Breathing, Doodling and Other Unusual Ways to Slow Down and Focus

The fast pace of modern life can take its toll on any one of us eventually. Rushing to and from work is bad enough but if you find that even your leisure time feels stressful then it is time to look for a change in your lifestyle. Recent figures on this subject are worrying, as 80% of people feel stressed at work these days while 24% of us feel highly stressed in general. Meanwhile, over half of us don’t have enough leisure time and 65% of college graduates report that finding the right balance in life is difficult. Therefore, it is clear that there are a great many people who could benefit enormously from slowing down and focussing on what really matters. The following are some of the ways of doing that you might never have thought about trying before now. 

Doodle on Some Paper

Doodling was long seen as being a waste of time but these days it is valued as a way of improving focus and creativity. Studies have shown that doodlers retain 30% more information during meetings or lectures and that it can also be a useful way of clearing your mind. By drawing without paying too much attention to the results you let your brain wander. This could mean that it lets you find solutions that you wouldn’t have discovered with a more conventional approach. Doodling also gives your brain a relaxing break from the routine. It is no wonder that well over half of all US Presidents are said to have been regular doodlers. After you have finished drawing something you should feel more relaxed and ready to focus on your next challenge.

Try Pranayama – Yoga Breathing Exercises

While many people have recently discovered the pleasure of doing yoga exercises, relatively few of them unlock the full power of pranayama. It is estimated that two billion people around the planet practise yoga with a third of Americans saying that they are likely to try it for the first time in the next 12 months. Yet, while many newcomers learn some aspects of controlling their breathing while they exercise in this way, there is a lot more to discover when you look into pranayama. This is the ancient technique of breathing in a certain manner to activate and control our vital life force. Indeed, the name translates from Sanskrit as “extension of the life force”. There are a number of different pranayama poses that help to get you feeling at one with the world as well as in control of your mind and body. The different techniques enjoy intriguing names such as “victorious breath”, “skull shining breath” and “humming bee breath”. Breathing correctly has been highlighted as being one of the keys to lowering stress levels while entering into a meditative state that allows you to focus.

Set Your Goals Clearly

Too many people rush into the tasks they have lined up without spending just a few minutes to think about what lies ahead. Others perhaps go too far the other way and get so caught up in doing so much analyzing that they don’t actually ever moving onto doing stuff. However, it is important to know what your goals are before you get started. Millions of people have task management apps on their mobile devices but fail to use them for organizing their own personal life and free time effectively. If you don’t set yourself clear goals then it is going to be almost impossible to achieve what you want. Clearing their mind and being clear on their goals is a tactic used by a range of highly focussed individuals, from professional athletes to top level performance artists and professional gamblers. For instance, this is an approach that is commonly used by top poker and blackjack players who want to approach each session with a clear focus on winning as much money as possible. You can try it for yourself if you play online blackjack games at a site such as the Hippodrome online casino, where there are enough simple yet different blackjack variants to test your focus to the limit. Writing down your goals is the best method of doing this, as the simple act of writing them makes you more aware of them.

Appreciate a Beautiful Image in Silence

Viewing Image Art Artwork Painting Exhibition

Sometimes it can seem as though we are surrounded by far too much information these days. From 24-hour news channels to constantly connected mobile devices, it is hard to shut out everything that can flood into our brains all day long. Indeed, it has been suggested that distractions caused by information overload cost US businesses some $650 million each year. It is easy to get caught up in reading or watching more information than you can handle but you can also avoid this being a problem if you try. Simply sitting back and enjoying a beautiful image in wonderful silence can let your brain recover its balance and focus. This can be a piece of art, a treasured photo or anything else that you can lose yourself in for a few minutes.

There is no need to stick to just one of these exercises. Why not try a few of them and see how each of them brings you a different range of interesting benefits?