improve your focusIn the post Improve Your Memory, I explained how multitasking interferes with memory functioning, or more precisely, interferes with your attention/concentration and consequently your ability to mentally encode new information.  Hopefully, you’ve become more aware of your habits and now attempt to minimize multitasking when you can.  If you’re trying to fully focus on one thing at at time, you’re practicing mindfulness!

Research on mindfulness suggests that regular practice of mindfulness improves your ability to focus!

Here’s an article by Maria Konnikova regarding recent findings and implications in mindfulness research.

What is mindfulness?  To make it really simple–it’s focusing on one thing, in the present moment.

The diaphragmatic breathing I’ve mentioned several times?  That counts as mindfulness.  Sitting quietly and gathering your thoughts before beginning a task, ‘a la Sherlock Holmes?  (See Konnikova’s article!)  That’s also mindfulness.  Fully immersing yourself in a home improvement project or creating art?  Also counts as mindfulness!

Please take a few minutes today to practice mindfulness!

This can be as simple as taking a few diaphragmatic breaths–try to work this into your daily routine.  Research suggests that practicing mindfulness can positively impact your attention and concentration.

If you want to learn more, the UCLA MIndful Awareness Research Center is a good resource and has free mindfulness training podcasts.  This article from the American Psychological Association details the empirically validated benefits of mindfulness.  

How and when do you practice mindfulness?