3 Mindful Practices to Help You Focus
It’s easy to zone out. It’s much harder to give a laser focus to a task at hand. The sad truth is, many of us spend our days in a fog, lacking the ability to concentrate on what’s in front of us. We’re distracted, busy, but still, unproductive.
By taking a more mindful approach to our health, we can change that lack of focus. Here are three practices to get you started.
- Be Intentional About Movement
25% of adults don’t move enough, according to the World Health Organization. That lack of movement and exercise doesn’t just have an impact on your heart—it also has an impact on your brain health and ability to think clearly.
When you exercise, you give yourself an immediate boost of concentration, according to researchers in the British Medical Journal. That’s because you get an increase of blood flow to your brain, causing those neurons to fire, pull and synapse from one another, improving your focus.
- Go Outside
Televisions. Computers. Phones. We’re spending more time looking at screens than we are in nature these days and it’s taking a toll on our ability to focus. That’s because with every glance at these screens, we’re getting hit with information. That level of information overload is enough to leave us feeling overwhelmed and fatigued.
Taking a break in nature can restore your ability to think clearly. A study published in Psychological Science determined that being outdoors enabled participants to improve their scores on cognitive tests. That’s because the brain reacts differently to being outside, which enables us to break free from information overload and reach a more meditative state. In doing so, we restore our ability to focus.
- Drink Water
When your body detects any kind of change in your physiological makeup, it starts operating at a lower level to compensate for the depletion of resources, according to Harris Lieberman, PhD, a research psychologist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. Even a small percentage of dehydration can cause your body to go into flight mode when it comes to your attention span.
As you’re sitting at your desk feeling the fatigue start to set in, push your coffee or soda aside and reach for water instead. Hydrating your body will kickstart your brain and get it to start firing at full throttle again.
Improving Your Focus Starts With Mindful Behaviors
Feeling groggy and foggy headed is normal but it doesn’t have to linger. Next time you need to shake the cobwebs from your brain, stand up, grab a glass of water, and take a 10 minute walk around the office building. You might just be surprised at how refreshed you’ll feel.