During the day, do you get distracted? You struggle to focus at the task at hand. You may grab your phone and get into social media. You may watch a video. Perhaps walk around too long and chat. Do you feel lazy and need a lot of will power to get back on-track. Here are 4 simple steps that will make you re-focus quickly. All you need to understand is that our mind and body are ONE. You simply change your motion to control your emotion. This first one is important. It will also keep you healthy if your work demands long hours in your desk. 1st Way: The 1-Minute Recharge We sit for hours working with our computers. Do you know that sitting for more than an hour is like smoking! And, if “sitting is the new smoking,” you can make it even worse by parking your body for more than 30 minutes at a time. The findings, published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, come after Diaz and his team analysed data from almost 8,000 people who took part in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. The participants, who were all 45 or older, wore a device that measured how much they moved during the day. Overall, it found they spent 77 percent of their waking hours sitting or being otherwise inactive — the equivalent to being sedentary more than 12 hours out of a 16-hour waking day. The sheer amount of sitting around was associated with a higher risk of death, but so was the pattern of inactivity: Staying still for an hour or 90 minutes at a time made things worse, the researchers note. Sitting also raises your risk of heart disease, dementia, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, which all play a role in the condition. You also risk deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a clot that forms in your leg and also leads to varicose veins. Your anxiety can spike. You will gain weight. It wrecks your back and you can get osteoporosis (weakened bones) as you age. You may be more likely to get colon, endometrial, or lung cancer. If you spend your day like that, it doesn’t matter whether you squeeze in a workout in the morning or at night, Diaz said. “You need to still be mindful about moving throughout your day and not just think that ‘Because I exercised today, I’m done,’ he noted. “Sitting in these long bouts, regardless of whether you exercised or not, still increases your risk of death.” You may want to set your phone or fitness gadget to beep every 30 minutes to remind you that it’s time to move. It’s easy to forget how much you’ve been sitting when you just become engrossed in an activity. What can you do?
Engage in any movement that will get your heart pumping for at least a minute. You can also opt of jumping jacks, calisthenics at your desk or whatever works for you.
2nd Way: Go to Peripheral Vision
A camera has a wide-angle lens that can a wider view of a scene. We also have a wide-angle lens in our eyes where we can see more to the left and right and at the same time up and down. This is called peripheral vision.
Here’s the magic. When we intentionally bring our sight to peripheral vision, it will automatically bring our emotions to be calm and relax. Our eyes need to be relaxed to achieve peripheral vision and so the emotions follow suit.
Steps to Intentionally Get Peripheral Vision
1. Stand-up and look straight. Avoid moving your head or neck and focus first on a certain point on the wall.
2. Bring your both hands up to your side at shoulder level so that you can see your hands as you look straight. Adjust the distance to a point that you can still see your hands on both sides as you look straight.
3. Now wiggle your fingers and bring your hands further away to a point where you can still see both hands as you wiggle them. The maximum point is your peripheral vision.
4. Keep this position as you count to 10. This will bring your to be calm and relaxed. Your scattered thoughts will quickly evaporate!
3rd Way: Use Your Tongue!
Did you know you can use your tongue to control your distracted mind? Yes, you can if you use your tongue in a different way! Not for talking or eating but differently. Read on.
Scientist have found that when we are thinking of something, our tongue is vibrating! As we think, we have a tendency to talk to ourselves. Even if we are not consciously aware of this sub-vocalisation, our body, and more specifically, our tongue is vibrating. The continuous 'running commentary' in the conscious mind corresponds to tiny movements in the tongue, in which the tongue is 'saying' the words of our internal monologue. When we relax the tongue or stop it from moving, the inner monologue ceases.
And so, all we need to silence our mind is to consciously control our tongue. In her book Awakening the Mind: A Guide to Harnessing the Power of Your Brainwaves, Anna Wise, says "If you take nothing else away with you from reading this book, you will have gained enormously from this one practice. Anna offers the following exercise:
Stop Your Tongue from Moving Method
This can be achieved by either physically holding the tongue with the thumb and forefinger or by placing the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth. The latter option is the one I recommend you use.
