From time to time and no matter what age group we fall in, we all struggle with concentration problems.
Either we lose focus or have trouble concentrating because something is not interesting or there are too many distractions.
Or we become forgetful.
The modern world expects so much from us in so little time that we juggle too many things and end up lacking focus and being anxious.
While multitasking was the buzz words once, studies are now showing that when our brain is constantly switching gears to bounce back and forth between tasks – especially when those tasks are complex and require our active attention – we become less efficient and more likely to make a mistake.
Multitasking impairs your best thinking because very few people have brains that can comprehend different things at once.
How then can we learn to refocus and improve concentration?
Daily meditation practice has been shown to produce measurable changes in brain regions associated with focus, memory, sense of self empathy and stress.
Research has even documented changes in the brain’s grey matter over time.
However, stilling the mind is not easy to do – it requires practise and perseverance.
Before you go into meditation, you have to try practising concentration first.
In yoga, there is a tantric technique of concentration called tratak i.e. gazing, that requires the practitioner to stare at a single point such as a small object, black or red dot, or candle flame.
Yoga instructors usually start teaching the art of gazing on the dot (bindu) first as it is easier to focus on something that is simple and doesn’t move.
Although there are no published scientific studies, authentic traditional texts of yoga describe the benefits of dot gazing meditation on a whole range of physiological and cognitive functions.
The method is simple.
The benefits of bindu tratak are plentiful and ranges from decreasing and eventually removing all thoughts; having clearer and brighter eyes; balancing the nervous system; improving memory and concentration; alleviating insomnia; and if you’re a spiritual person, activating your third eye chakra.
Even children can do this and score better grades in their exams.
Personally, I find that after spending hours working in front of the computer screen, this method is cleansing and refreshing for my eyes.
In addition to being soothing, shedding tears releases the feel-good hormones oxytocin and endorphins.
Bindu tratak is not a fast fix and it may take weeks or months before you see benefits – just be patient and consistent.
Perhaps consider starting with three days a week or only on weekends.
There is no best time to do this – morning or evening, anytime is good.
Give it a go and pretty soon, you’ll be on your way to a deeper meditation practice.
Revathi Murugappan is a certified fitness trainer who tries to battle gravity and continues to dance to express herself artistically and nourish her soul. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The information contained in this column is for general educational purposes only. Neither The Star nor the author gives any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to such information. The Star and the author disclaim all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.