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Published on April 19, 2021

5 Ways Meditation Improves Your Daily Focus and Concentration

5 Ways Meditation Improves Your Daily Focus and Concentration

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by something that you just couldn’t focus or concentrate on anything at all? Every so often, this also happens to me. In fact, it happens to the best of us. And if your lifestyle is anything like mine, you work hard and play hard, always trying to perform at peak performance, always trying to make the most out of every opportunity that comes your way, and determined to accomplish whatever it is that you put your mind to—no matter how many obstacles get in your way.

Nevertheless, regardless of your mental acumen and acuity—after all is said and done—you are only human, you can only do so much and go so far without having to take a break every now and then to recharge. Not to mention the fact that there is only so much time in the day to accomplish everything on your to-do list.

I know you’re busy, but so am I. But hopefully, by this stage in your life, you would agree that life is more like a marathon rather than a sprint. We all have to find a way to somehow pace ourselves accordingly so that we don’t inadvertently run out of mental steam before the finish line.

As a professional mental health interventionist and licensed psychotherapist, I have had the unique opportunity to work with some very successful and even a few well-known clients who have found themselves struggling in one way or another with any combination of mental health and substance disorders, with issues that clearly transcend all socioeconomic levels. Although I never actually plan to trade foreign currencies in London—or become a market-maker of integrated industrial circuitry in San Francisco for that matter—I have learned a lot of practical life lessons working with my clients.

One of the most significant lessons has been how important it is to find a way to budget your time wisely so that you can increase your productivity while having enough time to reflect and enjoy your desired quality of life, all somehow without the risk of burning out. In other words, success does not have to come at the expense of your own mental health.

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With that being said, fortunately, meditation happens to be one of the most powerful, easily accessible, and cost-effective introspective tools available to help you gain the cognitive clarity and sharpness to successfully balance your precious time. Below are five ways that meditation helps you improve your daily focus and concentration.

1. Meditation Unclutters Your Mind

Meditation helps you improve your daily focus and concentration by uncluttering your mind. Similar to a computer, after downloading enough large files onto the hard drive in your mind—at one point or another—you will probably feel as though your mind has run out of free space to store any more information, thereby potentially overloading your own unique internal operating system.

It happens to the best of us, myself included. As a result, just like a computer, our performance diminishes, along with our mental health. We all have our limits. Mediation essentially provides a neurosensory pathway to archive important files while deleting obsolete and sometimes even intrusive data.

2. Meditation Liberates Your Thoughts From Past Traumas

Meditation helps you improve your daily focus and concentration by liberating your thoughts from past traumas. A traumatic event is usually characterized by something shocking to witness, marked by a sense of horror, helplessness, or by the threat of serious injury or death. Many people who have witnessed a traumatic event are negatively impacted long after the incident occurred by a condition that is commonly known as post-traumatic stress disorder. Many people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder experience flashbacks, insomnia, and generalized anxiety.[1]

With guided meditation, you may be able to effectively work through the trauma by learning to let go of the specific circumstances surrounding the traumatic event that has negatively impacted your life. In essence, meditation can help you make peace with the past so that you live in the here and now with clarity and ultimately without fear.

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3. Meditation Highlights the Impact of Maladaptive Belief Systems

Meditation helps you improve your daily focus and concentration by highlighting the impact of maladaptive belief systems. In one way or another, we are all products of our environment. Our belief systems are built upon the world that we live in and the information that we can access. Only through global exploration did everyone finally accept the fact that the world was not flat.

We all have the capacity to change the way we think, become more insightful, and be more aware of our surroundings. Meditation can provide a transcendental out-of-body perspective on any given subject with a more transparent line of sight well above the proverbial forest. Mediation can help provide you with the mental acuity to look at any given situation from multiple perspectives, which ultimately enhances your capacity to adapt to change.

4. Meditation Helps You Separate Yourself From Unhealthy Distractions

Meditation helps you improve your daily focus and concentration by enabling you to separate yourself from less critical and sometimes unhealthy distractions that tend to impede your ability to maintain healthy relationships with others and function independently.

As a professional addiction counselor, many of my clients have actually been able to use guided meditation to effectively work through cravings to use mood-altering substances, as well as behaviors associated with complex compulsive disorders.[2]

Through meditation, you can essentially discard unwanted thoughts—first within your subconscious, and then in practice, when real-life conscious urges arise. Therefore, meditation can actually help people stay sober and stable by giving them an outlet to release thoughts and feelings that would otherwise compromise their overall mental health. In fact, studies have shown that regular meditation can be as effective as medication in treating people with symptoms of severe depression.[3]

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5. Meditation Creates a Judgment-Free Zone

Meditation helps you improve your daily focus and concentration by creating a judgment-free zone for you to collect your thoughts in peace and harmony before making critical and time-sensitive decisions with clarity. As both a licensed psychotherapist and small business owner, I have to always be on point, performing at my very best, all the while making every effort to spend quality time with my family.

