As a retired Navy SEAL, I have learned the great value of meditation as a tool to help me with the rigorous daily grind that my job entails both physically and mentally. Today I’m going to show you too how to do meditation to increase concentration and achieve better results in every area of your life.
Meditation has positively improved my everyday life. If you want to achieve the right mental focus for your training and beyond that, you will find meditation very useful.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is simply clearing the mind of distractions so you can focus. It is not limited to what you see on TV or movies where a person needs to sit still. Meditation can be any task that is done with mindfulness and laser-like focus.
Even a mundane task like brushing your teeth can be a form of meditation. Have you ever experienced brushing your teeth and your mind wandered off somewhere? Maybe while brushing you thought, “Oh, I forgot to call my mom” or “It’s Monday already I need to pay my cable bill.” When you experience that, it means you are not completely in the moment. You are not paying attention to the now. When your mind is on auto-pilot you are not meditating.
Imagine being in the field of battle and there is an imminent danger that can happen anytime. You must be attuned with your senses, be completely in the moment and ready to act in a blink of an eye. Even in stressful situations, I need to approach these situations in a Zen-like state of mind – calm and collected. This sound state of mind is my key to survival for years.
How Meditation Can Increase Focus
In a nutshell, the main benefit of meditation lies in the increased ability to focus. Meditation is proven scientifically to increase your brain’s neuroplasticity. Meaning your brain is expanding and changing. Results also suggest that meditation improves cognitive processing making you react faster and act decisively. And one study says it can even make you look and feel younger! That makes sense since emptying your mind means less stress thus fewer wrinkles.
But going back to your weapons training, to become a great shooter you should know how to remove all the clutter in your mind. The best shooters in the world are completely in the moment in the field. Their only concern is the target. They breathe in air as they squeeze the trigger. They feel the recoil on their shoulder, they hear the familiar whizzing sound of their bullet, and they know if it was a good shot.
How To Meditate
If you want to be in the zone and achieve complete stillness of the mind follow these steps to start meditation:
- Find a place where you won’t be disturbed during your meditation. Turn off the ringer on your phone and anything else that might interrupt you.
- Sit in a comfortable chair, with your back supported, but not your head.
- Fold your hands and place them on your lap.
- Close your eyes.
- Take five deep breaths in through your nose, expanding your belly each time.
- Relax all the muscles in your body.
- In your head say, “Om”; this is a mantra, and is used to help you clear your mind.
- As thoughts come into your head, acknowledge them and go back to your mantra.
- Continue this for up to twenty minutes.
- Before opening your eyes, rest quietly for one to two minutes.
Start off with five minutes of meditation a day. Then work your way up to 15 to 20 minutes a day. Don’t be frustrated when your mind wanders off or a train of thoughts appear. The solution there is just to be mindful of but don’t entertain them, those thoughts will pass. Focus on the air you breathe in and out.
These techniques have been here for thousands of years. Meditation has been practiced by different religions and philosophies. Now you should know how to do meditation to increase concentration. It is your turn to use it to your advantage.