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We’ve all had trouble focusing before. It’s natural for our minds to wander now and then, but it can be frustrating when it happens often. Take a few minutes to find out how you can stay focused and defeat that brain fog.
1. Get more sleep
When we don’t get enough sleep, we can’t concentrate, our thought process slows, and our memory is impaired. It’s recommended we get about seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t dedicate enough time to sleep, but it’s something we should all prioritize.
Another step you can take to improve focus and concentration is to exercise. One study showed that participants increased the size of their hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning, after aerobic exercise.
There are many great reasons to meditate, including improving focus and concentration. Researchers say our mind wanders about half of the time, which makes it hard to concentrate on just about anything. Meditation can help us reset and bring our attention back to the task at hand.
4. Play cognitive training games
A decade-long study tracked participants as they performed cognitive training exercises. Those participants who participated in cognitive interventions either maintained their level of cognitive function or experienced improvement in brain function. Examples of cognitive training activities that may train your mind to focus are completing crossword puzzles and playing video games.
5. Spend time in nature
When we spend time outside in nature our anxiety levels decrease, our immune systems get a boost, and our focus improves. Researchers asked study participants to spend 50 minutes walking in either an urban or natural environment. Those individuals who spent time in nature had better cognitive function than those in the urban setting.
6. Add some caffeine to your diet
Caffeine can block adenosine receptors, which results in the release of several neurotransmitters responsible for healthy cognitive function. One of those neurotransmitters, dopamine, helps the brain focus. In moderation, caffeine can help you focus and increase your concentration.
7. Have breakfast every morning
While we often associate blood sugar levels with diabetic patients, low glucose levels can affect just about anyone. Keeping blood sugar levels up is also key to optimal brain function and will help you to maintain your focus. Eating full meals and snacks can help, especially after fasting all night while you sleep.
8. Eat a brain-boosting diet
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, nuts, and supplements. They play a crucial role in the body by fighting off heart disease, joint pain, and even depression, though more research is needed. Omega-3s can also help you focus. In a study performed with healthy adults, omega-3 supplements improved cognitive performance compared to the placebo group.