Mindfulness Improves Focus
If you’re eating, texting, reading, or browsing Facebook or Twitter while listening to music, or any combination of these, you suffer from the effects of multitasking: distraction, racing thoughts, inability to concentrate, and lack of productivity. What’s worse, these effects can last even after we stop multitasking.
New research suggests that mindful breathing improves focus. Heavy multitaskers improved their focus more than light multitaskers after they performed a mindful breathing exercise prior to taking attention-measuring tests. While the study does not measure the long-term effects of mindful breathing on multitaskers, it offers a good start in that direction with an initial short-term investigation.
As always, it’s important to remember what meditation is, and to avoid framing your practice as a failure when your mind wanders. As Prof. Green, one of the study authors describes, mindfulness is a practice:
“When you notice your attention slipping away, you bring it back over and over. You’re practicing that skill, refocusing your attention.”
Of course, the most important ingredient in our mindfulness practice is non-judgment. At Alchemus Prime, we incorporate mindfulness into our retreats and workshops, offering guided opportunities to start or build the habit of being present in every moment, which offers many benefits, including increasing our grey matter and reducing irrationality and poor decision-making.
Ultimately, the benefits of mindfulness are so valuable that it makes no sense not to practice mindfulness meditation; mindful breathing is one method. The proof is in the practice.