In my world, there is no room for mediocrity and wasting time. I have clients that depend on me for counsel and a family that needs as much of my love and attention as I can possibly give—perhaps you feel the very same way. As a result, we are constantly making important decisions that impact a lot of people, and that’s the great thing about meditation.

No matter where you are in the world, no matter the time, unless you are in the middle of surgery or perhaps flying a plane—even if only for a brief moment—meditation can provide a transcendental portal into your very own subconscious tropical oasis of serenity and oneness where you can clear your mind before making major decisions.

Why Meditate for Concentration?

We all want to be self-sufficient and successful in whatever we choose to do with our lives. As humans, we are innately proud to be autonomous thinkers with the ability to resolve complex issues and accomplish even our loftiest goals using drive and ingenuity. As a result, we need to be able to focus and concentrate on the situation at hand with a clear mind, whether it be at work or at home.

From a personal perspective, the decisions that we make directly impact the lives of our loved ones. Someone once said that “no man is an island.” I firmly agree that we all need interpersonal connections in our lives to fully participate in the human experience. Furthermore, as entrepreneurs and independent professionals, we usually don’t have a back-office staff to help us take care of our clients.

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Although we may have confidence in others, at the end of the day, it is ultimately our responsibility as individuals to make sure that both our loved ones—as well as our clients—feel as though we are available and on top of things, especially the things that they have entrusted us to take care of for them.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, many of us feel as though we just don’t have the luxury of taking a day off. There just isn’t anyone else to open up the store, perform the service, or spend enough quality time with loved ones eagerly waiting at home for some of our undivided attention. Therefore, our overall interpersonal happiness and financial success may largely depend on our ability to effectively focus and concentrate. Without enough time to refresh and recharge our minds, we can easily burn out.

Just like an acrobat appearing to fearlessly walk across a tightrope, we may be able to significantly improve our overall focus and level of concentration by using meditation to help us channel all of our conscious weight to our emotional base, giving us a greater sense of balance and clarity as we move forward in our lives.

Tips on How to Meditate for Concentration

Featured photo credit: processingly via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Evan Jarschauer

Professional Mental Health Interventionist & Licensed Psychotherapist

How to Quit Drinking for a Healthier Body and Mind 5 Ways Alcohol Affects Your Energy Levels How To Recognize the Most Common Types of Mental Illness 5 Ways Meditation Improves Your Daily Focus and Concentration 6 Proven Ways To Improve Your Intellectual Wellness

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Published on July 12, 2021

Why Making Yourself a Priority Boosts Your Productivity

Why Making Yourself a Priority Boosts Your Productivity

Conventional wisdom centers around giving more of yourself to others in your life than you would to what you want to accomplish. You’re taught to make sacrifices and put your needs secondary because that’s how you’ll become a better person. However, not making yourself a priority is keeping you from accomplishing your goals and getting more done.

Let me know if this sounds familiar. You work hard all day to accomplish your goals. During your moments of focus, there are requests from others and demands from outside distractions on your time. You start each day with a to-do list of items that you want to accomplish. By the time you come to the end of your day, you haven’t completed what you wanted. If you were to analyze your time, you would see that the reason is you’re constantly being distracted.

There’s a significant difference between being selfish and being self-centered. I won’t give you the analogy that you hear every time you get on an airplane, but if you’re going to accomplish your goals, you have to stop drowning—in a figurative sense.

The reality is that you’re giving more of yourself to others than you are giving to your goals and vision of the future. By not making yourself a priority, your goals have become secondary.

Here are six important reasons why everyone should understand the importance of self-prioritization. The key to getting more done starts with taking care of yourself first and foremost.

1. You Create the Bandwidth You’ll Need to Focus on Your Goals When You Make Yourself a Priority

It takes a lot of yourself to consistently put in the work that helps you get more done and accomplish your goals. You need energy, bandwidth, and mental clarity to wake up every day and work hard.

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By making yourself a priority, it allows you to see the path to accomplishment. Too many people aren’t accomplishing their goals because their goals get lost in the busyness of taking care of others. It becomes a negative habit and a complacent way to live life.

Life rarely works out as expected, and as you’re working on your goals, you’re going to experience unexpected setbacks. You need bandwidth and mental strength to withstand those frustrating moments and still maintain the motivation to accomplish your goals.

The vital part of accomplishment is that you are working on your goals.

When you are working on what you want to accomplish to make yourself better, you can stay focused on what it will take to get there. You learn to say no to anything that will derail your path, and this creates more space and time to work on what you need to. Create the proper bandwidth through self-prioritizing.

