In today’s world, it’s harder than ever to focus and concentrate. Emails, texts, and the latest YouTube video sensation beckon. But learning to concentrate may be more important than ever to get and stay ahead at work or school. The loss of focus throughout the day can be the result of sleep disturbance, fatigue, anxiety, or depression, or a number of other factors.
“I went upstairs to the next room and couldn’t remember why I was there” and similar phrases are usually not an indication of a memory problem but instead a consequence of poor concentration or absentmindedness. This common frustration makes many wish there was a way they could boost their mental function. The NYU Langone Medical Center says, mental function often declines particularly under conditions of stress or fatigue, and can often be an indicator of age-related cognitive decline (ARCD) or age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) in those over the age of 40.
Children are more susceptible to the childhood disorder attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can continue through adolescence and into adulthood. ADHD prevalence in children between ages 4-17 has increased by 22 percent from 2003 to 2007 according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This learning disability makes it a struggle for children to concentrate on daily activities or maintain focus on the task at hand. Treatments for ADHD include medications that can increase their alertness and monitoring behavioral levels.
To keep the mind sharp and improve mental agility, natural concentration boosters can be used throughout the day at work, home, or school. Whether you suffer from the occasional memory loss of have ADHD, these natural cures will help boost your concentration.
1. A HARD-BOILED EGG
Consuming a hard-boiled egg for breakfast can improve your ability to focus during the day. Choline — a nutrient found in the vitamin B group — has been linked to better performance on verbal and visual memory tests in adults. Findings in a study show that adults who have a high-choline diet not only performed significantly higher than adults with poor choline diets, but also were less likely to develop signs linked to dementia.
2. WHEAT BRAN CEREAL
This type of cereal is not only heart healthy but can vastly improve your mental function. A box of Kellogg’s All-Bran Complete Wheat Flakes contains 33 milligrams of zinc, according to Self. Zinc not only improves your skin tone and has cancer-fighting abilities, the essential mineral also plays a crucial role in memory formation and cognitive stability, says Naturalnews.com. For other dietary sources of zinc, you can eat organic liver, beef, and lamb.
Drinking a cup of Joe in the morning to improve your mental agility does not take much convincing for coffee enthusiasts. Limiting yourself to one cup of coffee in the morning as the effects of caffeine usually take four to six hours to wear off. Coffee stimulates mental and memory performance because it is able to regulate concentration in the brain. A cup of coffee at the right time can sharpen your mental functions and keep you alert and ready throughout the day.
HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS TO BOOST YOUR FOCUS
The effects of breakfast foods may wither away by the time noon comes around, therefore it is important to keep your memory and cognitive speed vibrant throughout the day. Natural herbal supplements have been found to provide a series of health benefits for your body. Many of these are used in common practice in Chinese medicine.
1. PANAX GINSENG
This herbal supplement has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for years to make people feel calm and at ease. However, the supplement can also be used to improve thinking, concentration, memory and work efficiency, physical stamina, and even athletic endurance, says Medline Plus. We recommends those taking the supplement to take 100 milligrams twice per day to boost concentration.
2. GINKGO BILOBA
Some studies suggests that an extract derived from this herb could treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but not all the research on gingko agrees. It may also alleviate normal age-related memory loss and enhance mental function in younger people, says NYU Langone Medical Center. While the evidence of this herbal supplement to sharpen mental acuity in healthy patients still remains undefined, the herb is one of the heavily used go-to natural treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s.
SIMPLE BEHAVIORS TO BOOST YOUR FOCUS
You can eat the right foods and take the right supplements, but that is only half of the natural cure. To experience the effectiveness of these natural concentration boosters, you must adopt a few simple and healthy behaviors during the morning, afternoon and at night.
Exercising either in the morning, afternoon or evening can naturally help improve your focus. When you do aerobic exercises, this helps boost catecholamines — a type of neurotransmitter — in the body that increases concentration levels. A jog, run, or even a brisk walk outside during a break at work or school can help improve your focus.
2. WRITE IT DOWN
Jotting down information will help you remember and visualize your agenda or tasks for the day. It is an easy way to remind yourself of what you have to do or say later during the day. A “random-thought pad” on hand while you’re at the computer or folding laundry can help improve your focus naturally,writes Linda Richmand, acertified professional coach with a specialty in adult ADHD and ADD.
3. NOISE-CANCELING HEADPHONES
These type of headphones can be extremely useful whether you’re at work or studying at school because it drowns outside sounds that can often be disturbing for you to concentrate. People who have lots of noise around them do not concentrate as well, therefore, simple tools like these will make a huge difference.