Do you often lose your focus when meditating? Having trouble with keeping your focus when you meditate is a common issue. And, it’s no wonder because we live in an age of distraction. The technology that surrounds us might have overcome the physical distance between people, but it has increased the distance of our true selves. By constantly being surrounded with notifications, news, social media and information around every corner you are constantly getting distracted.
These distractions send your mind racing and make it seem like you can’t focus on one thought. A pattern is created where you race from one thought to another, endlessly. These distractions also create short attention spans – we all want our next quick fix immediately after one is done. The next fix is of course more new posts of pictures, videos or whatever else you interact with on social media. That is why when you are starting to meditate it can be so hard for you to focus. I know how frustrating it can be to keep losing your focus, which is why I will share some tips and techniques that can help you improve your focus when you meditate!
Here are my 6 meditation tips for improving focus:
1. Learn To Relax
A common mistake that you might be making when you start meditating is tensing up in an effort to concentrate and focus. However, when you are tense it’s impossible to focus. To increase your concentration and improve your focus, you need to learn how to relax. The easiest way to relax your body is to use a simple breathing technique. It goes like this: when you are taking a breath - tense your body, and when you breathe out release the tension. This technique might be counter-intuitive at first, however, it does two very important things to prepare your body for meditation: releasing stored up tension in your body and allowing you to easily make the difference between a relaxed and tense state of your body.
2. Start Small
You have to keep in mind that to improve your focus, you have to start small. Your mind is simply programmed to get distracted easily because you are surrounded with information and distraction at every turn. This is one of the main reasons for poor focus in general in today’s society, and also when meditating. Don’t be discouraged, because getting distracted easily means that even small amounts of time that you spend focused are a very big step forward. Simply start by meditating two minutes every day. Make sure you truly devote your uttermost focus during those two minutes. After you keep that up for a week, increase the time from two minutes to four minutes. Then next week increase it by two more minutes. Repeat that each week, up until you reach 70 minutes of focus. Yes, it does take more time to build up your focus with this method, however, you will be truly amazed how efficient it is. It’s all about the habits.
3. It’s Not The How - It’s The Where
Even better, spend some time in your meditation space before you start meditating. Light your incense burner, say a prayer of gratitude for having such an amazing place to meditate in, and then begin your meditation.
4. The 4x4x4 Seconds Technique
To be able to increase your focus, meditation should become a part of your daily routine. However, some days your emotions will swell up and get the better of you. No matter how hard you try to concentrate and focus on your meditation your emotions are still there, interfering and keeping you distracted. While many meditations are specifically designed to be used in such situations, sometimes you won’t be able to keep your mind focused no matter what kind of meditation you are practicing. Don’t be harsh on yourself. Instead, try a breathing technique to calm your emotions down, before you start your meditation. I recommend using the 4x4x4 seconds breathing technique. Start by taking a deep breath for four seconds. Then, keep your breath inside your chest for four seconds. Then simply exhale for four seconds. Breathe in and out ten times using this technique. You will notice instant relief and calmness. Then you will be ready to devote your ultimate focus on your meditation.
5. Turn Off Your Phone & Turn On Your Timer
Social media, the news, the ads on every corner trying to grab your attention – everything around you is designed to catch your attention and distract you. By living in such surroundings, your mind is programmed to anticipate constantly getting distractions. Harnessing your focus to meditate, and concentrating is very hard specifically because of these distractions. However, losing your focus at the beep of a notification on your phone is the easiest way to lose that hard achieved focus.
To increase your focus, get rid of any such distractions before you start meditating – turn off your phone, laptop, smartwatch, tablet and any other technology that can cause distractions for you. And to keep yourself from thinking – “How much longer should I meditate for?” and getting tempted into checking your phone in the middle of your meditation, simply set your timer before you start meditating. That way, you will have no reason to look at your phone or check the time, and it will be much easier to focus.
6. Mantra Meditation
Although I have offered you tips that you can apply to every type of meditation, I will admit that some types of meditation are much easier to focus on than others. I have found mantra meditations the easiest to focus on when I started meditating. Mantra meditations are meditations during which you repeat your mantra, usually 108 times. This is easier if you use mala beads because they have exactly 108 beads on them because they are the oldest tools specifically designed for meditation purposes. All of our Buddhist Malas are made with 108 beads for this reason. My Natural Amazonite Lotus Mala is the best mala for increasing your focus during meditation because it is crafted from Natural Amazonite. Amazonite is a crystal that dissolves stress, promoting positivity and hope. It resonates with soothing energy that calms you down - perfect to help you relax and increase your focus during your mantra meditation.