In the last article, you learned about the importance of doing exercises to tame the wild beast of your mind and get better in control of your concentration. You also learned about an effective concentration exercise, self-talk.
Sel-talk is a great way to train your brain to concentrate.
Another way is with visualization.
If you read the memory improvement article, you learned about the power of visualization to improve memory.
Here you will learn about the power of visualization to improve concentration.
As you’ve learned, our mind is often on autopilot with thoughts racing in and out, jumping around, and filling our head like a balloon.
You might have a great idea and before you can analyze or look at it, it’s on to another thought or idea, and an another, and before you know it, you’ve lost it.
Visualization can train your mind to hold on to and stick with a thought or idea, while keeping other thoughts from distracting you or getting in the way.
Here is a quick, yet very effective little exercise that’ll train you to have more control over your thoughts.
To start, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and relax.
Free your mind of all thoughts – no chanting, mantras, nothing.
Now visualize an image in your mind – something simple like a circle, square, a number, or symbol.
Hold this image clearly for as long as you can.
If the image starts to fade or lose focus, bring it back to focus.
If other thoughts try to seep in, clear your mind of them and just pay attention to maintaining the image.
As you do this, what you’ll find is your mind doesn’t want to cooperate. It will distort your image, throw other things into the image, or create its own image.
You may even find your mind jumping to a completely different thought altogether. All of a sudden, you’re thinking about a beach vacation.
Do your best to resist these things from happening.
If they happen, center your attention and bring yourself back to the image.
Don’t get mad, frustrated, or beat yourself up, just continue as if nothing happened.
This is the KEY to the exercise – to not get upset and simply continue as if nothing happened.
Each time you bring yourself back, try to see if you can hold the image a little bit longer, and longer, and some more.
The goal is to get to a level where you can hold the image for a 10 -15 minute stretch without losing focus or breaking concentration.
It make take some time and effort to get this level, but once you do, you’ll be able to apply your skill to any other task or activity.
You’ll be able to hold on to a thought without your mind manipulating it or distracting you with other thoughts.
And if you are distracted, you’ll be able to bring yourself back easily.
Practice this exercise for 10 -15 minutes a day.
Here are the steps:
1. Visualize an image
2. Hold the image for as long as you can.
3. If your mind starts to drift, bring it back to the image.
4. Do this for 10 – 15 minutes, trying to hold the image for longer and longer period.
Why not start right now?