through your own observations, keep it to yourself. Your viewpoint may turn out to be incorrect in the end, but whether correct or incorrect, you have increased your willpower by restraining your impulse to express yourself.
If you get excellent news, resist the urge to tell the first person you see; you will profit as a result. To prevent the impulse to tell, you’ll need to concentrate all of your resistance abilities. You may then share your news after you feel you have perfect control over your urges. However, you must be able to control your want to share the news until you are completely prepared to do so. People who lack this ability to regulate their urges are more likely to say things they should not, putting themselves and others in unnecessary danger.
If you have a propensity of becoming enthusiastic when you get bad news, simply keep your cool and accept it without a surprise outburst. “Nothing is going to make me lose my self-control,” tell yourself. This self-control, you will discover, will be very valuable to you in business. You will be seen as a shrewd businessman, which will prove to be a great commercial asset over time. Circumstances, of course, change the outcome of instances. It’s sometimes essential to become excited. However, keep an eye out for chances to develop self-control. “One who reigns over his soul is bigger than he who reigns over a city.”
When You Read (Exercise 11)
No one can think until he or she first concentrates their attention on the topic at hand. Every man and woman should practice clear thinking. Reading a short narrative and then writing an abbreviated statement is a great practice. Read a newspaper item and see how many words you can convey it in. Reading an article in order to get just the most important information requires the highest level of focus. If you can’t write down what you’re reading, you’re having trouble concentrating. If you like, you may say it instead of writing it down. Go to your room and say it out loud as if you were speaking to someone. This kind of activity is really beneficial for improving focus and learning to think.
After you’ve completed a few of these easy activities, read for 20 minutes and then write down what you’ve learned. You’ll probably forget a lot of things at first, but with a little practice, you’ll be able to write a pretty solid summary of what you’ve read. The more concentrated the concentration, the more accurate the account.
When time is limited, reading simply a brief text and then trying to copy it down word for word is an excellent option. When you’re ready, read two or more sentences and treat them the same way. If you maintain practicing until the habit is formed, you will see excellent benefits. If you spend only a little of your free time doing exercises like the ones described, you may develop incredible concentration abilities. You’ll discover that in order to remember every word in a phrase, you’ll have to shut out all other thoughts save the one you want to remember, and this strength of inhibition will more than make up for the difficulty of the exercise. Of course, success in all of the above is primarily dependent on growing the capacity to imagine or picture what you read via intense attention; on the power, as one writer puts it, of letting the mountains we hear rise before us and the rivers we read flow at our feet.
Exercise 12: Pay Attention to Your Concentration
Place a clock with a second hand on the table and sit in it. As the second hand rotates, follow it with your eyes. Maintain this for five minutes, focusing just on the second hand. If you can keep all other thoughts in your stream of consciousness subservient to it, this is a great practice to do when you just have a few minutes to spare. It is difficult to accomplish this since there is nothing that is very attractive about the second hand, but the usefulness resides in the additional exertion of will strength necessary to make it effective.
During these exercises, attempt to remain as motionless as possible.
Listen to my interview with Cal Newport on the need of intense concentration:
The “improving concentration and focus harvard pdf” is a guide to improving your concentration. The book includes 12 exercises that are designed to help you improve your focus and concentration.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exercises increase concentration?
A: There are many things that can increase concentration, but the most common is meditation.
How can I increase my concentration and focus quickly?
A: Try to avoid over-thinking. If you find yourself spending too much time thinking, try and clear your mind by focusing on a task like meditating or deep breathing.
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