May 29, 2023
Your Brain Needs Healing
When I became a mother, sleep deprivation left me feeling as if my memory had been eviscerated. With a family history of dementia and Alzheimer’s, it was scary. My ability to focus and concentrate on anything requiring more than a few brain cells felt demanding as taking a college final exam. Physical fatigue unquestioningly contributes to cognitive impairment which is terrifying when you literally have a life in your hands. Whether you are a parent or not, too many people know the hardship of brain fog, fatigue, and diminished focus and concentration. In our distracted, under-slept world, you need supportive practices to help you regain the mental clarity, acuity, and confidence to navigate the demands of your life with grace, steadiness, and trust.
My new audio meditation series, “Improve Your Focus & Concentration” will improve your ability to focus, re-focus, and sustain attention no matter what circumstances you currently find yourself living through. Best of all, these meditations are all under five minutes making daily practice accessible to everyone everywhere. I promise: you have time for this.
I designed this series based off of the latest scientific research out of Dr. Andrew Huberman’s lab at Stanford University. Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist and tenured professor in the department of neurobiology and by courtesy, psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford School of Medicine. He has made numerous significant contributions to the fields of brain development, brain function and neural plasticity, which is the ability of our nervous system to rewire and learn new behaviors, skills and cognitive functioning.
This series includes seven meditations designed to improve your ability to focus and re-focus.
The key component in all of the research and data on meditation shows what matters most is what you do consistently. Newer research also shows with as little as three to five minutes of consistent practice, results are being demonstrated. But showing up regularly is essential to experiencing the benefits.
Meditation can be geared toward helping you achieve specific goals so it matters which style of meditation you choose. Another way of saying this is that different meditations will provide you with different results. While some meditations are geared toward improving sleep, other styles of meditation, such as those in this series, are designed to help you improve your cognitive ability to focus and concentrate.
With that in mind, I suggest you practice in the morning or midday rather than night. Since these practices aim at improving the skills of attention, it is better if they are done further away from bedtime so as not to disrupt your ability to wind down in the evenings. While you may feel relaxed during these practices, it is also possible that you may not since these practices are not specifically aimed at improving relaxation. Instead, you may notice an increase in mental activity as we work with certain areas of the brain required for focus and attention so I encourage you to set your practice time earlier in the day which will also help you utilize and experiment with the skills throughout your day.
This series focuses on different modes of perception in order to improve your ability to concentrate. Your perception is like a spotlight. You can have narrow perception, for example, by focusing on a single point OR you can broaden your perception to include a wide horizon. The point here is that you have the ability to choose and to remember your perception is under your control.
We have two main modes of perception: Exteroception and Interoception.
Exteroception is everything you perceive beyond the confines of your body.
Interoception is everything you sense at the level of your skin and inwardly. When you sit still and close your eyes a profound shift occurs in the brain because you shut down your outward perception and narrow your spotlight of attention inwardly.
For the first three weeks of this series you will move through three different exteroception meditations. For the next three weeks you will move through three different interoception meditations. And for the final week you will move through one meditation tying together the skills of extero and interoception.
These seven weeks are designed as re-focusing practices. The more times your mind wanders and you bring it back, the more you are improving your ability to focus while changing and improving neural circuitry. Over time you will be able to re-focus more quickly. And remember, the more times you have to re-focus, the better the training you are getting. You get more from your practice if you don’t do what comes easy so I encourage you to stick with it so that by the end of this series you see noticeable and marked changes in your ability to pay attention and concentrate by choice in our distracted world.
Parenthood is rife with opportunities to practice, and I don’t mean the type where you roll out your yoga mat or plop down your meditation cushion for an hour of bliss. I mean endless chances to actually put your practice into action in the form of patience, presence, mindful speech, and full acceptance of what IS. Whether you are a parent or not, it can feel challenging to make time for all the practice you hope to undertake in a given day or week but my hope is that you can take five minutes a day to heal your brain. From there, I know you will see the direct impact on the quality of your relationships and your life.
Make sure to check out Lauren’s new meditation series “Improve Your Focus & Concentration” now streaming exclusively on InnerDimensionTV.com!