Do you ever hit a slump at certain points of the day? No matter how productive we want to be, we’re all prone to a little dip in concentration. With so many distractions, especially when you’re at home, it is difficult for the mind to stay solely focused on one thing. But there are small changes to your daily life you can make to increase concentration. We’ve outlined some top tips on how you can retain and improve concentration throughout the day.
One way to keep your mind active, is to keep your body active, through regular exercise! Studies have linked physical activity to concentration levels. A study on Dutch school children found that pupils became better at multitasking, resisting distractions and retaining information when classes were broken up with 20 minutes of aerobic exercise. With this in mind, here are some ideas on how to stay active:
Try walking to work or making the most of your lunch break by strolling around the block or park. Being outside in nature alone holds many mental health benefits. Alongside a boost in focus, it’s a great stress reliever and positively impacts our general health.
You can also boost your mental activity indoors! Shake up your seated position at your desk and get standing.
A study in Minneapolis looked into the effects of standing desks in an office environment over a 7 week period and found workers experienced a reduced feeling of fatigue and stress after using standing desks. They are also beneficial for your physical health by reducing back pain and strain and may lower blood pressure.
Although it’s important to exercise your body, it’s just as important to exercise your mind…
Mindfulness meditation is a simple exercise you can do at home that not only improves our mental health by helping to reduce anxiety and stress, but has been found to lengthen attention span.
One of the main difficulties with keeping concentration is that it requires the mind to focus on one thing. However, a study of 140 participants found that Buddhist meditation training can help people focus on a task for a longer period of time by requiring them to fixate on small differences between the things they see.
A lack of sleep can affect our ability to concentrate. Studies have found that sleep deprivation negatively impacts our cognitive functions, making it harder to retain attention.
A good night sleep should last on average 7-9 hours and will positively affect your mental wellbeing, mood and concentration levels.
Your diet has an incredibly powerful effect on your mental state throughout the day – you need to stay loyal to your meal times and fill it with a good balance of foods.
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet a lot of people still skip it. Starting the day eating foods with a slow release of energy will keep you motivated all day to avoid that afternoon slump.
Others hold off from eating breakfast until they get to work, but it’s better to eat within the first hour of waking up – your naturally low sugar levels upon waking will be fed which, in turn, keeps you energised and mentally active for extended periods of time.
It can be tempting to snack throughout the day, especially when working from home, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Food is how your body gets energy, so a quick healthy snack could be just the thing you need to get those concentration levels back up.
Berries, bananas and nuts contain the most rewarding properties when it comes to increasing energy to stay focused. We’ve combined delicious fruits and nuts in our handy TREK Protein Nut Bars for the perfect afternoon treat.
Iron deficiency is directly linked to feelings of fatigue so it’s important to keep iron present in your diet. Iron helps the body to produce a vital strand of protein called hemoglobin which assists in the passing of oxygen from your lungs to your body. Pistachio nuts, a sea vegetable called dulse and lentils are all great examples of iron-rich foods that can help you maintain concentration throughout the day.
Although it can be difficult to keep focused, we hope these simple lifestyle changes will get you through your day. If you ever need a boost of energy why not grab a Trek Protein Energy Bar or Protein Flapjack for a rewarding vegan snack.