Today, society demands that we always be on our A-game. Not just “on the ball,” but “in front of the ball.” Whatever your preferred metaphor, to function successfully in the world today, you NEED to be focused.
This can be difficult, however. Between distractions, brain fog, and too much jitter-causing caffeine, getting through the day can be a struggle.
Following are four easy ways to cut through the fog and gain better focus for more productive and more meaningful days.
1. Lower Your Stress
Stress is hard on a body, both physically and mentally. Every time your body experiences stress it produces stress hormones, giving your body the signal to fight or take flight. Lowering your stress will reduce the number of stress hormones your body produces and allow you to think more clearly, and respond to situations instead of reacting. Lowering your stress levels may mean saying “NO” more often, asking for helping, or delegating tasks to others either at work or at home.
2. Cut Out Food Intolerances
Some foods, especially when consumed in excessive amounts, have been proven to negatively affect brain function. You don’t have to give these foods up completely, but you can definitely cut back. Food intolerances can also be an added strain on your brain function. These intolerances, similar to allergies, can cause reactions within the body that make it hard to focus. Foods to consider cutting back on can include pre-cooked meats, artificial sweeteners, bacon (especially the heavily preserved kind found in the supermarket), alcohol, and cheese/dairy. Remember, you do not have to cut out these foods completely, but you may want to consider how much you’re consuming.
3. Increase Key Nutrients
Amp up your intake of nutrients that help your body and brain function best. Your body needs calories from fat, protein, and carbs to work properly. You may also want to consider if you’re consuming enough magnesium, B vitamins, and choline.
4. Get Your Zzz’s
Getting enough quality sleep might just be one of the most significant contributors to having better focus during the day. Your body needs sleep to recuperate and clear out everything from the previous day. This includes liver function, cortisol (a stress hormone) regulation, and muscle repair. Basically, if you aren’t sleeping enough or well enough, your body can’t function at its top condition.
Having a clear and focused mind can seem like a tall order, one that you can’t possibly stack up to. But that isn’t the case. Take small and simple steps toward clearing the fog and cobwebs, and toward a brain that is ready for whatever the day brings.