BRAIN EXERCISES TO INCREASE YOUR FOCUS

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Submitted Date 05/20/2019
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Many people think of exercise as going to the gym, specifically to improve our physical strengths in certain areas. However, while practices like lifting weights can strengthen your muscles, other exercises are focused on our brain chemistry that helps improve our mental focus. You may feel sometimes discouraged if you cannot complete a task due to poor concentration, but this is not a personality trait.

It is a part of your brain that can be improved by simple exercises that will help you develop critical executive functions of your mind to help you increase focus. These are some brain exercise that can help you finally stay attentive (even during the most boring situations and tasks):

1. Taking Notes (Even if you don't need to)

Many research studies have shown that taking notes will help you not only focus more on the information you are trying to absorb but will also allow you to think more critically about the topic at hand. However, an essential part of this is to handwrite your notes rather than type them on your computer or other devices. These devices may alert you to distractions, such as emails and text messages, which will tempt you to check out of your focused state.

2. Save the distractions for later

Often we find ourselves prone to distractions, where some may seem more important than others. To eliminate these temptations, each time you encounter one, you should write it down on a distraction centered to-do list that is meant to complete at a later time. Listing a distraction you want to respond to gives you the ability to come back to it, rather than explore it. It only takes a couple of seconds to write down a distraction, while engaging with that distraction could take 25 minutes or longer. The more the distractions, the more you can hop around from task to task, which could result in half-finished work. So if you want to stay focused, you may recognize a distraction by putting it on a To-Do List for after you are done focusing on the main task at hand.

3. Mindfulness/Meditation

Meditation can have a significant impact on many areas of our brain, especially the executive function which allows you to recognize, follow through with, and eventually accomplish our goals. Mindfulness may seem like it takes a lot of focus itself; however, if you sense your mind wandering, take at least a 10 minutes to practice mindfulness. There are many youtube videos, such as this Morning Guided Meditation to Get Into the Flow and Focus (I will link below), which can help you begin your day by grounding your focus before a busy day of hard work. Practicing mindfulness exercises like this every day will help improve your brain's ability to stay on task.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk22E3TpBC4

4. Keeping an eye on the time

This tip doesn't mean checking your watch constantly; this is a cognitive exercise which will improve your concentration the more you do it. This exercise consists of taking at least 2-5 minutes a day to sit and stare at an analog clock. Watch the second hand go around and around until you've reached over two minutes. The more you practice these exercises, the easier it will be to sit and focus on what you are trying to accomplish.

5. Physical Exercise

Although I mentioned earlier that some go to the gym to strengthen their muscles, working out can also strengthen your mind to develop your brain's ability to focus. Research consistently proves that exercising, whether it be taking a walk or going to the gym, will provide you with a heightened focus for up to 3 hours after your workout. So get those endorphins up (however you can) and then after a solid workout, grab a healthy juice and sit down with your freshly improved brain to focus on the main goal you would like to accomplish!

 

I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to exercise our brains to increase our attentive skills. If you would like to know more tips, leave a comment below, and I can work on part 2! Or, if you are curious about specific topics I mentioned, such as mindfulness, let me know if you would like to see another article expanding on this topic in terms of our brain and concentration. Thanks for reading, stay active, and stay focused!

Replace intimidation with curiosity. Be your authentic self with everyone you meet, so you make authentic connections.

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