Eat More Of These Foods:
Sugar and fat has been linked to impaired memory. A recent study in humans found that a diet high in fats and sugars common in a Western diet impairs hippocampal memory. However, the study relied on questionnaires and surveys, which may not be as accurate.
Is Memory Capacity Related To Concentration
Yes, memory capacity is related to concentration. If you have a high working memory capacity, then you will have no problem ignoring distractions and staying focused on the task at hand. Similarly, if you have developed the habit to stay focussed for a longer period by voluntarily avoiding distraction, then also you will develop better memory capacity. So, memory capacity and concentration are inter-related.
Multitasking Is A Bad Idea
Cant find our keys while leaving home for work? It is probably because you were not paying enough attention when you put them down somewhere. When you are concentrating and juggling between too many things simultaneously, you are even bound to forget. To our surprise, experts say that the brain does not actually multitask. Instead, it just switches focus from one thing to the other, which is why it makes it difficult for us to read a book and have a concentration at the same point of time.
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Ways To Improve Your Focus And Concentration Skills
Weve all been there: sitting at your desk with an urgent deadline and a wandering mind. Despite your best efforts, things are not progressing. You need to focus on the task in front of you. Youre motivated to do it. But you just can’t concentrate.
In this digital world, we are easily distracted. Information is everywhere and we feel the need to deal with increasing and multiple forms of information. It drags on our time and our attention.
The inability to concentrate on the task at hand is one of the maladies of our time–everyone wants to know how to focus better, how to concentrate. Yet, the benefits of improving concentration and focus make it an issue worth addressing.
Try This Focus Exercise
Want a way to boost your attention and focus? Neuropsychologist Kim Willment of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital suggests a single-task exercise like reading. “Read something for 30 minutes, setting a timer to go off every five minutes. When it goes off, ask yourself if your mind has wandered. If so, just refocus on what you’re reading,” she says. “By training your brain to monitor if your mind is wandering, you strengthen the monitoring process and the ability to maintain focus on a single task.”
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Vegetables Linked To Better Memory
Eating vegetables but not fruit helps improve memory, research finds.
The study of 3,718 people over 65 living in Chicago asked how often people ate particular foods and administered cognitive tests.
Professor Martha Clare Morris, who led the study, explained the results:
Compared to people who consumed less than one serving of vegetables a day, people who ate at least 2.8 servings of vegetables a day saw their rate of cognitive change slow by roughly 40 percent.
This decrease is equivalent to about 5 years of younger age.
Green leafy vegetables showed the strongest association with an improved memory they are also likely to help concentration.
Older people in the study got the greatest benefit from eating more vegetables.
Get Rid Of Distractions
Its really hard to focus when the TVs blaring, the radios on or theres lots going on in the place youre working, so try and get rid of the distractions. Also, concentrating is easiest when youre in a quiet, comfortable place, so play around with how you study sitting, standing or lying down inside or outside with lots of light or without and find a method that helps you concentrate.
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Mindfulness Cognitive Training And A Healthy Lifestyle May Help Sharpen Your Focus
You’re trying to concentrate, but your mind is wandering or you’re easily distracted. What happened to the laser-sharp focus you once enjoyed? “Older people tend to have more difficulty filtering out stimuli that are not relevant to the task at hand,” says Dr. Kirk Daffner, a neurologist and director of the Center for Brain/Mind Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Give Them Time For Meaningful Play
In todays world, we are often rushed. Every day is jam-packed with activities and events and things to do and places to be, and the first thing that gets cut is playtime.
Just carving out time for your child to have meaningful play. Giving your child 40 minutes a day for uninterrupted play will help you see a major change in your childs ability to focus.
Learn More about Open-Ended Play
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How To Improve Concentration In Kids Through Play
A great way to help your child improve their concentration is through open-ended play. Not only do children get to see what being focused feels like, but they also start building skills that support focus like self-initiation, resilience, independence, and problem-solving.
Through open-ended play, your children can gain the ability to focus.
Another way to help your child improve their concentration when you are playing together is to play memory games that strengthen their working memory. The obvious choice would be a matching game. But to incorporate it naturally into play you can play restaurant server, where your child is the server and needs to remember your order. Start small with one or two items and slowly grow it until you reach 4 or 5 items. These concentration exercises can become fun activities that help in the long run.
In another example, my kids played recently were pretend pet vet and I was surprised how much working memory was needed in their game. The kids needed to remember the names of their pet patients, what they were being seen for, and all the made-up diagnoses, tests, and medications.
