Overcoming lack of concentration
Suffering from lack of concentration and an inability to focus on a single task is completely normal in times of high stress, anxiety and uncertainty. At this time of global pandemic where we all struggle to process the changes that are happening, it is quite normal feeling unable to concentrate.
What does it mean lack of concentration
When you’re unable to concentrate, you can’t think clearly, focus on a task, or maintain your attention.
Problems with focus can greatly interfere with your ability to excel at work or at school, and with carrying out other important tasks.
In many instances, signs of lack of concentration is accompanied by stress, anxiety, and a general feeling of being overwhelmed.
Being unable to concentrate affects people differently.
Common signs of concentration issues include:
– Inability to perform normal daily tasks
– Difficulty remembering things that happened a short time ago
– Difficulty making decisions
– Lack of physical and mental energy
– Frequently losing things or difficulty remembering where things are
– Missing important meetings, deadlines, or appointments
– Losing things frequently or problems with remembering where things are
– Inability to make decisions and / or thinking clearly
– Inability to perform complicated tasks
What causes a lack of concentration.
Both attention span and concentration can vary for a number of reasons. There are many reasons why you might feel hard to concentrate. Some of the most common factors are non-medical and can be treated by making small changes in your routine.
Fatigue from sleep deprivation is the most common cause of an inability to concentrate. Many studies have shown that people are not getting enough sleep, and sleep deprivation have serious physical, emotional, and cognitive effects.
Anxiety and Stress.
Symptoms of anxiety such as constant fear, stress, and excessive worry can take you away from the present moment, making it harder to stay focused on something you’re doing. Experiencing some anxiety every now and then is normal, but experiencing anxiety on a regular basis can impact your quality of life and may even indicate you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder. If you suspect you have an anxiety disorder, talking with a mental healthcare professional is a good next step.
Poor Diet and Nutrition.
Poor nutrition can also make it difficult to concentrate as lack of nutrients can affect brain function.
Just like an automobile, a body needs clean fuel to keep it running well. Different people are affected in different ways from foods and chemicals. For example, some studies have linked low-fat diets with symptoms of depression. And depression can affect your concentration.
Medication and Drugs.
Some medications may cause a lack of concentration, and drugs deteriorate our cognitive function and the brain.
The people and places that surround you can play a role in how well you’re able to concentrate. If there are a lot of distractions, you’re more likely to get distracted and lose concentration.
Lack of physical activity.
If you don’t exercise, you won’t know how deeply your ability to focus is affected until you actually get moving. As an example of how the brain benefits from exercise, one study showed that three months of aerobic exercise was linked to the creation of new neurons, and broader and deeper interconnections between them. These types of neuronal improvements can increase and strengthen concentration.
How to improve your concentration
You can have better focus and concentration naturally by targeting the specific mechanisms responsible for these key brain functions. There are various ways to remedy poor concentration and focus, and here are a few:
You can improve your ability to focus exponentially by shifting your diet toward eating healthy foods. Consistently eating foods that support healthy brain function increases concentration and can even help you have more patience with distractions. In addition to moderate amounts of lean protein, fill your plate with lots of vegetables and fruit. Add whole grains and use olive oil to cook instead of butter. Eat a good breakfast to send a message to your body that it’s going to get the fuel it needs — you will be less stressed physically and better able to remain focused.
Staying hydrated can also have a positive impact on concentration. Even mild dehydration can make it harder to focus or remember information.
Improve your Sleep
Sleep deprivation can easily disrupt concentration. But regularly failing to get a good night’s sleep can affect your mood and performance at work.
Many experts recommend adults aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
A few quick tips:
– Turn off the TV and put away screens an hour before bed.
– Keep your room at a comfortable but cool temperature.
– Wind down before bed with soft music, a warm bath, or a book.
– Go to bed and get up around the same time each day, even on weekends.
– Exercise regularly, but try to avoid a heavy workout just before bed.
Take naps only when necessary, especially if you have trouble getting to sleep at night. If you haven’t slept well for a long period, use the weekend to catch up by heading to bed earlier and letting yourself wake up naturally
If you continue to have challenges with sleep, speak with your doctor.
Exercise can do wonderful things for focus: just one session can improve mental focus and cognitive performance for any task you’re trying to complete. One study showed that even if people have attention deficits, they can sharpen their focus with physical activity because it releases brain chemicals associated with learning and memory. Aerobic exercise can improve functioning in the brain areas related to attention. Need to concentrate immediately? A short, intense session of running in place speeds circulation to the brain and improves focus fast.
It’s important to set yourself up for good focus by choosing and adapting your surroundings as needed. Find the best place in your home to concentrate, or move to the library or a coffee shop if that fits your style better. Too much silence can drive a lot of people crazy — think solitary confinement. And if it is too quiet, you’ll hear every little distracting sound, so aim for a little background noise. Conversely, if you’re fighting too much noise, try noise-cancelling headphones or create white noise with a fan. Listening to non-distracting music can help — try classical or gentle electronic tunes.
You can limit the effects of stress on your ability to concentrate by simply taking a break at midday and doing absolutely nothing for a solid five minutes. Taking a break physically disrupts the pattern of stress-building and can help you recover your focus, or prevent it from being lost.
Meditation is known to be great for freeing your mind from clutter which is why it’s a great option if you’re asking yourself how to improve concentration and sharpen your attention at work. It recharges your brain and can leave you in a restful and restoring state.
Along with clearing your head, other benefits of meditation include recovering from distractions, handling stress better, and helping to overcome Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD).
Are you suffering from lack of concentration? Let us help you.
Working with a professional is the best way to address underlying problems like depression or anxiety that make it hard to keep focused on even simple tasks.
Your first step is to get in contact with us.
All new clients receive a free, no obligation 20-minute consultation with an online counsellor.
We look forward to helping you live a much richer, happier and healthier life.