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One way or another, everyone will have trouble focusing at some point in their life. Sometimes this is caused by anxiety that keeps bringing past experiences or future worries to mind, and other times it is because of external distractions that make it difficult to concentrate. Whatever the reason, difficulties in maintaining focus are frustrating, and it can be disruptive to important work. Anyone who wants to improve their focus should consider practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a practice that involves taking control over what a person is focusing their attention on and preventing the mind from wandering too much. This is a practice that can be improved through training, and these improvements can be applied even outside of mindfulness sessions. When someone has improved their control over their own attention, they will be more easily able to focus on what they are doing rather than distracting noises or anxious thoughts. Fortunately, the practice of mindfulness is accessible to everyone, is easy to learn, and does not require any special equipment.

Practicing mindfulness is a simple process. It can be done while sitting or lying down in a comfortable position that can be maintained for the duration of the session (ten to twenty minutes per day is often enough to see improvement). Once a person has found a comfortable position, all they need to do is focus on their breath. Experts suggest choosing one specific sensation related to breath and focusing on that. Eventually, the mind will start to wander. The goal of mindfulness is not to stop the mind from wandering entirely but to be aware of what the mind is doing and respond to that. When a person notices this happening during mindfulness, they simply need to redirect their attention back to their breathing.

Practicing this skill of sustaining attention on something specific and returning one’s focus to that something when the mind starts to wander will lead to improvements in focus in other aspects of one’s life. Maintaining focus for long periods of time will become easier with practice, and it will not be as difficult to redirect attention back to an important task after being distracted. Since mindfulness is both incredibly beneficial and easily accessible, anyone who is hoping to strengthen their attention should give it a try.