Have you ever had one of those days when, no matter how busy you seemed to be, you realized you got very little done? Maybe you’re a student in school, and you have trouble focusing on the work at hand. Maybe doing your homework assignments take longer that they should.

It seems issues of focus and concentration are hitting epic numbers. I like to start from a lifestyle medicine approach. Here are four natural ways to increase your focus and concentration.

Sleep

We are a sleep deprived society. Only 35% of Americans get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night, and 40% get less than six hours.

Lack of sleep affects mood, memory, stress hormone levels, and much more. Often, the reason for not sleeping is related to a mismanaged stress response, elevated cortisol levels, and/or battling with a racing mind, keeping you awake in the wee hours of the morning.

The place to start is lifestyle and stress management strategies: reducing screen time before bed, not eating a few hours before time to sleep, and avoiding strenuous exercise at night.

Diet

Food is powerful, and food can have a direct impact on our emotions and our cognition. Avoid or eliminate foods such as refined sugars, artificial flavorings, colorings and sweeteners, along with the reactive proteins such as gluten and dairy.

Switch Gears

In our overstressed society it seems we are operating under the “go” light 24/7. We need to switch gears to allow our bodies to rest, repair and adapt.

Our bodies naturally require this. We are rhythmic beings, and one of the rhythms throughout the day is to work hard and strong, and then impart brief times of disconnecting from what we were working on. This will help refresh the mind and the body, getting more done, in less time, effort, and wasted energy.

Supplements

As far as supplements, I often find myself going back to the basics, looking towards foundational elements. For focus and concentration, the place I like to start is Omega 3 fatty acids, usually in the form of fish oil.

DHA is the Omega 3 fatty acid which plays a key role in brain health. Studies which have measured DHA in individuals have shown that those with the lowest levels of DHA performed worse on tests, cognitive function, have lower brain volume, and greater levels of small strokes in their brains.

Quality is of critical importance, as we want to ensure a product which is free of toxins and rancidity, as the fish oil line we carry from Pure Encapsulations.

Talk to us at Martin’s Pharmacy for other tips on how to increase focus and concentration.