Clear your mind
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 01:01
Never-ending distractions surround us and suffocate our lives. Being connected every second to the Internet is the new norm, while the simple skill of holding focus to achieve a task has become a struggle. The impulse to check our phones every five minutes has become habitual in our everyday lives. With the first midterms of the quarter right around the corner, how can we manage to combat the desire to stay connected?
While in pursuit of ways to help achieve the focus to get work done without ingesting any harmful drugs, I found brainshiftradio.com. Brainshiftradio.com is full of music geared toward assisting the brain in accomplishing specific tasks. Want to focus more? There’s a playlist for that. There’s a playlist for increasing brainpower, too.
First-time users are taken to a website full of testimonies and information about the website. My initial reaction was, “Awesome, this looks promising.” After registering for a free 30-day trail, I was sent a verification email, containing* a link which sent me back to the website, where I logged in and was taken to the main interface of the website.
Improving focus was my primary use and I haven’t had the opportunity to play around with any of the other brain-shifting channels.
Once I adjusted to the interface of the website, the music itself was quite effective. I cannot speak in terms of long-term progress or whether the focus it granted me was the result of the placebo effect. Either way, I was in the zone; I ground out more than 50 pages of notes with ease.
While the problem of getting focused may have been a contributing factor, the one thing I struggled with most was the internal monologue that loves to interject at every given opportunity. Again, I searched for methods that didn’t harm me in any way, and I discovered the wonders of meditation.
Meditation isn’t something which can only be accomplished in a dimly-lit room with candles and esoteric music playing in the background. All that is needed is to set aside 10 minutes of the day — that’s it. The only thing meditation required me to do was to focus on my breath. Each breath sequence counted as one. I counted to five and repeated the process.
My internal monologue was guaranteed to show up. The trick was to imagine myself in the third-person perspective, looking at my own thoughts. I just let them happen and didn’t fight them; I simply allowed them to come and go as they pleased. My only task was to focus on my breath for 10 minutes.
I won’t go on to describe all the wonderful benefits meditating has given me and others around the world.
However, I will impart one last secret regarding my ability to stay focused over long periods of time: I write every single day, at least 750 words.
Our lives are filled with emotions. Sometimes it’s hard to keep my composure. Simply writing down all my thoughts and feelings, knowing no one will ever read them, has helped bring clarity to my life.
The way you do things may differ from the way I do things. All I want to do is share suggestions which have worked for me. The impulse to check my phone is still there, but has significantly decreased since implementing the methods I’ve described in this column. Being connected to the world 24/7 leaves little “me time.” Don’t forget to smell the roses.
Theron Lee is a senior in exercise sports science with a pre-physical therapy option. The opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.