5 Self-Care Tips to Boost Your Mental Focus

Your Mental Focus

Due to technology and the fast-paced delivery of digital information, the average person’s attention span has shrunk significantly in recent years. When combined with the stressors that we encounter in everyday life, it can be hard to concentrate on anything these days for Your Mental Focus.

Instead of getting swept away by the latest attention-grabbing craze or overwhelmed with stress, enrich your life by investing in self-care for your mental focus. 

Self-care may sound like some trendy thing to do to #treatyourself, but it is genuinely essential to our health and well-being. If you’re done with feeling like you can’t focus on anything for more than 5 seconds, this article covers several self-care tips that can help boost your mental focus.

Tip #1: Get Some Shut-Eye

One of the easiest ways to improve your mental focus is to get more sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults aim to get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night for optimal brain function. Even if you are a self-proclaimed night owl, you can turn bedtime into a self-care practice that you look forward to.

Start winding your body down by taking a warm bath or shower. Take the self-care up a notch by accompanying your shower with a nighttime skincare routine, aromatherapy scents, or dressing in comfortable night clothes. A warm cup of herbal tea instead of late-night caffeine or alcohol can also help your sleep quality.

It’s harder for our brains to turn off at night when we’ve been looking at our devices. The bright screens from your display trick your brain into thinking it’s seeing sunlight, disrupting your body’s natural circadian rhythms. 

To help your body adjust to nighttime, decrease the brightness of your devices and even utilize night mode features that adjust the screen’s hue to warmer colors.  Approximately 30-60 minutes before bedtime, turn off your devices and engage in calming, screen-free activities like reading, journaling, meditation, or stretching.

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Tip #2: Have a Healthy, Nutrient-Dense Diet

Brain function is heavily influenced by your daily diet. Research tells us that eating a diet of nutrient-poor inflammatory foods may increase inflammation in the brain, leading to brain fog, poor mood, and low energy.

Deficiencies of certain nutrients such as vitamin D, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids can also cause difficulties with regular focus and cognition. To combat nutrient deficiencies and inflammation, aim to have a varied diet of whole foods. Focus on nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fatty fish, and some whole grains.

Monitoring your refined carbohydrate intake is also vital for maintaining focus. Sugar crashes caused by eating large quantities of refined sugars can cause confusion, irritability and other mood changes, and overall decrease our body’s ability to focus.

If you cannot get enough nutrients in your diet, consider taking a high-quality multivitamin supplement.

Tip #3: Use Focus-Boosting Nutraceuticals

Nutraceuticals are substances known to be either beneficial to the body or protective against chronic disease. Through years of research, scientists have confirmed that many herbs, phytochemicals, and other substances can be effective for brain health.

One example of an energizing nutraceutical is the Ayurvedic herb, ashwagandha — one of the most studied herbal supplements for brain function. This adaptogenic herb is a force to be reckoned with. It protects the brain by reducing inflammation and its powerful phytochemicals can support healthy cognitive function. 

Another effective nutraceutical for focus is ginkgo biloba, an herb that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. This adaptogen supports brain signaling and may help reduce stress to improve memory and cognitive performance.

Tip #4: Exercise Your Brain with Memory Games

If you’re looking for ways to strengthen brain function, playing memory, and logic-based games can help increase your focus. Classic strategizing games like chess and checkers require your brain to focus on your own moves and anticipate an opponent’s moves. 

It is well-known that these games not only help you focus, but may also help with other cognitive functions, including critical thinking, memory, and visual-spatial skills.

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For people who prefer a single-player experience, try problem-solving games and puzzles such as crosswords, sudoku, or other word and number-based logic games. Many of these puzzle games are conveniently available in local newspapers or online at little to no cost.

Tip #5: Reduce Daily Distractions

While some people may consider themselves professional multitaskers, our brains actually work best when focusing on only a few things at a time. Every time we are distracted while working, our effectiveness and productivity significantly decrease.

Some of the top distractions that can make us lose focus on our work include background noise, other people, pets, clutter, smartphones, and other devices, and stress.

Depending on where you work or study, it may be impossible to eliminate all sources of distraction. Despite this, creating a comfortable space for you to work in and focus is essential. 

Ideally, a perfect space for focus should be a comfortable temperature, well-lit, free of clutter, and with minimal background noise. If you cannot work in silence and need some background noise, opt for lyric-free music at a moderate volume.

Often coworkers, family members, and even pets can be the biggest distraction when trying to accomplish a task. Try having an open dialogue about when you need some solitary time or limited interruptions to be your most productive self.

The Bottom Line

The things that we do to boost our mental focus tend to overlap with the things that can help our overall quality of life. To avoid overwhelming yourself, try focusing on incorporating one of the above self-care tips into your life, then slowly add to your self-care practice over time.

By starting with one simple change, you may be able to see improvements in your mental focus and productivity. Over time, increasing your mental focus can help you live in the moment, reach your full potential, and enjoy more of life’s experiences

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