It’s only been ten minutes but you feel like they’ve been talking for three hours. Your brain simply won’t stay focused. You’ve tried a few things to no avail but you keep seeing meditation as a suggestion for improving focus.
Can meditation help you focus?
This guide will take you on a deep dive into how meditation impacts focus and what you can do to harness its helpful powers.
Keep scrolling to find the top seven benefits of meditation as well as six helpful tips about how to meditate well.
• Can Meditation Help With Focus?
• 7 Incredible Benefits of Meditation for Focus
• Why Is Focusing So Hard?
• Meditation to Improve Focus: 6 Tips for a Successful Practice
• For Assistance and Support With Your Meditation for Focus Journey Try Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi
Can meditation improve focus? Yes, improved focus is a direct benefit of meditation.
Meditation may be helpful for you if you struggle to focus because it forces you to slow down and bring your attention inward, instead of spending your energy on all of the distractions around you.
Just like anything, it takes time and practice to learn how to meditate well and experience benefits like improved focus. Learning to slow down, be present now rather than anticipating the future or ruminating over the past, and connect with your inner self is a process that takes time to learn.
Meditation may help you reduce stress and clear your mind. By taking time to intentionally focus on your inner self and connect your mind and body, you are forcing yourself to slow down and calm your mind.
Meditation helps with focus by restoring the body-brain connection and giving your mind time to clear and recenter.
There are many benefits to doing meditation as a focus aid. Here are the top seven.
Especially in a post-COVID world, stress seems to be everywhere. Every day brings a new challenge — a shortage of this, a new strain of that — and reacting well to consistent stress is not easy.
Meditation is a great tool to help you reduce your stress reaction. Even taking just a few minutes to center yourself and meditate can help alleviate your stress.
Stress is a natural part of life but actively working to reduce your stress reaction and find ways to recover faster will likely help you handle stress better.
Meditation can be a powerful way to help combat stress.
Meditation helps to train the brain to return to a task faster. The act of bringing your attention back to your breath when your mind wanders during meditation helps to strengthen your brain’s neural circuitry for focusing.
When our brains do something repeatedly, it creates neural pathways that, given time, become like a ‘default’ mode.
By consistently bringing your mind back to focus on your breathing during meditation, you may find that you can bounce back easier from distractions during your day-to-day activities.
If you find yourself zoning out during conversations or losing focus during meetings, your attention span might need a boost.
Meditation has been shown to help improve and lengthen attention spans. One study showed that 13 minutes of meditation each day increases the attention span in as little as eight weeks.
Meditation can even help you better handle your emotions and find a new level of emotional health.
A study was done on over 3,500 adults and it found that meditation can help reduce feelings of sadness.
Another study illustrated meditation’s ability to help people process negative experiences in healthier, more positive ways.
Especially in a busy world where we are always on the go, it is important to take time to focus on self-awareness and connect with your body and mind.
Meditation forces you to sit with yourself and spend time focusing on your body. By giving your body a chance to rest and reconnect with your mind, you may notice that you feel more self-aware.
When it comes to keeping your mind sharp as you age, meditation can be a great tool.
Studies have shown that meditation can help with memory loss due to aging.
One study suggests that meditation can help reverse memory loss during the early stages. Another study also found that meditation may work to help prevent memory loss.
It’s 3:00 am and you are laying in your bed, wide awake, thinking of that one task you forgot to do today. Your brain is running wild, trying to figure out how you will fit it into tomorrow’s busy schedule and, before you know it, you have spiraled down the rabbit hole and you are now planning out your entire week … in your bed … at 3:00 am.
If this sounds familiar, meditation might be able to help.
Meditation can be an effective way to help with sleeplessness. By routinely calming yourself and training your mind to focus, meditation helps your brain let go of the mile-long to-do list and allows you to listen to your body as you prepare for bed.
By taking time to calm yourself and teach your brain how to handle racing thoughts well, you may find that your sleep length and quality improve.
