Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Can T'ai Chi help you concentrate?

Not only are external noises a distraction, but the internal “chatter” of our minds may be equally difficult to ignore or switch off.

What can we do to help concentration? How can we manage the internal noise of our thoughts, that may intrude on our ability to focus?

The art of anything takes study, observation and practice, but in the abstract this can be tricky. So it’s useful to consider activities that might help. Activities that utilise the mind/body connection to your advantage.

Focusing on any sort of physical activity – from digging the garden to swimming – forces you to use your brain to use your body, however automatically you think you are doing it. You can take this a step further by deliberately choosing a physical activity that is designed to create a mind/body link and also to extend the challenge.

Like T’ai Chi. Sometimes referred to as a “moving meditation” it takes study, observation and practice. What’s great is that it’s something you can do whatever your age – from three to 90 – there’s nothing to stop you working with a teacher, creating your own practice, and benefiting from the physical and mental rewards.

Physically, T’ai Chi improves muscle tone, co-ordination,flexibility, strength, circulation, blood pressure, and breathing. It is also a martial art, so this physical activity also focuses, sharpens and consequently quiets the mind – poised and ready for whatever it needs to do.

Clearing the slate, as it were, allowing your brain the chance to concentrate more easily.


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