Health in the body often begins in the mind, and many people are turning to meditation to help build a solid foundation for mental health. Meditation has myriad health benefits for its practitioners. It helps reduce stress, control anxiety, create positivity, improve sleep, control pain and studies have shown that it can even improve your attention span. If you can make meditation a regular part of your life, you will feel these benefits yourself. But sometimes the trick is just getting started. Part of the problem is that we live in an age where the attention span has never been shorter. In one 2015 study, researchers found that the average attention span dropped from twelve to eight seconds between the years 2000 and 2015. Fortunately, there are tools to help those with short attention spans create habits of regular meditation.

Mala Beads

One tool you can use to help yourself focus during meditation is a string of mala beads. A traditional set of mala beads includes a string of 108 small beads and one larger guru bead strung together in a circle, typically with a tassel where the two ends connect. Mala beads have been a tool used by spiritual seekers and yogis for thousands of years and are intended to help practitioners of meditation focus their thoughts. A tactile, physical object can serve as a mental guide for people with wandering minds.

Meditation Cushion

It might sound obvious, but one of the best ways to help improve your meditation experience is to use a cushion. Just as a physical sensation like touching the mala beads can help us focus our thoughts, we can also just as easily be distracted by a physical sensation if it's negative. A meditation cushion can eliminate a lot of the physical discomfort that causes you to lose focus as you fidget and try to get comfortable. It's the little things like discomfort that can easily make our minds wander.

Meditation Games

If you find sitting in silence to meditate very difficult for your attention span, you might want to get started with a meditation game like a meditation dice game or card game from a company like Clarity to help you find focus. There are even meditation video games. These meditation games are designed to take your mind into something referred to as the flow state, or the state of being fully focused and fully immersed in an activity. In this state, your mind can achieve perfect concentration and enjoyment of the present.