Focused meditation is both a mindfulness and productivity tool. It’s become especially popular as people working from home have strived to find an exercise that balances both these concepts. Read on to find out exactly what focused meditation is, and how exactly it works.
What is focused meditation?
Focused meditation is an extremely simple and accessible form of meditation that almost anyone can practise. Instead of achieving the clarity and quietened thoughts that mindful meditation encourages, focused meditation involves devoting your complete attention to one object, sound or sense. It’s a great tool for honing your concentration and releasing stress.
The history behind it
Did you know that focused meditation has its roots in Buddhism? Buddhist monks would often use focused meditation to hone their concentration on a single object, feeling or sensation. This form of meditation has deep cultural roots and has retained its popularity until today.
Benefits of focused meditation
Meditation itself has a ton of benefits, but what does focused meditation bring to the table? It’s been found that focused meditation is great for improving concentration, memory, cognitive performance and even self-awareness. Additionally, it could lead to emotional benefits like better moods and a sharp reduction in stress.
Could focused meditation lead to an improvement in work performance? Some experts believe so! It trains you to concentrate on a task, recognise when your focus has strayed, and learn to re-centre your attention on the issue at hand. It’s a great skill that cultivates discipline and even boosts productivity.
A quick and easy focused meditation exercise
Ready to start with your meditation? Here’s a 5-step routine you can start with.
- Pick your focus. Are you focusing on an object, sound or action? Beginners might find it easiest to start with a physical, visual item.
- Zero-in on your target. Take a seat near your target item and direct all your attention to it. This means controlling all 5 senses in your body and channelling it to your chosen object. Focus on the object, the act of focusing and how your body responds to focusing. Listen to your breaths, feel your chest moving up and down, and sense the air in the room.
- Silence your chattering thoughts. You’re more likely to become distracted by your inner thoughts than external influences. Quieten the chattering thoughts and simply focus on you, and the object.
- Hold for 5 minutes. Hold this state for 5 minutes, but you can extend this time as your focus abilities improve over time.
Having trouble? Try these tips for better focus.
Meditation is far from easy, and focused meditation falls on the difficult end of the spectrum. Try these 5 tips for a smoother meditation journey.
- Start with 5-minute sessions. Don’t try a 30-minute session on your first try! Work your way up and even re-set the clock when you get distracted.
- Switch up your meditation routine. Since focused meditation requires so much concentration, it can get mentally tiring over time. Remember to switch up your meditation routine with different types of meditation for the best results!
- Curate a meditation routine. Pick the time, environment and settings in which you could focus best. Some people prefer morning meditations, while others prefer to meditate at night. Similarly, certain people prefer meditating at home, while others prefer to meditate outdoors. This ultimately comes down to your personal preferences, and what works for you.
- Use guided meditations. Need a little guidance? Try using online resources to help you at the beginning stages of your meditation routine.
- Work in a group. Try out a focused meditation retreat, or create your own meditation group with a couple of friends.