Minds that meditate and visualize are creating advantages. Cognitive advantages. Focus and concentration and even, memory can be expanded with deliberate practice.
Sharpening the mind with your imagination enables greater focus and improves your ability to concentrate. Block out day to day distractions by learning how to combine visualization with a meditative state. Find a new calm, a new state of peace. Ignite flow states [those places where time and space evaporate and you are perfectly in the moment and riding the wave to greater levels of productivity and high performance.]
In the past decade, science has been gathering more evidence that meditation combined with visualization affects neurochemistry and physiology. Are you bold enough to experiment with it and put in some serious cushion time? No longer is meditation something just for monks and others looking for a spiritual experience. Thanks to scientific exploration, the two paths, science and spirituality, are mingling with new discoveries in neuroscience.
How to train yourself to have better concentration and focus.
Place yourself in a quiet and peaceful state. Image an object with your inner eye. Make it stand out. Make it clear. By adding dimension to that object such as colour, smell, sound, taste and then, add an experience or a memory. Spend time with that image and expand your time and experience with it.
As you become more skilled at meditation and visualization, your ability to hold your focus and concentrate will expand. It will become easier to block out day to day distractions and you will notice that you can quickly go back to and resume your point of focus.
Expand your ability to concentrate and focus.
One easy exercise to try is to sit or lay down in a comfortable position and pick an object in the room. Focus on that object. At one point the image might seem to distort or double or move closer to you. Then, experiment with two approaches. See if you can extend the time you focus on something inside your mind. And, then do the same thing with your natural vision. If you can learn how to focus inside and outside, and become proficient at both, it will increase your ability to selectively concentrate and focus.
At each attempt to gain more focus and concentrate, you will find a tipping point. These are more like personal breaking points where you can’t hold your gaze any longer or your mind suddenly just wants to jump to something else. Keep testing yourself. Extend the time. Narrow your focus. See the edges blur and the centre become more pronounced. Use your tipping points to get stronger and more skilled at concentrating your focus.
When you need it in real life, it will astonish you how fast you are able to use this seemingly, innocent, playful exercise to block out a lot of stress and background noise even. Who needs a sound cloud? All you need to do is to turn your attention inward, find a calm centre and notch up your focus.
Re-designing You with meditation.
When we focus our attention, the neocortex changes it’s electrical activity. Neurons start to fire out of synch, filtering out distractions. On a molecular level, in meditation we produce more dopamine [a pleasure and reward chemical], acetylcholine [ influences memory] and melatonin [ helps us fall asleep in mediation sessions!].
All of these neuro-chemicals open our physiology and our senses to motivation, learning and higher levels of perception. It helps us to problem-solve. At the same time, meditation decreased stress chemicals norepinephrine, cortisol and epinephrine. We become more clear, more calm and less distracted.
With regular meditation sessions, it is also possible to change neuron activity, cultivate certain envisioned states, re-program the mind and in essence, create a new person. You can further train the mind to select and de-select states. It gives you another avenue to help yourself conquer and change patterns and even, heal issues caused by trauma. Choose a healing path with your own imagination and create new memories that are powerful and positive that have meaning to you. This can be very healing and empowering.
Problem-solving benefits of meditation.
Einstein was a master napper and a visualizer who used his inner mind to explore the universe. Those who knew him said he had incredible mental focus; a byproduct of years of visualizing things in his mind and in his dreams perhaps?
After he died, Einstein’s brain was studied for physiological differences. His brain not only had a higher density of neurons, it was missing the normal gap or furrow in his parietal lobe. Scientists say that this might explain his incredible ability to think in 3D.
Could Einstein’s change in brain structure be related to his visualization/ thought experiments? Who can say. But it is interesting how we are figuring out, a hundred years later, that the body can shape itself by directly influencing physiology and human performance through meditation and visualization.
A doorway has opened into the space between meditation and visualization. When we add visualization to meditation sessions, it not only becomes a spiritual experience but it has also evolved as a scientifically driven experiment in human high performance. Learning to focus and concentrate is pivotal for your movement forward beyond the distracted masses. The hassle of sitting on a cushion is not wasted time. It is an investment in well-being and self-mastery.
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