Focusing is hard for many, many people. Sometimes our brains simply don’t want to stay on one task for a prolonged period of time.
Especially in the modern age, where constant entertainment and variety are available, spending time focusing intentionally on one thing feels a little like a lost art form.
With seemingly shorter attention spans and a constant supply of entertainment, focusing seems to have become even harder. In fact, Microsoft sponsored a study that found the average attention span to be around eight seconds.
When your brain is used to jumping to new things quickly, it can be hard to focus and stay on task.
Meditation might help you improve your focus. Here are six tips to ensure that your meditation time is as effective as possible.
You don’t go on a single run or do one set of reps in the weight room and expect to be perfectly in shape immediately. It takes consistency and time to get the results you want.
The same is true of meditation. You cannot simply expect to do it a couple of times and reap all the benefits.
Seeing improvement from meditation takes time and work — and you have to be willing to put in both if you want to see results.
Find a way to help yourself be consistent. You might want to try something like:
• Setting an alarm for a specific time each day to remind you
• Committing to spend 15 minutes of your lunchbreak meditating
• Finding an accountability partner who also wants to become more consistent with meditation
• Investing in guided meditation classes through your local Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi center.
We live in a world full of distractions and it can be hard to disconnect from them while meditating.
But, with a little work and creativity, you can eliminate most of your distractions while you meditate.
• If your phone distracts you, try leaving it in the other room on silent. Remember, it is okay to not be available to others at all times.
• If you find that your kids or significant other make it hard for you to focus, try meditating when they are not home, such as during school hours or while they are at work.
• If your mind is your own worst enemy, try having some light music in the background to help you focus.
If you are trying to find peace in the busiest room in the house while the TV is going, the kids are crying, and you can smell dinner burning, you likely won’t have much luck.
Creating a calm and peaceful environment for meditation is incredibly important. You don’t have to have a perfect studio but there are some ways you can make your space a little more zen. For instance, you could try:
• Lighting a few candles and turning down the lights
• Decorating a room with neutral tones and incorporating calming natural elements such as wood, a small sand garden, or a small waterfall (Pro tip: you can purchase tabletop sand gardens and waterfalls at many stores and online)
• Diffuse calming essential oils into the air
• Use soft lighting, such as Himalayan salt lamps
• Include live plants around the room to bring in an element of nature
Especially if you are new to meditation, following a guide can be incredibly helpful. Think of meditation as a skill to be learned. You need a teacher.
Body & Brain offerings include classes where you can learn, in person, from an experienced instructor. Whether you come to one of our yoga classes, taichi-qigong class, or a specialized mind-body training class, we always include some time for guided meditation.
If you prefer the comfort of your own home, consider online classes, guided meditation audios, or an online video channel such as the one operated by our friends at Brain Education TV.
Before you start meditating, try doing a little bit of breathwork. Simply taking the time to consciously breathe in and out for a few minutes can help your mind slow down and your body relax, allowing you to better focus during your meditation session.
While regulating your breathing for a moment can be helpful, taking a breathwork class can teach you new methods to help you work with your body.
Body & Brain offerings include BreathWork training, designed to teach you ways to stimulate your body's natural ability to restore, recharge, and increase your powers of concentration and awareness.
Remember, learning to meditate well doesn’t happen overnight. The first few times may leave you feeling as if meditation isn’t for you simply because you find it hard to focus and keep your mind from wandering.
Keep working on your meditation skills.
The more you meditate, the better you will get and the less your mind will wander. Keeping your mind focused is like building muscle, you have to train it and you won’t see your goal results after just one workout.
Taking your first steps into the world of meditation can be difficult and slightly nerve-wracking. If you want someone to walk beside you and help you navigate the newness, Body & Brain Yoga and Tai Chi instructors are here to support you on your journey.
With over 20 years of experience and offered at locations all around the country, our instructors are proud to offer holistic fitness services — both online and in-person — that empower you to live your best life.
Take charge of your life and begin improving your focus today.