Our daily choices affect the brain, as well as the rest of the body — and sometimes our modern environment can make us feel a little off, tired, or experience a lack of concentration or “brain fog”.
Thankfully, there are some habits we can adopt to naturally support focus and productivity each day and increase brain power. Here are some top tips to try:
#1 Enjoy Breakfast
You’ve heard the cliche: “It’s the most important meal of the day!” And in a lot of ways, this is true. Breakfast is an easy meal to skip as we rush to work in the morning, but missing out on it can really affect energy levels and concentration. Plus, those who skip breakfast tend to eat late at night, which can affect how we sleep.
If you’re a serial breakfast skipper, try eating something with a good mix of carbs, protein and fats each morning. It doesn’t have to be a full breakfast, just balanced options like a smoothie, oatmeal or overnight oats with peanut butter, or some unsweetened yogurt with fruit and nuts.
Try this for the next week and see how it affects your energy throughout the day.
#2 Eat Regularly and Mindfully
Eating breakfast is important, but so are regular meals. Skipping meals can cause dips in blood sugar, making us feel tired and unfocused mid-day. Keep snacks with you at work and eat when you feel hungry.
Be mindful of eating wholesome foods that provide your body with beneficial nutrients. Proper nutrition is important for focus, concentration and feeling your best. Try to incorporate these brain-healthy foods into your life, as well.
Eating mindfully is important, too. Allow yourself extra time for meals as often as possible, taking breaths between bites and really tasting your food. Make note of the foods that make you feel best and when you are truly full (as eating too much or too little can affect energy levels). This can act as a sort of meditation to help slow down during the day, making it easier to jump in and focus on work.
#3 Unplug and Meditate
So many of us are go-go-go each day and hyper-connected through social media. It might feel like we are expert multitaskers, but so much stimulation is detrimental to focus and productivity. No wonder many of us feel overwhelmed, stressed out and anxious!
One of the fastest ways to reduce overwhelm is by taking a break from social media and replacing that time with a meditative practice like yoga, meditation, mindful walking or just breathing. Meditation especially can be amazing for improving focus.
Try deleting social media apps from your phone for a day or two, only checking email at set times each day. Give yourself 5-10 minutes each day to sit quietly and breathe, focusing only on your breath. You might be surprised just how much it reduces mental chatter that gets in the way of productivity.
#4 Get Enough Sleep
Everything is harder to do on too little sleep, especially concentrating on important tasks. One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is a good night’s sleep.
Try making 7-8 hours of sleep each night a priority. If you’re currently well below that, work on going to bed 30 minutes early one night at a time until you reach seven hours.
#5 Consider Supplements
If you’re interested in additional natural support, here are some supplements you can consider that may help with concentration, including:
- Panax ginseng
- Ginkgo biloba (found in Memory Factors)
- Acetyl L-carnitine
- Omega-3 fish oil
- Supplement blends designed for energy support
#6 Get Moving
Exercise is a great way to boost your energy throughout the day. Aerobic exercise especially releases neurotransmitters that can help increase concentration levels. Try walking or going to the gym before work if you can, but any time you can fit it in is helpful!
The Bottom Line
Overall, any way we can take good care of our minds and bodies is helpful for navigating the common struggles in our world, including lack of focus. Daily habits that nourish us set a solid foundation for improvement in many areas of life.