By Remez Sasson
People starting to practice concentration exercises, sometimes experience certain peculiar sensations, and wonder about their cause, and whether they should keep exercising.
Several days ago someone asked me about these sensations, and I decided to share with you this information, as I believe many have probably experienced these or similar sensations.
Here is the question:
“I started concentration exercises some time ago, and I know I have improved, but the question is regarding the after effects of concentration. After a 15 minutes session I feel a kind of heavy numb feeling in my head and face at the front. It is not bad (not painful), but it is just there and it goes away later. Sometimes I feel like there is nothing in my head. I feel really light and have a lot of clarity. I am more concerned of the first feeling, is this common or is it just me?”
These, and other similar experiences, such as headaches or physical tension are not uncommon, and there is nothing to be concerned about. Years ago, when I first started to work on improving my concentration, I had the same exact sensations and feelings.
There are several factors that cause these sensations:
1) When beginning to practice concentration exercises, the brain is not accustomed yet to focus intently on one thought or object, and this puts some strain on it. The mind and the nerves in the brain are not able to stay quite, and it takes time to discipline them and teach them new habits.
What happens when you read a lot or try to find a solution to a complicated problem? You often get a headache. This happens because the brain is overtaxed. It is similar when practicing concentration exercises. The solution is not to overdo the exercises, to reduce a little the time you exercise, and then gradually, as you feel more comfortable, increase the time. It is exactly as with training a muscle. It gets strained if you exercise it too much, but as it gets stronger, you can train it more time and more often, without any tenseness or pain. It is the same with training your mind and brain.
2) Quite often during concentration, people tend to tense their bodies and tighten their muscles. This is a natural mechanism of the body when doing something that requires effort, but concentration is a mental activity, so there is no need for physical tension or stiffness. Such tension does not help concentration, on the contrary, it strains and contracts the muscles and causes pain. It also wastes your energy, makes you tired and disturbs your concentration.
It is important to relax the body and do some breathing exercises before starting with the exercises. Also, try to be aware when you tense your body and relax this tension immediately, even if this means disturbing your focus. This takes just a brief moment, but then you will be able to continue, otherwise the physical tension might grow and cause you to stop the exercise. In time, you will learn to relax any tension quite automatically, without disturbing your focus.
3) While practicing the exercises you should sit with your back straight and hold your body steady, but this is difficult in the beginning. This might cause physical strain and tension, which could give raise to various unpleasant sensations. To eliminate strain and these unpleasant sensations, it is important to sit in a position that is as comfortable as possible, but with your back and head straight and in one line. It takes some time until the body gets accustomed to sit still and without tension.
Though it is recommended to sit still while concentrating, if you feel that a lot of tension is building up in your head, face or body, move a little to make yourself more comfortable.
Usually, as one progresses with concentration, these sensations disappear. All these sensations are only minor and marginal disturbances compared with the peace, confidence and inner strength that well developed concentration ability can give.
Willpower and self discipline are important abilities everyone needs, in order to handle efficiently the daily affairs of life. They grant inner strength, assertiveness and confidence, and are necessary for accomplishing goals and achieving success.Willpower and self discipline are also very important for disciplining the mind and developing the power of concentration.Find out how to develop your willpower and self discipline.