Day 8: Increased Focused Attention to Help Ease Distraction
Welcome to day 8 of your 10-day focus meditation journey.
Today we’re going to be talking about increased focused attention to help ease distraction.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have the longest attention span.
According to scientists even goldfish have a longer attention span than humans.
Because of our modern lifestyles that include a heavy influx of information overload, the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to just 8. A goldfish can hold their attention for 9.
These days, distractions are everywhere, and it makes it really hard to focus on any one thing for an extended amount of time.
We live in this state of continuous partial attention that really keeps us away from what we’re doing in the present moment.
We’re distracted by our screens, our phones, what we’ve missed on social media…there’s a million things of what our mind tends to think about other than what’s happening right now.
Our focus is literally vying for the attention of distractions from both our inner…and our outer worlds.
Meditation can help.
And just like anything we learn, increasing our focused attention takes practice. So today we’re just going to focus on a meditation technique that will help you learn to begin to increase your attention span so you can in turn increase your focus and concentration.
So go ahead and begin to find yourself a comfortable position. This could be sitting in a chair, feet planted firmly beneath you. You might want to sit on the floor, legs crossed, in traditional seated meditation, spine straight, hands resting gently in your lap.
You might want to take this time to lie down if that feels more comfortable for you.
Whatever feels best to you in this moment is perfect for today’s meditation.
When you’re ready you can go ahead and start to invite a deeper breath to the body.
You can take this time to close your eyes if you want…or you can leave them open.
Bring your attention to the breath, just slowly in
And gently out of the body.
The ability to focus your attention on a single point for an extended period of time will help you begin to increase your focus and concentration.
Today we’ll just start this meditation by focusing our attention on the breath.
Taking notice of each inhale
And each exhale.
There’s nothing else you need to think about in this moment aside from each breath moving in and out of the body.
Notice the rise of your abdomen with each inhale
And how your body moves deeper and deeper into a state of relaxation as you exhale.
All you need to do is breathe.
If you find your mind has begun to wander just know this is totally natural and bring your attention back to the breath.
And each exhale.
Choosing a word or phrase to focus on with each breath you take can really help to manage your awareness of the present moment.
It could be any word you choose…
Calm, love, peace…
You might want to try a mantra such as the sound ohm.
Whatever word feels right to you, go ahead and say it silently to yourself with each inhale…and each exhale.
Go ahead and try this now on your own for a few deep breaths, choosing to focus on a word as you flow with the natural rhythm of your breath.
You can choose to say your word in your mind or you might want to say it out loud.
Whatever feels best to you in this moment.
Just say your word with each inhale…
And each exhale….
Focusing only on the word you’ve chosen as you take each breath.
And gently out.
If you lose your focus or your mind starts to wander, just notice when it does so and bring yourself back to the breath.
And exhaling gently
Bring the word you chose to focus on back to your attention and let that be your focus as you continue to breathe.
Go ahead and bring your attention back to the breath.
No matter where your mind has just been, all you need to do in this moment is be right here, right now….
Focusing on each inhale
And each exhale
Start to bring yourself slowly back to the present moment.
Remember it’s totally natural for the mind to wander.
Let yourself come back to your physical presence in this time and space and the room around you.
You might want to go ahead and start to invite a deeper breath
Maybe wiggle your fingers and toes
Stretch the arms up overhead
Just start to come out of the meditative state and bring a sense of awareness to the room around you.
Take a moment to notice any differences you might feel now compared to when we started the meditation.
How did it feel to try to keep your focused attention on the breath?
Before you jump up and continue on with whatever it is you have to do today, just take a moment to thank yourself for showing up here today, for giving yourself the time to learn different ways to increase your focus and help ease the distractions that are an inevitable part of everyone’s day.
And during the day when you feel distracted, just bring your attention back to the breath for a couple moments and see if that doesn’t help. The more aware we are of focusing our attention on the breath the more we increase our focus and the ability to concentrate for longer periods of time.
We’ll see you back again tomorrow for more ways to increase your focus through the power of meditation.
”Because of our modern lifestyles that include a heavy influx of information overload, the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to just 8. A goldfish can hold their attention for 9.