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How to Get Focused

An imbalance in your mental energy can leave you unable to focus. Break the pattern, and you'll effectively return to the present moment -- and the task at hand. "I call it changing your state," says Lucy Jo Palladino, Ph.D., psychologist, attention expert, and author of "Find Your Focus Zone."

One of Palladino's tried-and-true balancing practices is four-corner breathing, which combines the use of an outer focal point (a window, a picture frame) with deep, rhythmic breaths. Try this meditation to jolt yourself into high gear or settle a skittish mind. It lowers adrenaline, restores balance, and resets your attention, helping you focus.

Four-Corner Breathing How-To 
1. Find an object nearby that has four corners -- a box, your monitor, or even this page.

2. Start at the upper-left-hand corner and inhale for 4 counts.

3. Turn your gaze to the upper-right-hand corner and hold your breath for 4 counts.

4. Move to the lower-right-hand corner. Exhale for 4.

5. Now shift your attention to the lower-left-hand corner. Tell yourself to relax and smile. Repeat 3 to 5 times, or as often as you like.

Text by Jill Russell

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