Concentration – 10 effective ways to improve it
Do you have problems with performing complex tasks at work, or maybe it’s hard for you to focus on studying for an important exam? Each of us has problems with concentration. Autumn weather, lack of sun and recent events do not have a positive effect on us.
Concentration refers to the mental effort to focus on what you are working on at the moment.
FACTORS AFFECTING CONCENTRATION
Both attention span and concentration can differ for a number of reasons. Some people just find it harder to calm down and remove distractions. Age and lack of sleep also affect it.
Most people forget more easily with age, and decreased concentration can accompany memory loss. Head or brain injuries; such as concussion, as well as certain mental health conditions, can also affect your focus.
When you try to concentrate but you just can’t concentrate quickly frustration comes. Unfortunately, it leads to unnecessary stress and irritation that make it even more difficult to focus on what you need to do.
If all this sounds familiar to you, read on to learn more about the research-backed methods that help you improve your concentration. We will also discuss some of the conditions that affect it.
Here are 10 ways to improve your concentration and increase your productivity
at the same time, not only at work but in your personal life.
1. TRAIN YOUR BRAIN
Playing certain types of games can positively influence your concentration.
Try to spend 30 minutes every day:
Brain training games can also help develop working memory and short-term memory, as well as the processing and problem-solving skills.
Brain training can work for kids too. Invest in a book with word puzzles, put together a puzzle or play a memory game.
Colouring is also good for practising attention, not only in children but also in adults. It is important to choose the right colouring pages for the age. Mandalas that allow you to calm down and relax are very popular.
Training games can be especially important for the elderly as memory and concentration often deteriorate with age.
A 2014 study of Trusted Source included 2,832 elderly people who were later tested after 10 years. People who completed 10 to 14 sessions of cognitive training saw improvements in cognitive abilities, memory, and processing.
After 10 years, most of the study participants reported that their daily activities were at the same level or even better.
2. PLAY VIDEO GAMES
Logic games aren’t the only type of games that can improve your focus skills. Research suggests that playing video games also has a positive effect.
In a 2018 study of 29 people, evidence was found to suggest that one hour of gaming per day may help improve selective visual attention (VSA). VSA refers to the ability to focus on a specific task while ignoring the distractions around us.
However, the study was limited by a small research sample, so these findings are not conclusive. The study also did not determine how long the increase in VSA lasted.
The 2017 review looked at 100 studies examining the effect video games can have on cognition. The results of the review suggest that playing video games can lead to a variety of changes in the brain, including increased attention and focus.
3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SLEEP
Lack of sleep can easily disrupt concentration, not to mention other cognitive functions like memory and attention.
Occasional lack of sleep may not cause too many problems. However, his regular neglect can affect the mood and performance at work.
Being too tired can even slow down your reflexes and affect your ability to drive or carry out other daily activities.
A busy schedule, health problems, and other factors sometimes make it difficult to get enough sleep. It is important not to neglect your body and take care of its rest.
Many experts recommend that adults get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Some tips to help you fall asleep:
4. TAKE TIME TO EXERCISE
Increased concentration is one of the many benefits of regular exercise. A 2018 study of 116 fifth grade students showed that daily physical activity can help improve concentration and attention after just 4 weeks.
Other Trusted Source research looking at the elderly suggests that just a year of moderate aerobic exercise can help halt or even reverse the memory loss that occurs with age-related brain atrophy.
If you have difficulty finding time to exercise, or don’t want to go to the gym, try to be more active during the day.
What can you do?
If possible, try exercising just before focusing or during a break at work.
5. SPEND TIME IN NATURE
If you want to increase concentration naturally, try to go outside every day, even for 15 – 20 minutes. You can take a short walk in the park or sit in the garden. Each natural environment has its own advantages.
Scientific evidence supports the positive effects of nature on humans. A 2014 study by Trusted Source found that planting plants in offices helped increase employee concentration and productivity, as well as workplace satisfaction and air quality.
Try adding a plant or two in your workplace or home for several positive benefits. If you don’t have a good hand for plants, choose succulents that don’t require too much attention.
6. DIVERSIFY YOUR DIET
Foods eaten can affect cognitive functions such as concentration and memory. Avoid processed foods, too much sugar, and fatty foods. To increase your concentration, try eating more of the following:
Also, take care of proper hydration, which also affects concentration. Even mild dehydration can make it difficult for you to focus or remember information.
We cannot ignore the issue of breakfast, which can help increase your concentration in the morning. Try to keep your meal low in sugar, and high in protein and fiber. Oatmeal, plain yogurt with fruit or whole grain toast with eggs are a great way to start your day.
7. LISTEN TO MUSIC
Music can also affect your concentration.
Research has shown that even if you are not into listening to music while you work, background sounds of nature can help keep you focused.
The type of music you listen to can make a difference. Experts generally agree that classical music, especially baroque or nature sounds, is a good choice.
If you don’t like classical music, try ambient or electronic music without lyrics.
It’s also important to avoid picking your favourite music or music that irritates you as both can distract you.
8. DO CONCENTRATION TRAINING
Concentration training often helps children who have trouble concentrating. These exercises involve paying full attention to one thing for a specified period of time, e.g .:
After doing one of the exercises, ask your child to write down a short summary or paint how they felt during the experience.
Talking about where he lost focus and how he managed to get back into focus on the task at hand can help him develop these skills and apply them in his daily life.
Concentration training can benefit adults as well, so get to work! Try it too!
9. CHOOSE CAFFEINE
There is no need to include caffeine in your diet, but Trusted Source research suggests that caffeine benefits your attention and focus.
If you feel your concentration is starting to drop, consider a cup of coffee or green tea. An alternative to coffee is also a serving of dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or more.
The phytochemicals naturally found in matchta (a type of green tea) not only improve cognitive function, but help you relax. Matcha is a good solution for people who are negatively affected by coffee.
10. TAKE A BREAK
How can a break from work or from doing homework increase your concentration? This idea may sound ridiculous, especially when time is running out, but experts say it really works.
Consider this scenario: you have spent several hours on the same project and suddenly your attention begins to fade and your thoughts begin to run far beyond the work area. Although you find it hard to focus on the task at hand, you stay at your desk forcing yourself to keep working. Your struggle with focus makes you feel stressed and anxious, you are worried that you will not return the project on time.
You’ve probably had it more than once. Next time this happens, take a short break. Reach for a cold drink or nutritious snack, take a quick walk or go outside to breathe the fresh air.
When you return to work, you should feel more focused, motivated and even creative.
FIND WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU
Each of us is different. Some ways to improve mindfulness and focus can work and bring surprising results, while others may seem completely ineffective. Try each of the methods, combine them with each other and see which ones benefit you the most.
If you are looking for effective support for improving concentration, reach for ACTIVE MIND
The autumn-winter period, the lack of sun and the times we live in have a big impact on the quality of our brain functioning: it is easier for us to distract and quickly lose attention. Active Mind is an effective help in improving the quality of your everyday life. Carefully selected ingredients of our supplement have a positive effect on your concentration, reduce fatigue and help you calm down.
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