The Secret of Concentration


My mind tends to remember what i dont want it to remember when i read my subjects. I constantly get other thoughts i am unable to concentrate on my studies. When i rarely do concentrate, my mind recognises it and i feel nervous and i loose concentration and my mind drifts away and stays in that state, maybe daydreaming state for continuous 4 to 5 hours as i hear a lot of lectures. i study 2nd year puc please help me before this problem spoils my future

—adithya, india


Dear Adithya,

The mind can indeed wander, and the more we let it do so, the deeper the habit becomes. There is no easy fix for this, but there is a simple fix: do one thing at a time with full energy. If you are studying, do so with complete attention for as long as you can. If you are in lecture, listen intently for as long as you can. In each case, whenever you realize that your mind has wandered, take a deep breath and start over again. You need to retrain your mind to do what you want it to do. You are opposing a strong habit, so you need to put strong energy into this (but not tension).

It will help if you feel that your engagement with your activity is centered in the prefrontal lobe of your brain (just behind your forehead). This is the center of concentration, and the more you engage it, the stronger it becomes. It is like a muscle. When you read, feel that you read from the prefrontal lobe. When you listen, feel that you are listening from that place. Live there as much as possible.

It can take some work to change the daydreaming tendency, but the more energy you put into your efforts, the less time it will take.