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Focused Forgetfulness technique to help you feel calm and relieve anxiety

Updated: May 19

This Focused Forgetfulness technique will help you to feel calm and will slow down a busy mind, when practiced daily.

How to do it

  1. Sit in a chair and close your eyes.

  2. Each time you exhale, silently count.

  3. Start at one and count to the following number with each exhalation until you reach five.

  4. When you get to five, start at one again, only go to 5 and then repeat.

Do this for a few minutes each day at a time that suits you; morning is often good. Try to build this into your daily life so that it can help you feel calm and relieve anxiety.

The hard bit

The tricky bit is focusing only on counting to 5 rather than above. Many times, you suddenly realise you have gone to 12 or 15. When this happens, start again—counting each exhalation from 1 to 5. It takes practice to focus on what you’re doing. The aim is to focus on just one thing - counting up to 5, then repeating it.

A woman sitting in a meditation pose on a purple cloud, with her eyes closed.
Focused Forgetfulness will help you feel calm

Picture this

A good analogy to use when considering how Focused Forgetfulness affects your mind is one of a glass jar filled with water and sand; when it is shaken, all the particles swirl around together in a cloudy and erratic way which is how our mind feels when it is busy, stressed or on a typical day for lots of people. Now imagine the jar has been left to rest for a while. After this resting time, you could see a less stormy picture, the sand at the bottom and the water at the top. Completely still, calm and clear. After doing Focused Forgetfulness, your mind will now be like the resting jar: still, calm and clear.

Many people call this meditation, but I call it Focused Forgetfulness. So, it means if you thought you couldn’t meditate, then by doing this, you’re doing it! The word meditation can feel like something other people do or challenging to get the hang of. But if you practice Focused Forgetfulness for a few minutes daily, you are allowing your mind to gain the same benefits as meditation.


By focusing your mind on one thing, your mind temporarily forgets everything else going on around you. The swirling sand in your mind can fall to the bottom of the glass, which is a great skill to have in life, and meditation has many benefits.

1. Reduce stress

2. Controls Anxiety

3. Promotes emotional health

4. Enhances self-awareness

5. Lengthens attention span

6. May reduce age-related memory loss

7. Can generate kindness

8. May help fight addictions

9. Improve sleep

10. Helps control pain

11. Can decrease blood pressure

12. You can meditate anywhere

P.S. If you lie down while doing this, you may fall asleep, which makes this technique great for helping you get to sleep.



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