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Improving Focus and Concentration 

Dr. Elanza Stephenson 

Navigating the Modern Cognitive Landscape At All Stages Of Life 

The brain always seeks information, so it constantly wants to find out what’s new. In an endless sea of information online, we’re able to easily get certain information and quickly move on to the next topic we’re interested in. However, this may negatively influence your focus and concentration. Healthy lifestyle practices, including regular exercise, balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, and stress management, can promote brain health and support optimal concentration.

Try out these following ways to help enhance your concentration:

Avoid Electronic Devices For Some Hours Of The Day 

In today's digital age, screens are ever-present, pervading nearly every aspect of daily life. From smartphones and tablets to computers and televisions, digital screens offer convenience, connectivity, and entertainment. However, the widespread use of digital devices has raised concerns about their potential impact on cognitive functions, particularly concentration. Most people grab their smartphones or turn on their computers as soon as they open their eyes in the morning. Whatever you use them for; using electronic devices may have a negative effect on your concentration.

No one is suggesting that you stop being on social media or delete your personal e-mail account altogether. Instead, try to avoid using electronic devices for a period of time during the day.

Extended periods of screen time, especially when engaged in cognitively demanding activities such as work or gaming, can contribute to cognitive fatigue and mental exhaustion. Prolonged exposure to digital screens, particularly in the evening hours, can disrupt sleep patterns and exacerbate feelings of fatigue, leading to decreased alertness and diminished concentration during waking hours.

Spending the first hour of the day without your smartphone or computer may help you to start off your day with a sense of control and focus, while the last hour will provide you with a chance to relax and properly prepare for sleep.

Create A Distraction To-Do List 

It is difficult to return to your original task after being distracted. A good suggestion is to carry around a notepad in which you can write all of your distracting thoughts.

When you’re working on a specific task, certain distracting thoughts such as “wondering about the weather or what movie to watch later” may pop up in your head. Whenever this type of thought pops up in your head, just write it down and remind yourself that you’ll look it up once you finish your existing chore.

Start Meditating 

Not only will meditation help you learn how to live in the present and be more relaxed, but it will also improve your focus and concentration. Meditation may help you become clear-headed, thus allowing you to focus on your current task. Meditating won’t take too much time out of your day. Just 10 to 20 minutes a day is more than enough in order to become more productive and focus on the here-and-now.

Engage In Physical Activity 

Exercising regularly will not only improve your physical health, but it seems to also help keep your brain fit. According to a study conducted by the University of Illinois, students who engage in moderate physical exercise perform better in some cognitive tasks than those who don’t. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331183800.htm).

Maintain balance and engaging in learning activities 

Lifestyle factors play a crucial role in shaping cognitive health and concentration abilities across the lifespan. Look after your personal health, work-life balance, and keep pursuing activities that stimulate the mind and ignite passion for learning no matter how old you are. Engage in activities that challenge, inspire and keep the mind sharp and curious.

To conclude: 

Balancing the benefits of technology with mindful screen use is essential for fostering healthy cognitive habits and sustaining optimal concentration in an increasingly digital world. By adopting a holistic approach that addresses various determinants of concentration, it is possible to support cognitive function and quality of life.

This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy. This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393. 

This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.