Improving concentration for work and study

March 1, 2018

We all have differing attention spans. Some people lose interest in an activity fairly quickly and need something new to do whilst others can stick at the same thing for a long period of time (I know I can spend a whole day reading a good book!) Unfortunately we aren’t always in a position where we can just switch tasks because we are bored or finding it difficult to concentrate. Deadlines need to be met and sometimes work related activities can be repetitive and boring. To have a sustained flow of concentration throughout the day and beat brain fog I have put together 4 recommendations.

Have a protein-rich breakfast

Numerous studies have found that having breakfast in the morning can improve your health in a major way and it can also fuel your brain for optimum performance. The ingredients are key though so here are two options to inspire your choices:

The Time Poor Smoothie – Combine ½ cup frozen berries, 1 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon pumpkin seed butter, 1 dessertspoon cacao powder and a pinch of ginger and turmeric in a blender and enjoy!

The Cooked Breakfast – Smoked salmon and spinach omelette with mixed herbs and black pepper. If you don’t eat fish I’d suggest making it with mushrooms or organic goat’s cheese instead.

Carry out a breathing meditation

On your journey to work or college, and at intervals throughout the day when you would usually reach for the caffeine or biscuits, try the Box Breathing technique. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4, pause for a count of 4 and repeat. Continue this cycle for about 2 minutes or until you feel refocused and ready to carry on with work. Breathing meditation is also good for combating stress.

Take rosemary!

Rosemary is a powerful herb when it comes to mental stimulation. It helps combat fatigue, nervous exhaustion and stress-related disorders. Keep a little bottle of rosemary essential oil on your desk and simply remove the lid when you need a mental lift. If it’s not possible to keep it with you at work then put a few drops on a handkerchief before you leave home each day and inhale it when you need to.

Blue light ban

Good quality sleep is essential for mental performance and endurance. People that don’t sleep well often complain of ‘brain fog.’ To help improve the quality of your sleep, and get enough of it, turn off your laptop and smart devices a least an hour before bed. The television should also go off but if you like a late night film (as I do) get yourself some blue-light blocking glasses. These usually have a yellow tinge to them and they will help your brain start winding down for bed as you watch TV. Good activities to do before bed include taking a bath, drinking warm goat’s milk, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation.

By Gabriella Clarke MHS MNCS (ACC)

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