At Cherchez la Femme, we’re big fans of slow living and as we have mentioned a few weeks back in one of our blog posts, this can come in many forms. This week, we want to put our spotlight on meditative practice and how this can actually help us all in our everyday life, such as helping us relax, focus, be proactive and so on.
With our very busy lives, sometimes we have to devote our attention to more than one thing simultaneously; this habit can lead our minds to become scattered and struggle to focus on only one thing at the time when we actually need to. Meditation can be a solution: when we practice, we train the mind to be fully aware of one thing at a time. The result is that our ability to concentrate increases. Thanks to our meditation practice, we are better able to focus in the moment and remain focused over time.
First of all, the main way to minimise the effects of all our multi-tasking is to set aside some time during the day to unplug from social media and outside inputs altogether. Secondly, we can start practising these three meditation methods in order to train the mind to focus on one task at the time:
One of the most effective and best-known ways to improve concentration is to practise mindfulness. This technique is as easily discoverable as it can be, with beginner sessions that can be found on YouTube, various podcasts series and even a few mobile Apps! One of the apps our founder uses everyday is Insight timer, there is a free version, and a paid version which is relatively inexpensive for what they offer. They have over 21,835,913 members around the world, and offer many live events including live meditation, yoga and nidra yoga, as well as educational talks.
As you train the mind to remain present and fully focused on one object or action, you start learning to let go of all other thoughts and distractions as well and when you can be mindful at your will, your ability to concentrate naturally increases.
This form of meditation takes mindfulness a step further by giving the meditator a dynamic task: counting inhales and exhales.
Although this may sound like an easy task, remaining fully aware during this process is a powerful training in concentration and contrary to what you might think, many people notice that their minds have wandered before they can even count to three breaths! Only with time, patience and lots of practice, the ability to focus starts to improve and together with this one, so will the ability to focus on anything else.
This is a traditional Buddhist discipline which can be practised by new and seasoned meditators alike. One of the many benefits of Zen meditation is that it provides insight into how the mind works.
In this technique, meditators learn to allow thoughts to flow through their minds without judgement, grasping or rejection. There is no main goal to this meditation technique, if not the learning of how to just sit and allow the mind to be what it is, while you learn to feel at peace with this.
Truly training the mind may require a more targeted practice, but meditation is like a fitness regimen for the mind: You are building the ability to get present and stay present, training yourself to let go of thoughts as they pop up, as they will always pop up, and become more immune to distractions overall.
[information sourced on mindworks.org and sonima.com
Featured image and all images sourced on canva.com]