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Promoting Concentration: How Can I Support Attention and Focus?

Promoting Concentration: How Can I Support Attention and Focus?<sup>†</sup>

You have an important task to do but your mind feels like wandering and you easily get distracted.

Now, you may be asking yourself: “Why can’t I focus?”

As we age, we find it hard to filter out distractions that won’t allow us to properly finish the tasks at hand.

Aside from the fact that the number of distractions is growing by the day, like checking on your phone and emails every six minutes…

There are habits that you form daily that affect your focus and attention.

These include…(1)

  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Eating unhealthy foods and having a generally poor diet
  • Sleeping with your phone and other devices
  • Getting burned out and stressed
  • Lacking the chance to work out or move your body

All of these can plummet your energy, which is essential to support attention and focus.

Moreover, just like a computer that slows with use, the human brain also collects wear and tear that affects its processes and functions over time.

For example, according to the Sleep Foundation, just one night of sleep deprivation increases the production of beta amyloid in the brain.(2)

This can accumulate over time, resulting in more problems such as inflammation and synaptic dysfunction, affecting your memory and concentration.(3)

That’s not to mention brain shrinkage as we age and injury to blood vessels caused by other health problems.

These issues, along with taking drugs and drinking too much alcohol, can cloud your thinking and processing, making it difficult to focus.

Moreover, with so much information around us, it may be difficult to filter information properly, making us easily distracted.(4)

So how can you increase concentration and get back your razor-sharp brain?

Here are nine simple things you can do to increase your focus.

10 Effective Ways to Support Concentration

10 effective ways to promote concentration

Fuel Your Body With Nutritious Foods

Your diet and the food you eat can make or break your brain health.(5)

In fact, according to the Journal of Nutrición Hospitalaria, eating foods high in saturated fat and sugar can negatively impact your concentration.

Foods that contain low amino acids may also affect serotonin and other neurotransmitters, which are important for memory, learning, and reasoning.

To promote concentration, opt for foods that are rich in minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats.

These include vitamins B1, B6, and B12, vitamins A-D, folic acid, choline, zinc, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids, to name a few.

Foods with a low glycemic index, such as bananas, sweet corn, raisins, raw pineapple, oats, and cherries, can also help increase attention and memory.

This is because foods with a high glycemic index can cause inflammation to the hippocampus, the part of your brain that’s responsible for your memory and overall brain health.(6)

Therefore, it’s best to eat nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits, along with eggs and salmon, to support cognitive health.

Moreover, your brain is only 2% of your body weight but uses 20% of your day's energy.

That means your brain uses more than 320 calories a day just to think.

Add another 200 calories burned if you are using your brain hard for 8 hours studying or learning something.

Eating foods rich in healthy calories, such as beef, full-fat dairy products, seeds, and nuts, is a healthy way to replenish your body's calorie intake and provide the energy your brain needs for optimal function.

Hydrate Your Brain

Your brain is made up of approximately 75% water, giving it the energy it needs to function.(7)

Without adequate hydration, your brain can suffer from sluggishness and cognitive decline over time.

In fact, a 1% dehydration can reduce your ability to focus by 12% (8)

This is because hydration is what makes energy from ATP.

Water interacts with ATP molecules, causing them to release energy when bonds break and electrons transition to a more stable state.(9)

To support healthy hydration, you can use Optimal Electrolyte as it has ATP in it to give your body and brain the nutrients it needs to support attention and focus.

Recharge Your Mind with Quality Sleep

Are you getting 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep every night?

If not, the chances are that your memory and thinking is foggy.

You see, not getting enough sleep slows you down, making you less alert and focused.

Researchers found that people who have poor sleep have low concentration and alertness. They have difficulty paying attention, making them easily confused.

It has the same effect as being drunk, as it slows down your reaction time and thinking.(10)

This hinders your ability to pay attention and perform tasks that require complex thinking.

So what do you need to do?

Make sure to get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep every night.(11)

That way, you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

To help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night, avoid using your electronic devices such as computers or mobile phones before bedtime.

Moreover, avoid drinking coffee and alcohol later in the day.

Caffeine blocks the sleep-inducing chemical adenosine, making you feel wide awake instead of sleepy.(12)

Move Your Body

People who exercise and are active do better in cognitive tasks than those who don’t do any physical activity.

This is because, according to the National Institutes of Health, working out can secrete the brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which support concentration, memory, and mental sharpness.(13)

Staying active also helps keep you relaxed and releases tension from the body, helping you sleep better.

As a result, you wake up feeling refreshed and your brain recharged.

In a study published in the Journal of Hindawi, adults who did moderate aerobic exercise had better memory support as they aged.(14)

Therefore, if you have the chance, do aerobic exercise, or really any type of exercise, since as long as you keep moving, it can help increase your attention span and promote brain memory and concentration.

Dive into Meditation

According to a study by Harvard researchers, our minds wander 47% by the time we wake up.(15)

Doing meditation can help pull you away from this distraction, helping you become more focused and centered, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology Review.(16)

This is because meditation can help you relax, helping improve the function and structure of your brain.

At the same time, it helps with stress and anxiety, giving you more mental clarity.

In one study, human resources professionals who received 8 weeks of mindfulness training showed that they were able to focus on doing tasks for longer instead of continually switching from one task to another.(17)

Therefore, if you want to promote concentration, practice meditation, such as doing deep breathing exercises, even just for 10 minutes a day.

Avoid Multitasking

Are you a proud multitasker? If so, it’s time to take a pause if you want to keep your brain healthy.

You see, the brain doesn’t like multitasking.

This constant switching from one task to another taxes the brain and tires it out.

