How To Focus A Wandering Mind

Focus a Wandering Mind | The Silver Pen

Focus a Wandering Mind | The Silver Pen
How To Focus A Wandering Mind

Have you ever been sitting on a conference call and your mind starts to wander while the others on the line are talking? You start going over all the things you need to get done, the things that should have gotten done yesterday, or just about where you wish you could be instead of enduring the call at that very moment. And then…. the line gets quiet for a moment and you snap back and realize that it’s your turn to talk, except you have no idea what question you were even asked! While this may never happen to you, it happens to me ALL.THE.TIME and I’m at the point where I’m feeling like I am going bananas!

According to a recent study conducted by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert, 47 percent of adults (from a 2,000 person sample) were NOT focused on what they were currently doing throughout their day. Another finding from the study suggested that when people’s minds wander, they tend to be less happy. Check and check.

So how do we stop our minds from wandering? To begin with, it is important to find good ways to strengthen our focus and stop the mind wandering. The best way to do this (and one of my favorite things to do!) is meditate.

Ironically, mind wandering is a central element of focused attention (FA) meditation. In this specific style of meditiation you are required to keep your attention on a single object (believe me it’s harder than it sounds!). Typically, you start with just focusing on your breathing. Try it for a few minutes and see what happens!

If you are anything like me, before long your mind will start to wander away from your breathing and venture into planning, analyzing, etc… you know the drill. By traning yourself to recognize when your mind starts to wander away from your primary focus you are building your brains mental strength. After much FA meditiation practice, you will be able to know when your mind is slipping away in a meeting and be able to deliberately bring yourself back to the moment. That ability only improves with training.

The key here is to learn how to become aware of your mental tendancies and use them purposefully, rather than letting them consume your mind. Meditation can and will help you better train your mind to stay the course.

Now, where was I…?

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  1. says

    Very good information.I too am a wanderer.I have been meditating on a regular basis,it defiantly has reversed my focus.I still do it time to time and my Dr. says its habit forming from Chaotic times in ones life.Well I think it is healthy in one way Its a stress releaser for me.Work is so nuts at times,I don’t shut down ,but I am focusing on something far better,than arguing with my co-workers ,who love drama.I am in heaven ,they are in crazy land.,but If it effects your job or daily function then yes meditate,

    • silverpen says

      Thanks for writing, Sonja! Meditating is still super hard for me, BUT I’m hoping that it will indeed become habit forming. Sending my best wishes to you!

  2. Joanie Aldrich says

    Hollye dear,

    I think we are all on overload !!!! Loved your article and especially the
    end,” Now, where was I …?” You made me giggle :-) Thanks for
    the smiles today.

    Hearts Love,