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Struggling to focus while meditating? Scientifically proven tips and what the Dalai Lama says

First of all, you need to know that this perfectly normal, so go easy on yourself and give yourself a break. It would be the equivalent of someone wondering why they can't swim if they've never been in the water, so just chiiiiiill and relaaaaaax ;)

Now that we've set the meditation scene, let's get into why you can't focus

Focus and meditation go hand in hand. One of the major benefits to meditation is to improve your focus and concentration in all areas of life.

Many people beat themselves up that they can't focus, or that they have minds that are too busy, so they're "not good at meditating" and I want to assure you, this can't be further from the truth!

When I first started meditating, I was in my final year of my Masters Degree in Architecture. I was in the midst of researching my thesis, I wasn't sleep well, and I was usually high on some kind of stimulant (legal or otherwise - shhhh don't tell my Mum!).

Why can't I focus while meditating? How do I focus better during meditation?
There's reasons why you can't focus during meditation, so no need to beat yourself up!

I could not sit for more than 15 minutes at a time, let alone keep my mind focused on the task of meditating. The mind just bubbled over with 10,000s of thoughts.

It's been many years since then, and I can tell you my record is 4.5 hours (will never do it again though!) without moving a muscle, and I can easily meditate all day with regular breaks. The point is, it was a skill I developed by virtue of sustained practice and as a consequence of the meditation itself.

Now let's talk about the science behind focus

According to the Harvard Medical School,

"Like a computer that slows with use, the brain accumulates wear and tear that affects processing. Dr. Daffner says this can be caused by a number of physiological stressors such as inflammation, injury to blood vessels (especially if you have high blood pressure), the build-up of abnormal proteins, and naturally occurring brain shrinkage."

Through the 8+ years I've meditated, I would expand on this by stating also that a mind full of 10,000's of thoughts leads directly to a lack of focus - this is the number 1 cause for a lack of focus.

Having too many thoughts leads to not being able to focus | Learn to focus better be clearing your mind from all the thoughts