Sensorial practice against distraction
Staying focused can be hard, especially in an age when there are tons of distractions around you such cell phone and emails being the main culprits.
Obliged to pay attention to something can be perceived being routine, dull or even boring.
It can be challenging for our mind and body and both become restless.
These challenges are constant and everywhere such as at home, at work or even with friends.
When we become unfocused, boredom, impatience, frustration and feeling of wasting our time are taking over.
At this point our mind starts to wander because he hates boredom or we initiate multitasking.
Slowly, distraction is taking over despite the fact that the initial focusing point should remain a priority. Then, attention span is dropping and distractibility is rising.
Shorten attention span can be addictive and its incidence among all segments of the population is increasing thanks to IT.
Remember that our capitalistic economy is based on consumption and the best way to consume is to be distracted by commercials and going surfing for the next stuff that we don’t need.
How is it possible to improve your attention span and reduce distractibility?
To get better at focusing on duration and intensity, we should start by teaching our mind new tricks requiring its attention on targets that he is not used to focusing on.
Learning new stuff is exciting for everyone including our mind.
We are doing exactly that while practicing mindfulness meditation by focusing on breathing.
To pay attention on breathing is not something that the mind is doing because breathing is subconscious. Focusing on breathing is forcing our mind to do something that he is not familiar with.
I hope you have probably noticed improvement in your concentration skill since practicing meditation with Oakville Zen, even after just few months.
Practicing another focusing technique should be added to our formal mindfulness meditation.
I call it “sensorial practice”
We connect to the external world thru our 5 senses and sometime thru our extra sensorial perception.
The practice is the following:
Pick one of your 5 senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting.
For example :
If I am picking hearing, I am going to pay attention, in a mindful way, on one sound, noise, or even better silence around me. No analysis, no decision, just as they are. I will do that for a few seconds or better for a couple of minutes. I can repeat the same exercise several times during the day with the same sensorial input or picking another one such as:
Seeing: pay attention to the colors, the sky, the ground.
Tasting: pay attention to your food, the drink.
Smelling to the odours around you.
Touching: feeling the ground while walking, your skin by rubbing your hands or touching your face, etc..
Depending of your activities and time, you may vary sensorial practice in term of which sensor to use, how long and are often. A variant of sensorial practice is to learn body scanning that is feeling one part of your body which our mind never do consciously.
After your short sensorial practice, you go back to your initial task, more focused and relax.
Sensorial practice, like meditation is an excellent tools to
1) Improve our concentration that we need it for x, y, z, and 2) Reduce distractibility,3) Enhance relaxation.
Practice of mindfulness in its various modalities is always cumulative as far the results are concerned.