Adhir, working in a MNC is now more than 1.5 years old in his current job. Although, he worked hard, the results never matched up to the expectations of his boss. His manager though aware that Adhir is a hardworking employee was frustrated with his silly mistakes, which were getting too frequent with each passing day.
Adhir had no idea why this was happening to him; he would always give his 100%, but would still end up as a loser most of the time. He sought help from his friend who received two promotions in the last two years with his company. Adhir thought Varun could be of help in overcoming his limitations. He called him up and he agreed to meet him during the weekend.
They decided to meet in a mall where Varun was waiting for him when Adhir walked inside, 15 minutes late. He apologized for the delay to which Varun responded by asking him to avoid being too formal. As they spoke, Varun noticed Adhir being a little anxious; he was fidgeting with his mobile even while talking to him.
Varun wanted to know if anything is bothering him, but he replied in the negative, I was reading when I realized we were supposed to meet today and now I am thinking about it he said. We could have met tomorrow then, suggested Varun. No, In that case, I would have missed meeting you today and probably would have been thinking about it unable to concentrate on my reading Adhir replied. And what are you missing on right now asked Varun. I am just feeling a strong urge to play game on my mobile, but I am resisting it to talk to you. But you are not talking to me said Varun, you are just ‘Pretending’ to be talking to me.
What Adhir experiences is now a common cause of concern for a lot of us, the fear of missing out because of what we are doing right now. Instead of focusing on the present task or activity, we keep deviating our attention, thinking about things, we could have done or would be missing because of our present engagement leading to anxiety and loss of interest in whatever we do. This ultimately reflects in poor results as well as deficient relationships.
Attention is a scarce commodity and need to be utilized with care; best outcomes are a result of utmost focus and attention, dividing it amongst non-relevant tasks pushes it to gravitate towards mediocrity. We can however avoid this by practicing mindfulness or meditation. Just giving ourselves a few minutes every day to practice mindfulness can lead to amazing results and improved focus and attention.
Few one-minute exercises, which can help, reduce anxiety while improving our focus are;
- Lie on your back on a yoga mat or you can also sit on a chair. Focus on your breath as you inhale, feel the freshness of the air going through your nostrils and then inside your body. Follow the movement of the air inside you. Do that for a few seconds or for as long as you feel comfortable. When you exhale, feel the warmth of the air leaving through your nose and the movement of your abdomen. Keep your eyes closed. You can repeat this 3-4 times.
- Focus on any one thing. It can be a flower or a painting or anything you deem beautiful. Look at it closely and try to see it as if you are looking at it for the first time. If you are looking at a flower, see the petals closely; see how the hue changes in the petals, notice the many variations of colors within a red or a pink rose. Do it for a few seconds while your entire attention is devoted to the flower in front of you.
- Listen to any song you like. Try listening to various instruments being played, pay attention to the lyrics and how each word is being spoken in a different way by the singer, the impact those words are creating and the sound they are making as they are being sung. You can also listen to instrumental music and decipher the sounds of various instruments and how they are changing every now and then.
The above three are very easy to do activities, and can be done at any place, be it your house or even in office. They won’t take more than 3-5 minutes but will have a great impact on your mind and consequently on your attention.
Be mindful, Be Blissful.