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.
How Can Play Help My Child Concentrate And Increase Memory
Play and especially open-ended play with open-ended toys can improve your childs memory and ability to concentrate.; Play is a fundamental way children learn about their world and assimilate new knowledge into their brains.;
You can actually use open-ended play to allow children to learn what it feels like to be focused. When they are playing with open-ended toys they can focus on their play. The more they flex that focus the easier it will come to them in other areas of their life.;
Why Cant You Concentrate
Attention is an essential, first ingredient for good memory. After all, if you cant concentrate on new information or stimuli you receive, youll be unable to process and store it in your memory.
Your ability to concentrate can vary greatly, and like everyone, there will be times when you just cant find your focus. But there are certain factors that contribute to this process. For example, by giving your attention to multiple tasks instead of one, you might limit your ability to retain the information you need most.
If youre trying to do two or three things at once and youre not really focusing on any of them very well, you really wont process the information well enough to store it, so when you go to retrieve it, its gone.
A number of other factors can adversely affect your ability to concentrate, including inadequate sleep, a poor diet, dehydration, hunger and physical inactivity. Certain medications, such as sedating antihistamines, certain overactive bladder drugs, painkillers and others, have been associated with impairments in concentration and memory. Moreover, poor concentration is a hallmark sign of attention-deficit disorder, is a common feature of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, and it may occur with medical problems like diabetes, chronic pain and thyroid dysfunction.
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Meditation Improves Memory And Concentration
Meditation has been consistently found to improve cognitive functioning, including memory.
But meditation takes time doesnt it?
Long, hard hours of practice?
Well, maybe not.
In one recent study, participants who meditated for 4 sessions of only 20 minutes, once a day, were able to improve memory, concentration and brain function .
Vitamins Herbs And Supplements
Livia Ly, a registered and licensed dietitian and nutritionist and founder of Nutrily, suggests an array of supplements to aid memory and focus:
- Vitamin D: Plays a fundamental role in brain health and a deficiency may impair cognitive abilities. The sun is irreplaceable when it comes to the bodys ability to produce adequate amounts of Vitamin D.
- Vitamin C and Vitamin E:;These nutrients are powerful antioxidants, and Vitamin C is the brains most prevalent one.
- B Vitamins: B12 and B6 play specific roles in the synthesis of DNA or neurotransmitters. B1, B2, B3, B5, and B7 promote adequate energy production.
- Sage: Has a reputation for improving memory and concentration.
- Rosemary: Protects the brain from neurodegeneration.
- Zinc: Important for proper neurotransmitter function .
- Calcium: Important for brain signaling .
- Iron: Involved in forming neurotransmitters and certain brain cells, as well as carrying oxygen .
- Magnesium: Required for more than 300 metabolic reactions in the body, many being important for normal brain function .
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Healthy Relationships: The Ultimate Brain Booster
Humans are highly social animals. Were not meant to survive, let alone thrive, in isolation. Relationships stimulate our brainsin fact, interacting with others may provide the best kind of brain exercise.
Research shows that having meaningful friendships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health, but also to brain health. In one recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, for example, researchers found that people with the most active social lives had the slowest rate of memory decline.
There are many ways to start taking advantage of the brain and memory-boosting benefits of socializing. Volunteer, join a club, make it a point to see friends more often, or reach out over the phone. And if a human isnt handy, dont overlook the value of a petespecially the highly-social dog.
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.
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Understand Your Periods Of Wakefulness And Sleepiness
Understanding when you are most awake and alert helps increase productivity. Studies have shown that people feel most alert at 10 in the morning and items on the top of the to-do list should be done during this time.
However, alertness varies between different people and understanding when you are most awake is important. Why not keep track of your productivity levels by penning down the times when you have accomplished the most? By doing this, you will be able to know your best times of alertness.
Learning Differences Or Disabilities
Some children may slide under the radar and be struggling with a learning disability.; Sometimes children with learning disabilities seem distracted or unfocused when the reality is they have a learning difference.;
Dyslexia is a common learning difference that can affect 1 in 5 children and range from mild to severe.;
Children with milder dyslexia may be able to read on grade level when tested but struggle with it.;
Reading can make them more and more tired throughout the day as they use more energy than their peers to get through the same material. By lunchtime, they are exhausted and seem to be zoning out and not paying attention.;
You can request the school test your child for dyslexia or other learning disabilities that may be affecting your childs ability to focus at school.;
Once your child is properly diagnosed and accommodated you may see their focusing issues dissipate.;
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Seconds Rehearsal Boosts Memory
Rehearsing a memory for just 40 seconds could be the key to permanent recall, a study finds.
When rehearsing a memory, the same area of the brain is activated as when laying it down, psychologists found.
Dr Chris Bird, who led the research, said:
We know that recent memories are susceptible to being lost until a period of consolidation has elapsed.
In this study we have shown that a brief period of rehearsal has a huge effect on our ability to remember complex, lifelike events over periods of 1-2 weeks.
Memorise A List In Five Minutes
Number memory game: Make up three numbers and then see if you can remember them. For example, the first number could be 12, and the second two numbers could be 54. If youre able to memorise these three digits or words without looking at them again, thats considered memory mastery! As with any other memory game like this one, it becomes much easier after doing it for a whileso dont get discouraged if you find yourself struggling when trying out this memory game for the first time.;
Alphabet memory game: This is how many people learn ABCs as a kid; try learning your ABCs by singing their names or associating each letter with a memory.;
Memory cards: This is when you write out sets of numbers, letters, or words on individual cards and then try to memorise them by putting the correct objects in each envelope.
