Updated: Dec 24, 2020
First, I think we have to acknowledge this gorgeous and majestic animal. Our creator sure does some fine work!!!
Next, let's dive into the level of focus you can see in these eyes. How long can you keep your attention on a particular task?
The ability to focus and sustain attention is crucial for a person to achieve their personal and/or professional goals.
In today's world, we are surrounded by constant distraction. Mind-wandering is one of the biggest epidemics that disengages us from the tasks at hand. Especially, in the workplace.
Let's not forget about our youth though. This is problematic even in the education system and can be tied to lower working memory, emotion regulation and academic achievement.
Here's the interesting tidbit about "mind-wandering"; we stop breathing properly. Depending on what our mind is focusing on, we're having emotional responses to the sub-conscious which is then influencing the response of our body. Our body can't differentiate if what we're thinking is happening in real-time or not. So, the body bears the burden. And so do other things like work performance, affective dysfunction (mood disorders), and overall life performance in daily life . . . and school.
While I am concerned about the outcome of mind-wandering, I'm more FOCUSED on fixing the symptom. We fix this AND all those other things fall into place. So, let's go to a tool we ALL have access to and we ALL can FOCUS on. Our breath!
The regulation of breath by the brain stem is largely unconscious and serves to maintain homeostasis (balance). In other words, we're always automatically breathing as that's part of how we stay alive. However, we have the ability to intentionally control the breath. And when we do, we can positively influence areas of the brain responsible for attention, focus, memory, emotions and behavior. Pretty cool
To strengthen our ability to focus, there are a couple techniques we can use to improve cognitive areas of the brain:
3) Unilateral Breathing where we use only the sympathetic nasal channels BUT WE BREATHE AT A RATE OF 10 BREATHS OR LESS IN THIS CHANNEL. With this technique, we inhale up the right nasal channel and exhale out the left nasal channel
I like to use these techniques because they quickly bring the mind present while creating a calming effect on the mind and body. No matter which one of these you try, FOCUS your mind on the breath for 5 to 10 rounds. Then, go back to the task at hand breathing with a rhythmic diaphragmatic breath. Then, in 90 to 120 minutes, go back to one of these techniques. Notice how your day unfolds for you.
If you're wanting to learn more about breath, we recommend our Basics Of Breath Course. Here we dive into 6 different areas of health, including cognition, providing you with education and techniques to incorporate into living your "life with breath".
For all you parents and teachers, we're excited to tell you we've got a breathwork course coming up with the MindUP organization in the coming months. We'll dive deeply in the area of breath regulation arming you with tools and strategies to support your own self-care while supporting the growth and development of our youth. And, if you want to dive even deeper, we're now offering a Breath AS Medicine Training For Educators.
Go BE Great!