The Focus Struggle
Are you easily distracted when driving? Do you struggle to pay attention to boring tasks? Do you generally have problems focusing, or know someone who does?
If so, you are not alone!
Can you believe that research shows that humans have an attention span of only 8 seconds? This is less than a goldfish which loses focus after about 9 seconds
It seems like evolution may be going in the wrong direction. In 2000, the human attention span average was estimated at 12 seconds, which is not great; but losing a third of our attention span in fifteen years is alarming!
9 Easy Ways to Boost Your Focus
In today’s fast-paced, demanding, multi-tasking world, you need to be able to focus and pay attention in order to be successful. The good news is that there are countless strategies you can use to become more focused and have better attention – start with these 9.
1. Good, healthy food is brain medicine. For people who struggle with attention and focus, a healthy fat, high fiber, quality protein, low glycemic diet can have a powerfully positive effect on brain function.
The sugar-filled, pesticide-laden, high glycemic Standard American Diet (SAD) leads to increased distractibility, decreased energy, and illness. It is especially important to eat protein with each meal and snack which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and maintain focus.
2. Drink lots of water. Your brain is 80 percent water. Anything that dehydrates it, such as too much caffeine or alcohol, decreases your thinking and impairs your focus and judgment. Make sure you get plenty of water every day.
To know you are drinking enough water for your brain, a good general rule is to consume half your weight in ounces per day unless there is significant obesity and then usually not more than 120 ounces a day.
3. Calm and focus your mind on mindful exercise. Yoga, tai chi, and other mindful exercises have been found to reduce anxiety and depression and increase focus.
4. Decades of research have shown that prayer, meditation, visualization, and self-hypnosis can calm stress; improve focus, mood, and memory; and enhance overall brain function. Taking 5 to 10 minutes twice a day to focus on your breathing, gratitude, a beautiful scene in nature, or scriptures is simple, yet can have a powerful effect on your life.
5. Used properly, music is medicine. Music can soothe, inspire, and help you focus. That is why Dr. Amen has teamed up with best-selling author and Grammy Award-winning composer, Barry Goldstein Music to compose pieces specifically designed to enhance mood, memory, energy, and focus. Other music to consider in order to improve focus is:
- “Just the Way You Are”: Bruno Mars
- Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448: Mozart
- “Silk Road”: Kitaro
6. Neurofeedback has been shown to help improve focus, impulse control, and memory along with other cognitive functions. It helps your brain function better by retraining certain brainwave patterns. You essentially get to play a video game using just your mind. While doing it, a computer continuously monitors your brain’s function and provides feedback. It is through repetition that the brain can retrain itself; therefore, a neurofeedback program will involve multiple sessions, but it’s worth it.
7. Boost your attention span with BrainMD’s Attention Support containing natural focus boosters. All its ingredients were picked for their clinically proven benefits to attention, concentration, calm, and overall self-control. Working through multiple action pathways in the brain, Attention Support’s nutrients and herbals help your distractible brain stay on track.
8. Give yourself regular breaks. Many people equate taking breaks with wasting time, but research demonstrates that taking breaks actually improves our focus and efficiency. Our cognitive control system can often begin to fail after a while of focusing on a task. By switching our attention to something else briefly – in other words, by taking a break – we can then return to our original task refreshed and focus on it once again.
9. Get rid of distractions when you prepare to focus – close your email, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Put your phone on airplane mode and turn off anything that blinks, dings, buzzes, or vibrates. Although multitasking may seem like the best way to get things done, research shows that even people practiced at multitasking don’t do it very well.
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