1. Just imagine that there is a little droplet of olive oil balancing on the tip of your tongue.
2. Now place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, behind your front teeth.
3. Imagine that you are balancing the droplet of oil, holding it in that position.
4. Notice that your tongue becomes still as you continue to hold your tongue in this way.
5. Now notice how quiet your mind becomes as you do that.
6. You can hold your tongue in this position for as long as you like.
Relax your Tongue Method
1. Close your eyes. Briefly press your tongue against the roof of your mouth to make it tense, then stop doing that and allow your tongue to relax.
2. It's OK to let your mouth hang open slightly. Just simply let your tongue go, especially the back of your tongue.
3. As you exhale, feel it let go even more. Exaggerate the relaxation.
4. If you need to swallow, that’s okay.
5. If your tongue gets tense again, don’t get annoyed. Just give it permission to relax again. Exaggerate the relaxation again.
6. By now you can almost feel your tongue floating in the cavity of your mouth. You may feel it shorten some – or thicken. Exaggerate the relaxation even more.
7. Focus on only relaxing your tongue – nothing else. Now notice how quiet your mind becomes as you do that. You can hold your tongue in this position for as long as you like.
How can you use your tongue to eliminate distractions?
Use Stop the Tongue for:
1. When you are talking to someone and want to focus on what they are saying. I use this when talking to clients and mentees, so they have my full attention and empathy.
2. It’s good also when you are talking to your wife or kids or anyone and you want to give empathy at a higher level.
3. It is also effective to let you fall asleep! You make your internal monologue stop; the pictures and images stop and running commentary grind to a halt. This will then enable you to fall asleep.
Use Relaxing the Tongue for:
4. I use this when I am writing and working silently, and I would like to focus my thoughts on the topic at hand. It eliminates a scattered brain.
5. I use it for meditation and prayer and it brings me faster to a deep state.
6. I use this for visualization of future goals, dreams and plans. A relaxed tongue allow focus on those.
7. I use it also when I am reflecting on things from the past to look for solutions to problems.
So, what are you waiting for. Use your tongue not only for talking but eliminating distractions so your brain is focused to your best advantage.
4th Way: Focus on Your Gut – Your 2ND Brain
You have learned three (3) ways to eliminate distractions and have focus: 1. 1-minute recharge from sitting 2. peripheral vision and 3. Using of your tongue. This 4th way is to focus on your gut.
Have you ever had a gut feeling or butterflies in your stomach? These sensations emanating from your belly suggest that your brain and gut are connected. Your gut is your second brain!
The Gut Brain - Your gut does more than digest food.
Neurons are cells found in your brain and central nervous system that tell your body how to behave. There are approximately 100 billion neurons in the human brain. Interestingly, your gut contains 500 million neurons, which are connected to your brain through nerves in your nervous system
No wonder we have gut feelings and sensations. We know that neurotransmitter serotonin contributes to feelings of happiness and also helps control your body clock. Did you know that a large proportion of serotonin is produced in the gut?
Our gut bacteria help digest our food, train our immune systems, and change our behaviour. They produce chemicals that affect our food cravings, energy level, happiness, and body composition. By exerting control over the Gut Brain, these bacteria influence our memory, emotions, motivation, sense of self, and many aspects of our health.
Benefits of a Healthy Gut
If you are feeling moody right now, distracted and cannot focus or perhaps even depressed, your gut bacteria may be to blame. Research has linked poor gut health to bad mood, weak immune system, poor mental health, weight gain and many more surprising conditions.
• Boosts Energy Levels. Eating nutrient-dense foods is not enough to boost your energy levels. Unless you have a healthy gut, your body will not absorb as many of the nutrients from the foods you eat. A healthy gut helps the body absorb more nutrients that results in more energy.
• Sharpens Your Focus. Gut bacteria produce 90% of your serotonin, the feel-good hormone that helps you make good decisions. Low levels of serotonin increase risk of depression. Improving gut health can also help prevent mood disorders.
• Makes it Easier to Lose Weight. Poor gut health can cause overeating and obesity, according to research. Boosting good gut bacteria prevents overeating and make it easier to lose weight.
• Strengthens the Immune System. A massive 80% of your immune system is located in your gut! It prevents pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract from getting into the body, reduce inflammation, and produce antibacterial substances that fight bacteria that cause infections.
• A radiant fresh smile. Good bacteria in your gut reduces bad breath for your radiant smile!