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Ginseng Fish Berries Or Caffeine
Listen to the buzz about foods and dietary supplements, and you’ll believe they can do everything from sharpen focus to enhance memory, attention span, and brain function.
But do they really work? There’s no denying that as we age, our body ages right along with us. The good news is that you can improve your chances of maintaining a healthy brain if you add “smart” foods and drinks to your diet.
How To Improve Memory Retention
If youre looking for ways to improve your memory retention and recall, thankfully, there are a variety of simple strategies you can follow.
Well get the most boring approach out of the way first
Repetition, repetition, repetition.
Thats right. Going over new pieces of information several times is one of the best strategies for retention.
Get creative to make the task more fun, whether thats repeating the information out loud, writing notes, or drawing doodles.
You can also use mnemonic devices to associate a new phrase or term with something youre already familiar with.;
Tell a story or think of a funny image to make retention easier for your brain by incorporating emotion.;;Stress management is another key priority to optimize your memory.
As reported by Harvard Medical School, stress is linked to a host of brain and heart diseases.;
Simply put, being in a state of stress saps energy from your brain that would be used for other cognitive tasks such as memory recall and concentration.
The final strategy well mention is to avoid multitasking.
We realize that life can get busy, but Stanford psychologists have discovered that frequent multitaskers have poorer memories.
If youre wondering how to improve memory retention, analyze what are common distractions for you during the day.
Maybe its emails on your computer or social media on your phone?
While these can be tempting to check multiple times a day, they are taxing on the brain.;
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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.
Process New Information And Teach It To Someone
One of the best ways to make information really stick in your mind is to explain it or teach it to someone else after you learn it.
This works because, just like putting notes in your own words, it forces you to turn the information into concepts you actually understand. It helps you form connections between new and existing knowledge, and taps into your existing vocabulary, which makes it all familiar and easier to recall.
Of course, its not possible to actually teach every single concept you take in to someone else. However, there are a few ways to fairly simply make this a part of your process:
- Explain something you learned at work to your spouse, roommate, etc when they ask you about your day
- Summarize the takeaways every time you finish a chapter of a book, an article, etc in a notebook or on the inside book cover
- Talk through a concept out loud alone in your car
This also works for meeting new people, remembering details about your coworkers, etc. If you write down things like peoples spouses and childrens names, activities they like to do, etc, it will help cement those concepts in your mind. Put them in words youll understand so that the next time you see them you can actually recall what they told you last time.
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Leisure Activities To Improve Your Study Memory
As necessary as the effort of studying is having creative leisure time. So how can you feed your mind through the activities you organize in your free time?
- Try cultural tourism. You can discover a new environment on a trip to the place where you live and in the surrounding area, for example, through the museums or cultural centres.
- Play memory games. The game is a pastime that can enrich your mind through its didactics through those proposals grouped under the theme of memory games.
- Create a blog on a subject you like. If you love a subject, perhaps you can turn it into a blog where you can publish articles written by you. It can also help you gain motivation for researching this subject even deeper.
- Learn a new language or improve the level you have already reached. It will increase your vocabulary and take you out of your study comfort zone.
- Read a lot. Reading is part of studying as an essential step in understanding a text. However, reading is also an incentive for a free time of those who integrate this literary component into their lifestyle. If you wish, you can join a club on this subject to discuss work in a group, or to broaden your reading horizons through the advice of the others.
- Do sports. Another routine that you can integrate into your lifestyle is to do a sport that motivates you and that you enjoy. A sport that drives you in the desire to practise self-improvement.
Fish Really Is Brain Food
A protein source linked to a great brain boost is fish — rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are key for brain health. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: A diet with higher levels of them has been linked to lower dementia and stroke risks and slower mental decline; plus, they may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.
For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.
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Fidgeting And Cannot Sit Still
When I said poor concentration this might have been the first thing that popped in your mind.; Many children who are struggling with concentration may fidget when they should be still.;
But for some children fidgeting can actually help them to focus. For these children forcing them to sit still would draw all their focus to how much their body wants to move.;;
Asking your child a simple comprehension question can be a good way to see if their fidgeting is detracting from their ability to focus.;
It Seems To Benefit Young And Old People Alike
The impact of the small intervention was more profound than anyone might have believed. Although the two most severely amnesic patients showed no benefit, the others tripled the number of words they could remember from 14% to 49%, placing them almost within the range of healthy people with no neurological damage.
The next results were even more impressive. The participants were asked to listen to some stories and answer questions an hour later. Without the chance to rest, they could recall just 7% of the facts in the story; with the rest, this jumped to 79% an astronomical 11-fold increase in the information they retained.
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Tips To Improve Concentration:
While these studies are interesting, they arent always practical. The easiest approach is to remember that your memory and concentration are at their best when you arent stressed. Any natural ways to improve concentration are likely to be rooted in lowering your stress level surrounding the activity. Before you get to work or approach an assignment, consider:
- Taking a walk
- Getting in some light exercise
- Planning out regular breaks for water or food
While youre walking, exercising, or working, consider having a smart compression sleeve on your arm too! This is one of the best natural ways to improve concentration and memory all it has to do is touch your forearm and the special pattern embedded inside will work to clear some of the clutter in your mind, helping you to remember and focus better. This also means youll experience less stress as you work, which can make it even easier to concentrate and remember!
A good state of mind always leads to better concentration and memory. No matter what you do, this is a great effect to have on your side! Whether at work, at school, or on the athletic field, keeping your brain happy is the best natural way to improve your concentration. With eSmartr on your side, you can unlock the full potential of your mind and achieve your best results yet.