Tag Archives: memory

Mind Chi Chat – concentration?!

Tell me, how is your concentration? Do you find it hard to focus on one thing?
Do you experience ‘chicken circle’ thinking?
Are you repeating the same unwanted thoughts over and over?
When you tune in to your brain and its chatter, is it mostly negative?

Want to improve your concentration?

Last week we looked at your breath, and the power it has to control your response to stressors, calm your nerves and build your resilience. This week we look at building your mental muscle of concentration.

Your brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time! Much of the time it is like a butterfly, flitting from one flower to another. Just for that second THAT flower is the most important, and then, oh! let’s go to this one.

Because of the constant bombardment of media, you have been trained to hop constantly from this buzz to this beep, to that flash.
NOTE THIS: Your brain can only focus / concentrate on ONE thing at a time.

Think of it as an on / off switch. Become conscious of when it is on and when it is off to a new stimulus. Your right hemisphere loves the unusual, and is quickly tempted by anything it deems more interesting than the more logical, repetitive function you may be requiring from your left hemisphere.

So, how is YOUR concentration?

How is your ability to focus your thoughts? If you do any form of meditation or mindfulness, you may already be experiencing the benefits of a focused mind.
If not, here is a simple activity that will bring your ‘right now’ brain function in to your awareness.

Richard Israel and Vanda North introduce you to ‘One!’

Richard was the co-author of Mind Chi and I love to share this moment when we explain the second of the 8-steps of Mind Chi – to focus on one.

Hold the resins of control over your own mind.

What are the benefits of improved concentration?

There are many benefits:
1. A boost to your self-confidence – knowing you can focus when you need and want to
2. Getting your work / study / tasks done faster – working in concentrated bursts on one topic is the most productive you can be
3. Memory improvement, when you concentrate on something, your brain has been told ‘This is important’ and so creates more connections for you to be able to recall
4. Loosing yourself in a task is more energising and relaxing at the same time. It is a form of the ‘flow’ state and
5. You will probably find it much easier to concentrate when you really enjoy something, so there is a secret, memory, flow state and ability to focus are all improved when you are doing something you relish.

Mind Chi step 2 – focus for 1 minute on ‘One!’

Now you can see how in the first 2 minutes of your 8-minute Mind Chi routine, you have told your body and your brain – ‘I am in control here!’ How good is that?

Chi and I are standing by on the ready to take your calls and emails! 

Chi & I look forward to seeing / hearing from YOU!!! 

To book a 15 minute Mind Chi Chat with Vanda to explore how Mind Chi might assist you, your group, team or company build resilience and joy! 

And for more wonderful Mind Chi blogs:

Want more resilience for your organisation, here:

Here is a short cartoon about ‘Resilience for Change’

3 Ways to Improve Your Working Memory

According to the National Center for Biological Information, working memory provides temporary storage of information and the ability to manipulate this information for cognitive tasks. In layman’s terms – working memory is the ability not only to recall things but use that information to complete tasks. As you can imagine, working memory is necessary for multiple areas of your life such as remembering instructions, maintaining focus and learning new skills. A poor working memory can make life difficult but luckily there are multiple ways to improve it:

Mind Chi

Mind Chi can be a great way to improve your memory! Pay special attention to Mind Chi steps 2, 3 and 4 which attend to memory and focus. Step 2 looks at focusing and eliminating all distractions. Steps 3 and 4 are concerned with recalling and reviewing the last 24 hours – a technique used by memory champion Scott Hagwood, among other elite individuals. These exercises are particularly helpful in today’s day and age where our ageing population begin to struggle with certain necessary cognitive tasks as they get older. 

DnB training

Dual n Back training is a programme of brain exercises designed to improve fluid intelligence. It rose to prominence after being the first programme proven to improve IQ in adults, but it has also been shown to improve working memory. There are many great ways you can use DnB exercises to improve working memory including free software packages such as Brain Workshop and streamlined DnB training which you can incorporate into exercises you can do on your computer every day. This kind of program is best utilized by applying yourself for around 30 minutes a day. With consistent effort you should start to enjoy improvements within two weeks. 


Mindfulness is the mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, a similar philosophy to Mind Chi step two. A 2013 study from Psychological Science proved that a two week mindfulness course improved working memory. The participants in the study also showed improved scores on the Graduate Record Examinations, the standard test for graduate school in the United States. It’s clear that mindfulness, focus, awareness and memory are all interconnected – a holistic philosophy fully embraced by Mind Chi. 

It is clear that the myth that working memory is inherited and that you are stuck with what you are born with has been refuted. There are a variety of methods out there to improve your working memory and reap the benefits. Good luck in your efforts. 

Thanks to a guest writer, Jackie Edwards, for this article to improve your faith in your marvelous memory!