Why Cant My Child Concentrate At School
Many of the above reasons can contribute to your childs attention in class. If there is not a neurological difference like ADHD or autism, things like the quality of their sleep, diet, lack of physical activities, and emotions all play into a child having concentration difficulties.
But on top of those reasons, there are a few more things to consider like poor routines, how challenging their classwork is, and learning differences.
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How To Increase Concentration And Memory Power
In the beginning, especially, it may be helpful to write down your experiences with meditation, including any insights you have about your practice. You may have nothing to write about, or you may find you have much to consider.
Even if you become distracted many times, your meditation session was successful. Letting those thoughts drift past means you are benefiting from this practice. You should have patience in the process it takes to develop these types of skills.
Once you have practiced and feel comfortable and confident in your focused-attention meditation, you may want to embark on learning open monitoring meditation practices. It will take what you learn in focused-attention to the next level. Open monitoring builds on these learned attention skills to incorporate more skills of observation as well as how to stop passing judgment on every thought that crosses your mind.
Pay Extra Attention To Difficult Information
Have you ever noticed how it’s sometimes easier to remember information at the beginning or end of a chapter? Researchers have found that the order of information can play a role in recall, which is known as the serial position effect.
While recalling middle information can be difficult, you can overcome this problem by spending extra time rehearsing this information. Another strategy is to try restructuring what you have learned so it will be easier to remember. When you come across an especially difficult concept, devote some extra time to memorizing the information.
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School Work At Appropriate Level Of Challenging
Sometimes the issue with your childs ability to concentrate at school is with the school work. If your child is struggling with the work and its too difficult, your child may need accommodations while they catch up.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if the school work is too easy then your child may also be constantly distracted because they are bored. Your child may need a change of curriculum or even be moved to another grade level.
Make A Time Plan For Yourself
Having a plan set for yourself is a must. If you set a time target in order to achieve a certain level of the task, adhering to the plan will give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. This is what will keep you concentrated on the task at hand. Also, it will decrease any kind of distractions by improving your drive towards your goals.
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What’s Fogging Up Focus
Like a computer that slows with use, the brain accumulates wear and tear that affects processing. Dr. Daffner says this can be caused by a number of physiological stressors such as inflammation, injury to blood vessels , the buildup of abnormal proteins, and naturally occurring brain shrinkage.
The following factors can also affect your concentration.
Underlying conditions. Depression or sleep disorders can undermine your ability to concentrate. So can the effects of vision or hearing loss. “You waste precious cognitive resources when you spend too much time trying to make out what’s written on a page or just hear what someone is saying,” Dr. Daffner notes.
Medication side effects. Some drugs, especially anticholinergics , can slow processing speed and your ability to think clearly.
Excessive drinking. Having too much alcohol impairs thinking and causes interrupted sleep, which affects concentration.
Information overload. We are bombarded with information from TVs, computers, and messages such as texts or emails. “When there’s too much material, it burdens our filtering system and it’s easy to get distracted,” Dr. Daffner says.
How To Improve Memory Power: 10 Tips And Tricks
- Aashna Ahuja, NDTV
Get a Goodnight’s Sleep
2. Jog Your Memory – Literally. Exercise increases your heart rate which gets blood flowing to your brain, thus keeping your memory sharp. Running, swimming, biking – any form of exercise – for at least 30 minutes helps enlarge the hippocampus, which is regarded as the ‘memory center of the brain’. In fact, physical activities that require hand-eye coordination or complex motor skills are particularly beneficial for brain building. If you don’t have time for a full workout, squeeze in a 10-minute walk around the block in your schedule or a few jumping jacks. It’s enough to reboot your brain.
3. Quit Multitasking – Can’t find your keys? It’s probably because you weren’t paying attention when you put them down. When you’re juggling too many things, you’re bound to forget. As it turns out, the brain doesn’t actually multitask. Instead, it switches focus from one thing to the other, which is why it is difficult to read a book and hold a conversation at the same time. Multitasking will slow you down, so make it a point to concentrate on the task at hand. It’s crucial. Studies suggest to say it out loud: “I left my keys on the dresser”, etc. so the brain can process it. Your brain actually need about eight seconds to commit a piece of information to your memory, so if you’re talking on the phone and carrying groceries when you put down your car keys, you’re unlikely to remember where you left them.
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Stock Up On Your Vitamins And Micronutrients
Specific vitamins and nutrients can boost brain power in various ways. While zinc and iodine can contribute to normal brain cognition, vitamin B6, B12 and folate can help to prevent fatigue, a major cause of procrastination during studies. Omega-3 and one of its essential fatty acids, DHA , can help the brain to function correctly a vital part of learning making them important nutrients to include in your daily diet.
