Just as physical fitness allows us to keep our bodies strong, mental fitness ensures that we remain in a state of good mental health. Being mentally healthy enables us to enjoy life, the environment, and the people around us. You are also able to cope with the difficult times both in your professional and personal life. Things may happen in your life that will make you sad or angry, but when you’re mentally healthy, it won’t take long before you could get over those challenges and enjoy your life once again. By sustaining your mental health, you can learn and try new things, be creative, and you will be better able to focus on your tasks and everything that matters to you.
The Importance of Focus and Concentration
Each and every one of us has the ability to focus and concentrate for a period of time. Most of the time, however, our thoughts are all over the place, and our minds jump from one thing to another. In order to deal with this, it’s important that we learn and develop skills and strategies that will help us concentrate and focus better.
The concept of concentration span is another interesting topic to discuss. Concentration span is the period of time during which we are able to focus on a particular task before our thoughts begin to wander. In developing focus and concentration skills, our aim is to expand our concentration span. In order to do this, you have to overcome the barriers to concentrating – anxiety, boredom, and day-dreaming.
How to Counteract Concentration Barriers
#1 – Tell yourself to Stop!
This seems very simple, yet it’s one of the most challenging things to do. Once you feel like your thoughts are beginning to wander in the middle of a task, you have to tell yourself to stop! You then need to make an effort to bring your attention back to what you’re doing that you need to focus on.
If you’re someone who’s easily distracted, this is going to be challenging, but it’s very important that you learn to stop your mind from wandering so that you can re-focus. There is actually no point in trying to keep other thoughts out of your mind, but what you can do is stop it and re-focus.
#2 – Practice using your tunnel-vision.
This step will help you keep your focus and not give in to any distractions around you. Using your tunnel-vision means that you should concentrate and focus only on what is in front of you. If there are distractions, all you need to do is stop the wandering thoughts so you could regain concentration. Take a look at the following examples:
- When you are in a lecture and people are moving or making any noise, avoid looking at them. Make an effort to exclude them from the tunnel you have formed between you and the speaker.
- When you are talking to someone in a more social setting, you have to keep your attention only on the person you’re talking to. Ignore whatever is going on around you so that you can focus on what they are saying.
#3 – Allow yourself time to worry.
We tend to worry about many different things all the time, and this can cause us to lose focus on our tasks. To combat this, you should set aside a particular time in the day to think about those things. It would help if you set your”worry time” before doing something, like before a meal time or before watching your favorite TV program. And when a distracting thought or an anxiety comes to your mind during the day, try not to accommodate it until your scheduled worry time. This will help you re-focus on your tasks at hand.
How to Combat Problems with Concentration and Focus
When you’re trying to concentrate but your brain is starting to feel saturated…
You should take a short break to recharge your mind. You may review what you’ve accomplished so far, and think about whether or not it will be good to switch to a new topic already. After your short break, you should feel energized so it will be easier for you to re-focus on your unfinished task, or if you decide to move on to the next task, you will have more focus to take on such task.
When you have to focus on a topic that bores you or which you hate…
It would help to look for aspects of the subject that you find useful or even interesting. Also, you should think about the personal rewards of learning about the topic. This will serve as extra motivation for you to try to keep focused on the subject.
When it’s more fun to do day-dreaming…
When you feel that you’re starting to day-dream in the middle of a task, you should immediately stop and use your tunnel-vision for whatever it is you’re doing. You may also allow yourself to day-dream during your breaks following a period of concentration.
When there are too many negative thoughts coming to your mind…
When you are not able to focus and concentrate well, you may end up having negative thoughts about yourself. In this case, you have to deal with such negative thoughts just like how you deal with other distractions. Tell yourself that there is time to worry about those things, and that at the moment, what’s important is that you remain focused on your task.
Why Keeping Your Mental Health Is Vital
People who are mentally healthy have the ability to take control of their behavior and emotions. By keeping your mental health, you are putting yourself in a better position to handle life’s challenges, recover from setbacks, and most importantly, build strong and positive relationships. But of course, it requires a lot of effort to develop and maintain mental health. This is a rewarding experience, nevertheless, which can benefit all aspects of your life by becoming more resilient, positive, and focused.