Focus Like a Ninja: How to Reduce Stress and Sharpen Your Mind

Focus Like a Ninja: How to Reduce Stress and Sharpen Your Mind

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how to reduce stress

Our desire to be more focused, to produce more, to think better, and to find clarity in our lives is often attacked from the angle of looking at our mind and how our brains can be adjusted or medicated or sharpened in some way.

But, the truth of the matter is, that as a culture, we are under a huge amount of stress that degrades the quality of our thinking and our lives and it simply can’t be completely effectively addressed by focusing on the ways in which we think, organize our days, or express gratitude for what we have every day.

When you’re under stress, it’s easy for you to lose energy because your survival mechanisms are engaged. Your energy goes to the surface of the body to make you more alert for danger. You breathe more shallowly and become unanchored from your core.

According to Qi Gong theory, your energy is more prone to be scattered or drained when it’s poorly consolidated in your core. In order to better contain your energy, you need to bring your energetic focal point back down to your energetic center. Learning to focus on and strengthen your lower dan tian will counteract stress, make you more resilient, and build energy.

Try getting in touch with your lower dan tian now:

— Let your abdomen relax completely, and allow each breath to descend the whole way
down into your pelvis. For a minute or so, imagine that you’re opening this bowl, including your hips, with every breath.

— Next, focus on a point about two inches below your navel and deep at the center of your body. By scanning around in this area, you can find a point that feels most powerful and solid. This is your lower dan tian.

— As you breathe in, imagine that you’re drawing in pure golden light from every direction, funneling it into the lower belly.

— With each exhale, imagine that you’re condensing the light into the center of the lower dan tian to a ball of light the size of a pearl. The idea is that the more dense and solid you make this storehouse of energy, the more powerfully anchored your mind and energy will be, and the harder it will be for your energy to unconsciously “leak out.”

— Repeat drawing light in on your inhale and condensing the light into your lower dan tian on your exhale. Remember to breathe deeply and fully, filling your whole abdomen down to your pelvis.

— Continue for five minutes or more.

— With your finishing exhale imaging that your pearl sized ball of light is condensing even further and envision your solid anchor of energy in your lower dan tian.

Practice shifting the center of your consciousness (which usually resides in your head, since that’s where most of your sense organs are) down to your lower dan tian as often as you think of it.

See if you can tune in to the uniquely sweet experience of feeling solid in this region.

How does it feel to stir a pot of soup or beat eggs with the movement coming from the lower dan tian?

How does it feel to initiate the movement of walking from the lower dan tian?

How about painting, or writing, or dancing, or speaking, all from the lower dan tian?

What about doing your work from your lower dan tian?

If you make this a daily practice—breathing into your belly and focusing on your lower dan tian—you’ll begin to notice that stressful events don’t throw you off the way they used to.
You’ll bounce back quicker, too.

And all that crazy overwhelming mind energy will start to be grounded into your core, so that you can think clearly, produce more, and be focused.

Using this body centered technique for reducing stress and sharpening the mind has been used by martial artists for centuries. They knew that their power didn’t come from their muscles or their mind, but from their ability to ground themselves in their center and to move from that place in all their actions.

We strongly encourage you to give it a try.



  1. Very nice information indeed.

    I have never did meditation before today, so I took the five minute suggested, and I must say that I was surprised to realized how fast that five minute meditation was. Can’t wait to try longer meditation, and hope to be hooked.

    I am definitely finding time for the RPM and RAW.

    Thank you.

  2. I was recently invited to one of César’s corporate programmes on techniques to manage stress and sharpen focus. I took away a huge amount from this relatively short session; from developing an understanding about how behaviours impact the mind and body, to being provided with tools to maintain a healthy work-life balance, to strengthening organisational skills to increase focus. I have since taken one of César’s online courses, which not only reinforced what I learned in the face-to-face session, but is also a great resource to refer back to.

  3. This is one of the first online courses I’ve got all the way through, it is well structured and easy to follow, with some really useful insights and practices that I’ve been able to turn into habits in the months since taking it.

  4. I tried to get into the habit of meditation in the past but always gave up due to the lack of a clear and comprehensive guide on how to do it properly, and why and how exactly it can benefit my life. This course cleared it all for me: how to do it, what’s OK and what’s not, and why everyone should start practicing this activity. And even though English doesn’t seem to be Cesar’s first language, he does the perfect job of explaining everything and getting his points across in clear, easily digestible and straight-to-the-point manner.

  5. i highly recommend this course to everyone. very simple to understand and practice.