5 Tips to Stay Focused

Why is it so hard to focus?  
        The amount of information we are exposed to seems to be increasing exponentially each year. With our iPhones, iPads and MacBook’s by our sides at all times, we can be talking on the phone and browsing Pinterest while glancing at a basketball game in the background. We are exposed to as much information in one day as our 15th century ancestors were exposed to in their whole lifetime. Talk about a headache.
Speaking of headaches, “brain fog” is a real thing and the toxic environment we live in, coupled with our crazy busy lifestyles make us all extremely prone to it.
Some symptoms of brain fog include:              

  • Headaches
  • Low Energy
  • Forgetfulness
  • Low motivation
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty focusing

What causes brain fog?

  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor diet  (including but not limited to overconsumption of alcohol, refined carbohydrates, sugar and caffeine. Additionally, artificial sweeteners, and food additives like MSG have been linked )
  • Nutritional deficiencies (most commonly Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D)
  • Hormone imbalance (especially serotonin, cortisol and dopamine)
  • Inflammation
  • Dehydration 
  • Toxin overload 
  • Stress

Now that we’ve talked about the “why?” let’s get to the good stuff!
5 simple tips to help you stay focused : 
  1. Take a break. Research suggests that brief, regular diversions from a task can improve ability to focus on that task for longer periods of time overall. Taking a 5-10 minute break at least once an hour can help you work more efficiently and effectively. 
  2. Reduce Sugar consumption. Eating sugary, refined foods can make you feel energetic temporarily but they lead to sugar addiction, blood sugar crashes and cravings that ultimately rob you of your focus and productivity. 
  3. Get Enough Sleep. I think it goes without saying but I’ll remind you- getting enough sleep (7-9 hours per night) can greatly improve your overall brain function and ability to focus!  
  4. Avoid Multitask. We are so prone to the habit of multitasking but research shows that it doesn’t help you with productively and contributes to distraction. Take this a step further and, if you can, turn off electronics while you’re working or studying. You’ll be surprised how much more productive you are when your phone isn’t right next to you inviting you to check the latest text or tweet.  
  5. Eat these Foods! Dr. Axe gives a great explanation for why these foods help with memory and focusing. We MUST feed our brains the good stuff if we expect it to perform well. Our brain function is directly connected to inflammation in the body, hormones and gut health, just to name a few. These factors are in turn directly affected by the food we eat.  

Happy Focusing 🙂 

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