Your ability to focus and concentrate impacts nearly every area of life from career to relationships to creativity, productivity, and more. In an increasingly noisy world with multibillion-dollar industries designed to capture your attention, the potential for distraction is endless and it's easy to wind up feeling scattered, unproductive, and frustrated.
Fortunately, the ability to focus and concentrate can be trained and enhanced with lifestyle choices. Try the following strategies to boost your ability to stay focused and attentive so that you can do more of what matters and tune out the rest.
You are always training your brain. If you have 17 tabs open and you're jumping from one task to the next, your brain is learning to be distracted. You can support increased focus and attention by turning off phone notifications, keeping your phone on "do not disturb" or in a separate room while working, closing browser tabs, batching email, and giving yourself boundaries around social media.
Keep in mind that the brain can only concentrate on one task at a time. While multitasking is possible, it requires the brain to jump back and forth from one job to the other. There's a cost to this. For instance, have you ever been in the middle of writing an important document and someone interrupts you? It takes a moment to get back into the mindset of where you were. Imagine the time cost of this happening hundreds of times per day.
Research indicates that increased attention is among the many benefits of having a regular meditation practice. Meditation also provides the ability to put some space between you and your thoughts so that you can choose what actually matters to you and be intentional with your attention. Focus requires that you not only choose what matters in this moment, but also that you choose what doesn't matter so that it can be eliminated.
Eat a Diet for a Healthy Inflammatory Response
A diet high in colorful fruits and vegetables is packed with antioxidants that support optimal brain function. Omega-3 fatty acids are another key component of a diet that supports a healthy brain that's capable of sustained attention. If you're not sure where to begin, start with these five brain foods: leafy greens, blueberries, eggs, walnuts, and salmon.
Include Herbal Support
In addition to lifestyle practices, herbal allies are an excellent way to support enhanced focus and attention. Herbs such as gotu kola, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, lemon balm, eleuthero, and bacopa are all great for brain health. These can be taken as tinctures or teas. Consider Genius Juice, which is a well-balanced formula that includes several of these herbs.
Remember that your ability to focus and pay attention plays a large part in the quality of your life! Which of these tips can you incorporate into your life today?
Writer Katie Gerber is a holistic health and nutrition coach serving clients locally in the front range as well as online. In 2014, she completed Aviva Romm's Herbal Medicine for Women certification. After thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014 and the Colorado Trail in 2016, Katie decided to use her botanical medicine and nutrition knowledge to help fellow wilderness lovers seeking more energy and better health. She transitioned from her career as a pastry chef, and enrolled in the Institute for Transformational Nutrition. She now uses her lifelong passion for holistic health with her background in the culinary arts to help people live healthier lives, in alignment with nature. Katie writes for several publications and speaks at local events. When she's not writing and working with clients, you'll most likely find her in the mountains, in the garden, or in the kitchen testing recipes. Find out more about Katie, her articles, and her adventures at her website.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.