Struggling to focus? How to get mental clarity + focus, and get the job done!
By Kim Wessels, Naturopath
Laser sharp focus and mental clarity don’t come easy these days. We are surrounded by multimedia technology advertising and talking to us about anything and everything. Screens no longer reside just in the living room at home, they’re in the car, the office, throughout shopping malls, on buildings, on billboards, in restaurants and bars, and the list goes on. Social media scrolling has conditioned our brains to speed read and quickly move on affecting our long-term focus.
Multi-tasking has also become the norm and scientists have found that you are less accurate and less efficient when you multi-task. You might think you’re saving time when in actual fact you’re not, and that’s because the brain is incapable of doing two things at the same time – it’s simply switching between tasks. Done repeatedly, focus and concentration times begin to diminish and become harder to maintain as the weeks and months pass. A good clue that this might be happening to you is when you find yourself forgetting why you've gone to do something else after interrupting yourself in another task.
Here are some handy tips on ways to keep and maintain laser-sharp focus and mental clarity.
- Task completion - make a plan, break it down into small goals, then systematically tackle one goal at a time
- Don’t multi-task
- Limit social media scrolling to small bite-size time slots or better yet just don’t do it
- Use gentle background music to support concentration
- Remove yourself from distractions when you need to concentrate
- Notice when your brain is sabotaging your efforts, STOP, and then recover your focus
- To re-establish better longer focus, read a good book or do some journal writing instead of screen time
- Switch off app notifications and vibration mode on your phone to eliminate distractions
- Don’t deprive yourself of sleep – lack of sleep causes brain fog, impairs cognitive function and speed, as well as working memory
- Take short breaks and move to get more blood and oxygen to your brain
- Eat foods that feed your brain and gut e.g. fermented and probiotic-rich foods, berries, avocado, pumpkin seeds, eggs, walnuts, dark chocolate (yum), salmon, turmeric, saffron, and green leafy vegetables
- Drink the right amount of water – dehydration causes physical and mental sluggishness and fatigue
- Avoid foods that affect clarity e.g. refined sugar, highly processed fast foods, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, flavours, colours, and additives
Hormonal fluctuations and some medications can also affect focus and clarity, we recommend consulting your healthcare professional for advice if you think these could be a factor for you.
Support mental alertness + energy with a nootropic
You can also get support with a nootropic supplement such as Lifestream's Brain Fuel Nootropics. It's a powerful blend of scientifically researched nootropic enXtra® (Alpinia galanga) combined with the original superfood Spirulina for optimal energy levels. It helps to support you with mental clarity, alertness, focus + good energy levels for up to 5 hours.
- Stimulant free formula
- Supports mental alertness and acuity for up to 5 hours
- Supporting fast, effective + safe mental energy
- Caffeine and stimulant-free energy, so no crash or increased heart rate
- Starts working in 1-hour