4 Mental Exercises to Help You Focus

When distractions abound, try these tools to get your mind back on track.

Do you feel your mind racing with distractions or never-ending thoughts during the day? Learning to focus your senses and feelings with mindfulness meditation can help avoid burnout, stress and anxiety.

Mindfulness is a type of meditation that helps direct your attention away from random thoughts and daydreaming. It allows you to be fully present in your surroundings and can help reduce negative thinking and distractions.

Here are 4 ways to start practicing mindfulness:

  1. Take the time to listen to others
    In your next conversation with another person, pay careful attention to their words. Think about what they are trying to communicate to you, and how their words have a unique meaning. Strive to understand their perspective without leaping to assumptions or judgment.

  2. Find one new detail in the familiar
    Pick up the object that is closest to you. Hone in on all its details, even if you feel like you have seen it many times before, and see if you can pinpoint a new detail. Learn to become more aware of your surroundings and the things around you.

  3. Breathe in, breathe out
    Focus your attention on every breath that you take. You can do this in your office chair, or at a quiet place in your home. Notice how your body shifts when you breathe air in and out through your nose. It’s ok if your mind drifts a bit, just remember to refocus on the task at hand.

  4. Immerse yourself in the moment
    It’s easy to get caught up in planning for the future, but when was the last time you truly experienced a moment in the present? Try to savor something you usually hurry through, such as your morning coffee or walk at lunch. Make a mental note of what you are experiencing through all your senses.
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