2. Focused Energy Leads to More Production

Disorganization affects productivity. When it feels like you’re being pulled in many different directions, you can’t focus and create the energy needed for consistent production. A scattered mind leads to half-accomplished goals.

We know that in goal-setting, we need a plan. This plan has to be centered around what you want to accomplish. Self-prioritization allows you to create a plan that’s focused on the specific actions and steps it will take to achieve your goals.

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As you take action in an organized way, this leads to more production because your focus and energy are around the goals you know will help you be better and accomplish more. You simply get more done when you have the energy to do so.

3. Prioritizing Yourself Builds Clarity on What Boundaries You Should Set and Keep

Deep inside, you know when you should be saying no instead of saying yes. When you agree to anything that could derail your focus, it eats away at you inside. Prioritizing yourself and your goals helps you set boundaries and keep them because of the intense focus.

There will always be attempts and requests for your time and attention. As you start to build up yourself and accomplish more, others will notice. This will bring demand for your energy and your focus. If you give in to these requests, you won’t have the necessary bandwidth needed to work on your goals consistently.

Setting boundaries is an integral part of goal setting and living a healthy life. You have to be firm about what you allow and what you will not tolerate in your life. Human nature tends to lean towards people-pleasing—when you focus on pleasing others, you don’t please yourself.

Prioritize your goals and the things that you want to accomplish in your life. That’s the operative thing to understand—this is your life, and the focus has to be on what you want to achieve in that life. Use self-prioritization to clarify what boundaries need to be set and make sure you hold these boundaries firmly.

4. Sustainable Productivity happens With excitement for What You’re Working On

There are many reasons why people don’t accomplish their goals, but one that is not often thought about is a lack of excitement. When you spend the whole time working on things that drain you, your productivity diminishes with every second.

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Letting outside circumstances dictate your goals leads to a lack of excitement. By not focusing on making yourself a priority, you’re not creating an environment in which you are thrilled to be working on your goals. It will take a lot of hard work over a sustained period of time to accomplish your significant goals and be productive. It’s going to require energy and bandwidth to overcome the setbacks and stay focused.

Prioritizing yourself allows you to set challenging goals, but the outcome is exciting. If you look at what you’re working on and it’s not exciting, you won’t have sustainability. A lack of motivation will drain your productivity.

You’re a human being, not a machine. There will be things in your life that are not an exciting part of this process, but there has to be a balance between work and play. Work-life balance happens when the life part has an equal priority. Prioritizing what you want creates that balance and amplifies productivity.

5. It’s Mentally and Emotionally Freeing to Let Go of Outside Expectations

We are programmed to take on the baggage of outside circumstances. We’re taught that to be a good human being, we should take on what others are going through. By prioritizing yourself, you’ll come to understand that you are responsible for your life, and that involves your mental well-being.

Prioritizing yourself helps you see that you have to let go of the expectations of others. This is your life, and you have to live in the best way that you see fit. It’s important for you to spend the precious moments you have on this earth working on your goals and the things that help you live a better life.

When you let go of outside expectations of what you should be doing and how you should be doing it, it frees up bandwidth and creates mental clarity to be productive. No longer are you walking around with the burden of what others expect from you, it’s time to spend your time the way you’d like to.

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Other people’s expectations of your life don’t have to be part of your plan. It’s your responsibility to set the goals that help you live a free life and spend your time exactly how you’d like to spend it. Make yourself a priority by letting go and focusing on yourself first and foremost.

6. Optimizing Yourself Builds Every Area of Your Life

You’re probably working on your goals because you want to become the best version of yourself and create a life that brings more time freedom. The path to higher income, better relationships, more travel, and all the other things you want to accomplish happen through self-optimization and productive life.

When you can optimize yourself, it helps you be better in every other area of your life. The key to optimizing yourself starts by prioritizing yourself in more than just words. When you take action from a place of “you-first,” you’ll have the energy and capacity needed to push harder for longer.

Make yourself a priority by focusing on optimizing yourself and all the things you want to accomplish. Everything inside you might be screaming to help others first, but you can’t give what you don’t have. The best place to share is from a place of abundance, and that comes from optimizing yourself.

Final Thoughts

It’s time to take better care of yourself. It’s time to treat yourself as the most significant goal because that should always be the case. What you’d like to accomplish and your path to get there have to be a priority before you think about others.

The demands and energy of others can derail you if you let it. Self-prioritization means that you decide where your boundaries will be set and not allow others to violate them. You’ve probably spent a lot of your time up to this point focused on other people and outside circumstances. It’s time to take a dedicated period of time to put yourself first. You deserve a productive life.

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Debunk the programming that there’s something wrong with putting yourself first and making your goals the primary priority. You can always help others and be there for those who need you while making yourself a priority. It’s not an either-or situation—it’s a situation in which you can help strategically.

More Tips on How to Make Yourself a Priority

Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

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