The ability to focus is harder some days than others; there may be times where you are stuck in an internet vortex with no motivation to turn your eyes away and concentrate on the task at hand.
Snapping out of your thoughts and zeroing in during an important lecture, meeting, assignment, or mundane everyday tasks alludes to the fact that the ability to focus may require some extra, well-needed attention. However, hope is not lost for the distracted mind, as there are ways to boost your focus, naturally!
Here are six ways to improve your focus:
1.Incorporate exercise into your daily routine
You may be tired of reading health-related articles that almost always point out how essential exercising is, but moving your body can help boost your well-being in countless ways, including your ability to concentrate. According to Forbes, exercising stimulates your intelligence: after you exert your body into a state of sweatiness, your brain will release endorphins which helps your mind to prioritise the essential tasks. And the endorphins released will help to better your mood, which reportedly enhances your memory.
The magazine also discusses a book, “Spark - The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” written by Dr John Ratey, which unveils that your brain will have an increased ability to concentrate for two to three hours post-workout. Exercise boosts the blood flow in the brain which results in neuroplasticity - where neurons connect and grow, and there’s nothing wrong with a few new brains cells!
2. Get a solid night of sleep
A good sleep will not only help decrease stress and boost your metabolism, but it also improves brain function. One researcher states that “We discovered that starving the body of sleep also robs neurons of the ability to function properly”, highlighting the fact that you may need a full night of sleep to focus.
When you sleep, your brain goes through four different stages, including REM and non-REM, during these stages the brain mends and restores. Scientists claim that it is vital to go through the four different sleep stages at least four to five times during the night, each cycle is, on average, around 90 minutes.
3. Travel to a meditative state of mind
A group of researchers reveal that meditating boosts the amount of grey matter in the brain - an essential function in the mind that perpetuates memory and attentiveness (and more!).One study analysed the role Sahaja Yoga Meditation had on improving grey matter in the brain, and the results showed that meditating helped to enhance grey matter in the “insula, ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex, inferior temporal and parietal cortices as well as in left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and left insula”. If you haven’t meditated before, you can check out this guide on how to do so!
4. Watch your diet
If you consume a lot of cookies, white bread, cake, milk chocolate, and the list goes on, your ability to focus may be impaired. You may wonder, ‘how food can affect my brain if it goes into my stomach?’
More and more research is revealing the intricate, delicate connection between the gut and the mind, and how inflammatory foods like sugar can worsen depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Refined carbs and sugar fall into the inflammatory foods category, alluding to the fact that they may fog the mind more than clear it. Scientists claim that sugar-infused carbohydrates spike blood sugar levels, which impacts blood vessels in the brain and decreases overall cognitive function.
5. Regulate your antioxidant intake
You can boost your cognitive function with more anti-inflammatory, rich-in-antioxidant foods like berries! Antioxidants work to decrease inflammation in your body by reducing the number of free radicals (they harm cells in the body), which cause oxidative stress. Reportedly, the best antioxidants for improving brain health are flavonoids and vitamin E.
You can find flavonoids in spinach, kale, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, butternut squash, avocados, to name a few. Whereas vitamin E is more present in nuts like almonds, peanuts, pecans, and various oils - sunflower oil, safflower oil, and soybean oil.
6. Use essential oils
Essential oils can benefit your hair, skin, and relieve stress, but the plethora of essential oils serve different bodily needs and functions. Three essential oils that may help to improve cognitive function are organic peppermint, rosemary, and cinnamon bark oils.
Peppermint oil encompasses a wide range of healing properties, but one of its remedies includes stimulating concentration by increasing blood circulation. Rosemary oil is abundant in antioxidants, and it has been used as a natural resource for boosted mental strength for hundreds of years. Cinnamon bark oil reaps many benefits - improves circulation, fights parasite, and decreases inflammation - but scientists claim that inhaling cinnamon oil propels focus.
If you are looking for a product that combines these three essential oils, you may want to try out AromaStick Natural Inhaler Focus, which will help boost your ability to concentrate and focus!
Before releasing the product, the manufacturers tested it on 45 participants. In the end, the participants’ ability to focus increased by 21%, and their processing speed improved by 19%.
The ability to focus may be more of a learned trait for some, but exercise, proper food intake, deep nights of sleep, meditation, and essential oils may help those who have difficulty concentrating to focus on whichever task is at hand with a clear, attentive mind!