Do you have a Leaking Gut? A Few Signs Your Gut Isn’t As Healthy As You Think
• Feeling bloated after you eat
• Feeling heartburn or acid reflux
• Not moving bowels (comfortably) 1 – 3 times per day
• Any type of skin issues (acne, eczema, psoriasis)
• Experiencing low mood, depression, or anxiety
• Frequently catching colds
• Having a thyroid condition
• Having an autoimmune disease 3-R’s Steps to Heal and Strengthen Your Gut If you have any of the symptoms above and like to be in your best state, you need to heal your leaking gut. It is not easy to change but well worth it. This is what you need to do. 1. REMOVE TOXINS
Remove inflammatory foods, harmful habits to your gut (e.g. too much alcohol, antibiotics, sodas), and foods you are allergic or sensitive to.
✓ Eliminate soda and other highly sweetened beverages. You need 8 glasses of water to counter-balance the acidity from 1 glass of soda!
✓ Eliminate gluten and dairy from your diet for a few weeks and see how you feel. For many people, gluten and dairy irritate the gut lining, so taking them out of the diet can give the gut a chance to heal.
✓ Avoid pre-packaged, processed foods as much as possible. These tend to be full of sugar, the inflammatory type of fats, and preservatives – all of which harm the gut.
✓ Limit sugary foods. In addition to being highly inflammatory, sugar causes a yeast called candida to overgrow and throw off the delicate balance of the gut’s microflora.
This step is the most important – if you embark upon a gut healing protocol without also removing things that irritate the gut lining, you will never allow your body to heal!
✓ Relax your mind. Emotions affect digestion. Do this exercise to relax. Simply stand and focus on your gut. You will feel centred and relaxed. You can combine this exercise with getting your peripheral vision.
Try this out also. First, think about issues and problems and get a friend to nudge you or push you slightly. Notice how you get out of balance.
Next, focus on your gut and ask your friend to nudge you or push you with the same force as before. Notice this time how balanced and immovable you are. Continue to focus on your gut for 10 seconds and the feelings of peace and well-being will come. Your scattered brain disappears.
✓ Make time for quality sleep: To improve sleep quality, try cutting out caffeine late in the day, sleeping in complete darkness and making a structured sleep routine so that you go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. 3. REPLACE TO.
✓ Eat Prebiotics-rich foods. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits to get your fill of fiber. This include: Artichoke, Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Asparagus, Bananas, Oats, Apples, Flaxseeds and Cocoa. This will increase the good bacteria in your gut.
✓ Consume more probiotics: Probiotics may increase the abundance of healthy gut bacteria. Fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, kefir and tempeh, are all excellent sources.
✓ Stay well hydrated. Your intestines need water to move things along the digestive system.
✓ Chew your food thoroughly. Chewing plays a role in both the mechanical and chemical parts of digestion
Learn more from Jojo Apolo in our upcoming Performance Leadership Workshop on 27 Feb to 01 March and 8-10 October in Singapore or 01-03 July in KL, Malaysia. While, we are running Leapfrog Your Business & Yourself Seminar on March 7-9 and June 7-9 in Manila, Philippines or November 1-3 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Both courses include NLP Basic Practitioners Certification Course.
About the Author Jojo Apolo. Asia’s Revenue Breakthrough Leader. Author. Public Speaker. NLP Master Trainer. His passion is to help people and businesses get what they want by teaching Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). He managed major FMCG companies in Indonesia and start-ups in the brink to become profitable. He developed the New Breakthrough Selling Advantage for Sales Professionals using NLP that has resulted in doubling a business from USD 500 million to USD 1 billion in 3 years. He established a 500,000 direct outlet coverage via 300 distribution networks with real-time sales & stock systems. He pioneered the use of IPAD’s for salesmen, use creative “Quantum Sales” games and established same-day delivery service guarantees for pharma products. He has given numerous seminars on sales, personal & spiritual development in Southeast Asia. He is a certified Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP from the National Federation of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, USA and the American Union of NLP, USA, Certified NLP Practitioner Trainer of NLP Academy, UK under John Grinder co-creator of NLP. He spearheads the REFORM program for Drug Rehabilitation across the Philippines in cooperation with the Department of Health and numerous religious organizations. He is the author of the book “Be Free from Painful Memories and Traumas in 30 minutes, 7-Step New Breakthrough Selling Advantage, i-Thrive: 7 Keys to a Fruitful Life and co-author with Dr. Romy Paredes of Awaken the Doctor in You.