You can boost brain power with vitamins and micronutrients by eating the following foods:
- Zinc meat, fish, legumes, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, garlic, nuts and seeds, cereals and dairy
- Iodine cod, seaweed, turkey, yoghurt, tuna, eggs, strawberries
- Vitamin B6 pork, chicken, turkey, fish, bread, eggs, vegetables, peanuts, milk and cereals
- Vitamin B12 meat, fish, dairy and cereals
- Omega-3 fish, nuts, seeds and egg yolks
While adding each of these vitamins to your daily diet may seem overwhelming, there are plenty of nutritional supplements that can help you achieve this. The benefits of adding these vitamins and micronutrients can take several weeks to show, so try to begin adding them in as soon as possible.
Eat Breakfast To Fuel Your Brain
Tempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat it tend to perform better than those who donât. Foods at the top of researchers’ brain-fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don’t overeat researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.
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Is There A Limit To How Much We Can Improve Memory And Processing Speed
No, there is no limit to how much we can improve memory and processing speed. Memory improvement depends primarily on the good food habits and learning techniques to aids our remembering. Our human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and change even at any age due to its inherent ability called neuroplasticity. Thus, by proper stimuli our brain can form new neural pathways, or alter existing ones and hence adapt and improve both the memory and processing speed.
Daily Exercise Is Must
Regular Exercise is important. You may have heard it as many times as you have searched for any tips for self-improvement. And its a fact. Research have found that people who take physical exercise before memory test have better attention span that those who didnt.
One possible explanation to this fact is that it takes discipline to push oneself through the pain of a workout, and this same will power is used to ignore the tendency of distraction. So, physical exercise helps in increasing our will power.
Although aerobic exercise is recommended by most memory experts, but you can do whatever you want in the beginning. Its always better to do something than nothing.
There are two advantages of exercise.
- Exercise releases a chemical called norepinephrine that helps on how the memory are created and recalled.
- Exercise increases the physical size of the brain and keeps it healthy by providing blood and oxygen.
These exercises along with meditation will also help you cope with depression, anxiety, diabetes and high blood pressure.
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Use Your Body To Improve Memory Recall
Since our bodies are important in encoding a memory, they can also help improve memory recall.
Psychologists have found that we recall past episodes better when we are in the same mood or our body is in the same position .
This works to a remarkably abstract degree.
In one study by Cassasanto and Dijkstra , participants were better able to retrieve positive memories when they moved marbles upwards and negative memories when they moved marbles downwards.
This seems to be because we associate up with happy and down with sad.
Benefits Of A Healthy Diet
It may sound trite but it’s true: If your diet lacks essential nutrients, it can hurt your ability to concentrate. Eating too much or too little can also interfere with your focus. A heavy meal may make you feel tired, while too few calories can result in distracting hunger pangs.
Benefit your brain: Strive for a well-balanced diet full of a wide variety of healthy foods.
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Use The Pomodoro Technique
Pomodoro is a management technique that optimizes work time and increases efficiency.
Pomodoro Technique is working on a project or activity for a fixed period and then taking a break. As per research, the optimum time for the beginners is found to be 25-min work and then a 5-min short break. This 25-min+5-min set has to be performed 4 times before taking a long break of 15min.
But this time duration depends on the type of work you are doing and the persons present ability to concentrate.
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Vitamins Minerals And Supplements
Store shelves groan with supplements claiming to boost health. Although many of the reports on the brain-boosting power of supplements like vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene, and magnesium are promising, a supplement is only useful to people whose diets are lacking in that specific nutrient.
Some researchers are cautiously optimistic about ginseng, ginkgo, and vitamin, mineral, and herb combinations and their impact on the brain, but more proof is still needed.
Check with your doctor.
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Factors That Affect Concentration
Both attention span and concentration can vary for a number of reasons. Some people just have a harder time tuning out distractions. Age and lack of sleep can affect concentration.
Most people forget things more readily as they age, and decreased concentration can accompany memory loss. Head or brain injuries, such as concussion, as well as certain mental health conditions can also affect concentration.
Its easy to become frustrated when youre trying to concentrate but just cant. This can lead to stress and irritation, which tends to make focusing on what you need to do even more of a distant dream.
If that sounds familiar, keep reading to learn more about research-backed methods to help improve your concentration. Well also go over some conditions that can affect concentration and steps to take if trying to increase concentration on your own just doesnt seem to help.
Playing certain types of games can help you get better at concentrating. Try:
Brain training games can also help you develop your working and short-term memory, as well as your processing and problem-solving skills.