Concentration is the focus of the mind. When sun rays pass through a convex lens, they get concentrated at a single point. Due to which the object on which they are falling gets heated up and starts burning. Similar techniques exist which helps develop the concentration of mind. These techniques help focus the energy of our mind so that we can achieve our set goals.
In nature, there are many examples, where concentration becomes the question of life and death. A lion is as much focused on the movement of a deer as much as the deer on the sounds and scents of a lion. A lion will die of hunger or a deer will lose his life if any one of them loses concentration. In our real life also many time such situations occur when we have to suffer due to lack of concentration. Sometimes, we forget where we had kept a small thing and keep on searching for that small thing wasting precious time and energy. We even tend to forget things like bags, passports, mobile-phones in bus or train while traveling and do not even remember till it is too late to recover. Students who are not able to concentrate on studies generally fail in exams. Sportsperson who lose concentration finds difficult to win competitions. Yoga practitioners who are not able to concentrate often take more time to learn yoga poses.
Developing concentration is a continual process and needs consistent efforts from the practitioner. In the science of yoga, great yogis developed techniques which they followed to be successful in their endeavors. Some of these techniques are being shared here so that we can also practice and get benefited.
Keep your body and mind relaxed. For a relaxed body,
- Sleep well for at least 7-8 hours,
- Sleep and wake up at a fixed time,
- Do yoga or exercise daily and
- Eat healthy food.
When you have developed a healthy routine for these activities, your life will become ordered. This will help you focus more on the mental part. For a relaxed mind,
- Learn and practice meditation,
- Develop positive thoughts by watching good movies and reading good books,
- Spend time with your family and friends,
- Balance your work and personal life and
- Give time for your hobbies.
A relaxed body and mind will leave a huge percentage of your mind to concentrate on the task at hand and achieve set targets.
One Thing and a Time
In a chaotic lifestyle with no set order, no healthy routine and no awareness, a person cannot focus on a goal at a time. Hundreds of ideas on a variety of subjects are popping up in the mind of such person. It is time for them to clean the clutter of their minds and focus on one task at a time.
When one does not focus on a task at a time and try to do more than one thing at a time then only mishaps can happen. For example, drivers using a mobile phone and driving a car at the same time cause most car accidents. Thus, it is very important to do one thing at a time. This will take you a long way on the road to concentration and success.
Organize your day to day activities and plan things in advance. It is important to write down or type-in these details in a diary or a mobile application. The benefits –
- You will know that you have categorized all the tasks priority wise thus there is no chance to forget a thing
- When you have planned a task and arranged all the necessary resources, the task will finish in much less time.
- Will help you focus on the task at hand.
Maintain a to-do list, a planner and live an organized life. All the successful people are also organized. In an article on Sundar Pichai (the CEO of Google), Dieter Bohn described his office as clean to the point of being Spartan. His minimalist and simple choice keep him up and moving. This helps to focus on important tasks and avoiding any clutter or distractions.
Mindfulness is a Zen technique. It means being aware. Being aware of your inner self, your body, your surroundings. Being aware does not necessarily mean being involved.
Start by practicing when you are not doing anything specific. For example, while traveling see how the world looks like. While eating, taste the food and smell its aroma. While relaxing, know how are you feeling. You can also practice watching and observing yourself from another corner of the room.
When we start being aware, we become happier and positive about things in life. The negative things become powerless when we practice detachment. We gather this positive energy to focus and concentrate on even smaller aspects of the larger things in life.
Practice Pranayama (A meditation technique based on breathing):
Prana means ‘life-force’ of our body. In pranayama, we try to control prana using breathing exercises. Beginners can practice savasana, Kapal-Bhati, and anulom-vilom. Before going ahead with these exercises, take advice from a qualified yoga teacher. This will help you know the correct technique and reap the full benefits of pranayama.