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5 Tips for Improving Mental Focus

by Dr Prem Community Writer
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Having trouble concentrating? Are you more forgetful now than ever before? Or are you losing your ability to multitask? If any of these describe you, it might be time for a boost in your mental focus. Some memory loss and distraction is normal as you age, but if your lack of focus is interfering with your daily life, this article is for you! Keep reading to discover a few tips on sharpening your focus and getting the most out of life.

1. Change Your Diet

walnut

You already know that your diet affects your weight, your overall health, and even your confidence. But did you know that foods you eat might actually help you focus and boost cognitive function? There are certain “power foods” that are said to boost brain power. Try adding a few of these delicious and beneficial foods to your daily diet:

  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Beets
  • Dark chocolate
  • Berries
  • Celery

So what do all these super foods have in common? It’s the ingredients they contain that positively interact with your brain that give earn them their spot on this list. Avocados, for example improve blood flow and circulation in your body, including the amount of blood and oxygen that reach your brain. This helps improve function and strength. The same can be said for salmon and dark chocolate! If you ever needed an excuse to indulge in chocolate, here it is!

2. Consider Your Mind a Muscle — And Work It!

That’s right — just like your biceps and abs, your brain is a muscle. And if you want it to work for you, you need to exercise it regularly! The more you challenge and stimulate your brain, the better it will function. It’s a relatively simple concept, really. And similar to hitting the gym, you need to start slow in an effort to work your brain muscle. For example, if you currently struggle to make it past the 15-minute mark at work without scrolling through your social media feed, trying to swear off the internet for your entire day, on day one, will prove far too difficult. Instead, focus on working for 30 minutes straight, then taking a 5 minute break to check Facebook or Instagram. Once you’ve mastered this focus, try to challenge yourself by working for one hour before allowing yourself a 10 minute break. You’d be surprised at how quickly your focus improves and you’re able to work without succumbing to distraction. What’s even more impressive, is that knowing a break is on the horizon, you may experience improved cognitive function during your periods of work. This leads to higher productivity and a boost in your self-esteem. Who knows, it may even result in a job promotion down the line! Want to really challenge yourself? Check out these brain function tips to help take your concentration to the next level.

3. Meditate

MeditateAlthough meditation is an ancient practice (similar to yoga), it’s grown in popularity over the last decade. More and more people are becoming wise to the many benefits that meditation offers for both your mind and body. When it comes to mental clarity and focus, nothing tops a good meditation session. The good news is, it only takes a few minutes each day or night to truly quiet your mind and become more in-tune with your body. Believe it or not, meditation takes a lot of practice to master. It’s not as easy as you might think to quiet your mind and focus solely on your breathing and how your body feels, from head to toe. Our minds naturally wander from what we need at the grocery store to tomorrow’s work meeting or whether or not you put your laundry in the dryer. It takes time and effort to refocus your brain on the task at hand — meditation. Once you master focusing during meditation, it’s much easier to apply these same principles to your daily life. This means achieving better focus at work, in your personal relationships, and even on performing simple daily tasks. You might even see a boost in your memory prowess. Bonus!

4. Exercise

Yes, exercising your brain as a muscle is important for increased focus and function, but exercising the rest of your body is equally important. Hitting the gym might do more than just help you shed pounds and build muscle. You can also experience improved cognitive function when exercise becomes a part of your daily routine. While there’s no valid explanation for this phenomenon, it’s believed that physical activity helps us to eliminate and ignore outside distractions. One guess is that during physically grueling exercise, we push our mental abilities — it becomes a case of mind over matter. We block out our body’s signals of pain and discomfort to focus solely on completing the workout (or rep, or mile, or whatever obstacle stands before us). So, what if we could apply this same willpower and mental drive to everyday tasks that don’t include physical excursion at all? Exercise might help train our brain to push past our own psychological limits to finish that assignment for work, solve that math problem, or complete that book we’ve been wanting to read all year.

5. Memorize Information

Memorize InformationIf you already struggle with your memory, this tip might seem fruitless to you. But the opposite is true. Remember how we said that your brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised? Well, the best way to improve your memory is actually to practice memorizing things! Start small and try to memorize your grocery list or a few lines from your favorite song. The repetition you practice is the perfect way to strengthen your brain power and increase your likelihood to remember important information later on. But not all mental exercises need to be related to memory. Try completing crossword puzzles, word searches, or even a few games of Sudoku for fun. All of these games are actually mental exercises in disguise. And each will help strengthen cognitive function and improve your memory.

There you have it! Five simple ways to help sharpen your focus and improve cognitive function. Try incorporating some brain power foods into your diet, while also making time for meditation and some challenging and stimulating brain games. Improving your mental focus has never been so fun (and easy)!

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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