Do you wake up feeling like a zombie walking through the mud? You’re not alone. An estimated 600 million people around the world suffer from brain fog (or cognitive dysfunction). Unfortunately, clearing that fog can be a challenge. Sometimes, coffee just isn’t enough to get back on track. Fortunately, there are other ways to boost your focus and concentration – minus the jitters. Let’s take a closer look at how to improve your focus and concentration naturally.
How to Improve Your Focus Naturally
There are several ways to improve focus and concentration naturally, from supplements to aromatherapy and brain games. Using a combination of these methods allows you to see results more quickly.
1. Use Aromatherapy
The right scents can make you feel relaxed and at ease, while others are uplifting and energizing.
Aromatherapy is a simple way to improve your concentration. Some of the most effective essential oils for focus are:
- Spearmint and Rosemary: A 2016 study published in Physiology and Behavior found that a mix of spearmint and rosemary essential oils helped improve memory and learning.
- Peppermint: A 2018 study found that peppermint essential oil helped improve performance on cognitive tasks and reduced mental fatigue.
- Lavender: The calming effects of lavender can also help improve focus and productivity. One Japanese study found that using lavender oil during work breaks helped prevent burnout during later work sessions.
- Lemon: Another excellent citrus scent to help with concentration and mood improvement. One 2008 study found that lemon essential oil improved mood, which can help you stay focused. And a study out of Japan found that smelling lemon reduced typing errors by 54%.
2. Try Ginkgo or Ginseng Supplements
Supplements can also help boost your concentration and focus naturally. For example, ginkgo and ginseng are two of the most popular choices when it comes to memory and cognitive function.
Research has found that ginkgo can help prevent cognitive impairment. Ginseng can help focus and concentration in several ways:
- Increasing blood flow to the brain.
- Reducing mental fatigue.
- Improving memory.
- Boosting mood and mental well-being.
Gingko and ginseng can be effective at improving focus and concentration, but it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking either one. In addition, these herbs can react with certain medications, so it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before adding them to your routine.
3. Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep is critical to your mental and physical health. If you’re not getting enough rest, you’ll find it challenging to stay focused and productive during the day. Unfortunately, an estimated 50-70 million Americans have sleep-related problems, so sleep deprivation is a common problem.
To help improve your concentration and focus for the day, aim for 7-8 hours of sleep. If you’re having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, here are some tips to help you kick insomnia to the curb:
- Try keeping your room cooler at night. The ideal sleeping temperature is 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every night.
- Establish a nightly routine.
- Exercise regularly.
- Find ways to wind down and relax before bed.
During sleep, your brain removes toxins and consolidates long-term memory. Sleep plays a housekeeping role for your brain, helping clear away the gunk and allowing you to stay focused more easily during the day.
4. Play Brain Games
Yes, brain games really do work to help improve your cognitive function. Some of the best games for improving concentration include:
- Memory games
- Word searches and crossword puzzles
One study found that spending just 15 minutes a day on brain training can significantly improve concentration.
5. Exercise Regularly
Physical activity is just as good for the mind as it is for the body. And you don’t have to be a marathon runner or bodybuilder to see results. For example, one study found that daily physical activity can improve concentration in as little as one month.
Research also found that a year of regular, moderate aerobic exercise can help stop or even reverse memory loss in older adults.
Improved focus and concentration are just one more reason to start or stick to your exercise routine.
Do what you can to stay active, whether that means walking to the store or waking up a little bit earlier each morning for a walk or jog around the neighborhood.
6. Spend Time in Nature
Being out in nature is a simple but effective way to improve your focus and concentration. All it takes is just 15-20 minutes of being outside in a green space to enhance your cognitive function. You don’t necessarily have to hit the trails to reap the benefits of being in nature:
- Go for a walk in a nearby park
- Sit in your backyard or garden
Being in any natural environment can help improve focus. And if you can’t get outdoors, try adding plants to your work or living space. Research has found that placing plants in office spaces helped improve concentration and productivity. As an added bonus, plants can help improve indoor air quality, which can further help boost your concentration.
These are some of the most effective ways to improve focus and concentration naturally. Like with other natural remedies, it will take some time to see results. Stay consistent, and don’t be afraid to try multiple methods to find one that works well for you.
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