This affects your attention and focus, even when you’re not multitasking anymore.

This makes you easily distracted and more prone to errors.

In other words, multitasking can take a serious toll on productivity.

In a study published in PLoS One, people who were high media multitaskers were shown to have smaller gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex.(18)

This part of the brain is responsible for learning and decision-making.

Therefore, it’s best to do one task at a time rather than spread your brain too thin, as this not only helps you finish your job faster but also supports your memory and focus.

Take Regular Short Breaks

Working on a project?

Make sure to take a break for every 30 minutes of deep work to be more productive.

You see, the American Psychological Association (APA) discovered that people lose concentration after about 30 minutes of doing a task.(19)

Those who did not take a break were shown to have a decline in performance.

Therefore, it’s best to take a short mental break when everything becomes a little fuzzy.

This can help refresh your brain, boost your energy, and increase your focus.(20)

You can go for a quick walk, shower, or workout.

Doing so helps you stay focused and creative when you continue with what you’re doing.

Be in Nature

The American Psychological Association (APA) also suggests that spending time in nature not only helps you physically but also mentally.(21)

In fact, being in green spaces such as your garden can improve your working memory and concentration.

This has been proven true in preschool and elementary school students who are regularly exposed to nature.

According to Environmental Health Perspective, children 4 to 7 years old who live in areas with trees and other green surroundings have better attention based on their test scores.(22)

These students also have a better mood, are able to think more quickly and clearly, and have increased focus.

This is why you need to get outside to get refreshed.

Additionally, elevated CO2 levels in a room can impair cognitive function and focus.(23)

Make sure that your room has a fresh source of oxygen free from chemicals such as exhaust and fragrances.

Or, you can add green plants or succulents to your home or office.

This not only purifies your indoor air, but these plants can also help improve your productivity and focus.

If you are working indoors and exposed to chemicals, you can use Glutathione Plus Lozenge, or any other Brain Nutrients with glutathione and antioxidants, to support healthy focus and concentration.

Train Your Brain

Do you think games are just for kids? Nope, they’re not.

Growing research shows that brain games promote concentration, boost short and long-term memory, and increase problem-solving skills.

In a randomized controlled study published in PLoS One, adults who did 15 minutes of brain training activities for 5 days a week reported improved concentration.(24)

Some of these games could include sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, and chess.

In another study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, adults who completed 10 to 14 sessions of cognitive training also demonstrated better memory, cognition, and processing skills.

This goes to show that taking some time to be a kid again and play some fun brain games really can help keep your mind sharp as you get older.

Try Brain-Supporting Supplements

You may also want to add brain-supporting supplements to your daily routine.

Supplements containing ashwagandha, DHA, magnesium, acetylcholine, vitamins B6 and B12, and l-theanine can help support healthy brain cells, cognitive performance, and neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and dopamine play a significant role in promoting normal focus and concentration.

Taking choline can help support healthy acetylcholine levels, while tyrosine can support normal dopamine levels.

However, acetylcholine is easily damaged and broken down by an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase.

In such cases, you can use compounds like huperzine to slow down the breakdown of acetylcholine.

Huperzine A, a compound isolated from Chinese club moss, is a powerful, specific, and reversible inhibitor of the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine.

This compound, along with BacoMind®, works to support acetylcholine binding to receptors.

Seeking Health has combined Huperzine A and BacoMind® in one supplement called Optimal Focus to help promote normal concentration and support attention.

Additionally, taking Dopamine Nutrients and Optimal Electrolyte along with Optimal Focus can make a huge difference in your brain's energy and health.

Therefore, if you’re looking to support sharpness and focus as you age, taking supplements containing these brain nutrients can help.

Here at Seeking Health, we formulate brain and focus supplements to support your mental health and brain energy.

We only use the best, researched ingredients for each of our products.

By doing so, we know you are getting pure and safe supplementation that can help support your laser-sharp focus and memory.

Make sure to follow the steps above to support your attention and focus, not only to get things done quickly but also to stay sharp and attentive even as you age.

If you’re in search of a supplement to support healthy brain and focus, check out Seeking Health for the best options.

Shop now!


References
  1. https://blog.rescuetime.com/communication-multitasking-switches/
  2. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-deprivation/lack-of-sleep-and-cognitive-impairment
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4990654/
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/tips-to-improve-concentration#:~:text=Many%20aspects%20of%20a%20healthy,reduce%20stress%2C%20and%20improve%20sleep.
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30351155/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555146/pdf/nutrients-07-05307.pdf
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6068860/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4207053
  9. https://www.khanacademy.org/science/ap-biology/cellular-energetics/cellular-energy/a/atp-and-reaction-coupling
  10. https://www.nature.com/articles/40775
  11. https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/healthy-living/mental-health-and-relationships/get-enough-sleep
  12. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/caffeine-and-sleep#:~:text=Caffeine%20promotes%20wakefulness%20by%20blocking,to%20ensure%20better%20sleep%20quality.
  13. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-deprivation/lack-of-sleep-and-cognitive-impairment#:~:text=Getting%20enough%20hours%20of%20high,%2C%20emotional%20processing%2C%20and%20judgment.
  14. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/moderate-exercise-may-improve-memory-older-adults
  15. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/11/wandering-mind-not-a-happy-mind/
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21183265/
  17. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262393075_The_effects_of_mindfulness_meditation_training_on_multitasking_in_a_high-stress_information_environment
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4174517/
  19. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/09/boosting-productivity
  20. https://health.cornell.edu/about/news/study-breaks-stress-busters
  21. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/nurtured-nature
  22. https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/EHP694
  23. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25068481/
  24. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/researchers-come-up-with-simple-game-to-improve-memory

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