Brain haze. Brain fog. I find it lovely to not think- or not need to think- for stretches of time. Life has other plans. Without the ability to focus, things go downhill really fast in the world. Attention is so important, yet so hard to come by sometimes. You don’t have to be operating at a 10 every minute of the day, but you do need to zero in on things and be present.
Make your mind-space more sleek! In feng shui, the idea of brain fog is a lack of metal element most prominently. It’s a bit more than that, but metal element is a good place to start. Increasing metal element is a matter of simplifying things. If you are functioning with a mess of notes around you, condense them to one to-do list. If you are using multiple emails, streamline to one or two. If you are trying to do three things at once, scale back. Set priorities for each day.
EAT. If you have no food in your system, or improper food (processed, high sugar food) you may have an extra-hard-time focusing. By the way, fruit and lots of complex carbohydrates are also sugars, so beware the overindulgence. Protein-rich foods are key. As is lots of water.
Go for a walk and look at things. When you look out at things (not at your phone) while you take a walk around the block you will create more space in your life. Your view can make you actually feel “bigger” and expand your horizons in a fairly literal way. Look far out in the distance. Touch a tree, a flower, a stone up close. Walk until you feel refreshed and more present.
And you can practice what some psychologists call Attentional Training. Literally, training yourself to have better attention! In Jonathan Field’s article in Psychology Today , 7 Ways to Enhance Focus, Creativity, Productivity and Performance, he provides a very cool exercise you can try right now to come to “attention” :
Here’s a simple technique and to get you started with a very basic, accessible 10-minute daily seated practice.
- Find a quiet place
- Sit in a comfortable upright position with your hands on your knees
- Close your eyes and take 10 breaths, letting your exhale get longer and longe with each one
- Starting at a very gentle pace, begin to count backwards from 100 by threes, saying each number softly or just sub-lingualizing them with every inhale and exhale. So, for example, inhale and think and say 100, exhale, think and say 97, inhale, think and say 94 and so on. If you get a number wrong, just let it go, say the right one and move one.
- When this becomes easy or a few days or week in, pick up the pace a little bit until it becomes easy again. Then, bump the top number by 25 and keep practicing and bumping pace until it gets easy again. Keep at this until the whole practice takes about 20-minutes and give it a few weeks.
- Let go of any expectations and see what unfolds…we’re all meant to suck at it in the beginning!
And, whatever you do, I encourage you to avoid falling into the trap of beating yourself up for having a slow day or even a slow week. It happens. Let it go. Hating yourself for it just makes things worse!
Wishing you grounded & focused brilliance!
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