Seven Ways to Boost Concentration At Work

Both the workplace and our personal life demand concentration. Concentration enables efficient decision-making, enhanced learning abilities and strong memory. Poor concentration and diminished memory are problems faced by many of us, as early as our 30s!

In today’s fast-paced and demanding times, we can prepare ourselves better to increase concentration, and thereby our performance in our workplace, by following these simple tips:

1. Maintain a constant supply of glucose to the brain – Choose complex carbohydrates in place of refined, allowing a steady stream of glucose to the brain. Small and regular quantities of healthy carbs can help enhance cognition without increasing body weight.
    • Eat whole fruits such as apple, orange, pineapple, banana. You may prepare fruit salad and sprinkle some spices cinnamon, black salt, and black pepper to enhance its taste as well as health value. These spices also stimulate metabolism.
    • Make a smoothie with your favourite fruit, curd, milk and nuts. Add honey or coconut sugar instead of regular sugar for a healthier option.
    • Make lassi to improve not only your brain power but also your gut health –the yogurt-based drink is full of beneficial bacteria. You can mix coconut sugar in place of your regular sugar.

    2. Do not skip breakfast – Skipping breakfast is not good for your brain may result in poor concentration and short-term memory decline (as the brain cells starve for glucose). Therefore, ensure you eat breakfast to fuel your brain. Healthy breakfast options include high-fiber whole grains, dairy products and fruits. These will enhance attention and mental abilities.

    3. Eat nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds are a good source of antioxidants and healthy fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) which protect brain cells from free radical damage. Antioxidants prevent cognitive decline from occurring due to age and stress. Enjoy a handful of nuts (almonds, dates, resin, fig, walnut etc.) and seeds (flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds etc.) during the day to prepare your brain to work smartly throughout the day.

    • Granola bars are a ready-to-eat mix of nuts, seeds and cereals.
    • You can prepare or buy a mix of different seeds as a healthy snack
    • Nut butters are also a healthy option – such as peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew nut butter.
    4. Add dark chocolate and coffee to your diet – Small supplies of dark chocolate and coffee can help enhance concentration. Caffeine is rich in antioxidants and beneficial to increase attention. So, enjoy a piece of dark chocolate and 1-2 cups of coffee sometime during the day (however, make sure not to indulge into excessive caffeine).
      • Some people add 1 tablespoon of cold pressed coconut oil in black coffee, also known as bulletproof coffee. This is a healthy option to increase focus and energy as coconut oil is known to contain healthy fats (small & medium chain fatty acids).
      5. Eat food rich in vitamins and minerals – Vitamin B and folic acid have important roles in the conduction of nerve impulses. Vitamin B6 is essential for the synthesis of adrenaline (epinephrine), serotonin, dopamine, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), and other neurotransmitters. The highest concentration of Vitamin B complex is found in brain than any other organ in the body as these are crucial for cognitive functioning and development and repair of brain cells. Vitamin C is also found abundantly in the pituitary gland and brain. It is essential for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline. The antioxidant function of vitamin C helps protect the brain cells from free radical damage occurring due to aging or stress.
        • Food rich in Vitamin B are fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products
        • Folic acid is present in yeast, asparagus, spinach, mustard greens, beans, peas, broccoli, and nuts
        • Vitamin C is contained in high quantities in citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, berries etc.)

        Minerals like Calcium and Magnesium play a central role in neurotransmission. Zinc is found abundantly in some neurons and its deficiency can cause neuropsychological impairments.

        • Calcium-rich foods are milk and dairy products, kale, broccoli, papaya, raisins, orange, pumpkin and cauliflower.
        • Foods rich in Magnesium include green leafy vegetables, nuts, bananas, corn, cashews, lentils and milk.
        • Zinc is found in milk, milk products and green vegetables

        6. Take herbs to increase concentration – Certain herbs such as Brahmi, Shankhpushpi, Mandukaparni, Jyotishmati and Jatamansi have been researched for their effects in increasing attention, cognition, and reducing stress due to their effects on neurotransmitters. The antioxidant effect of the herbs prevents brain cells from free radical damage which otherwise cause diminished cognition and ability to concentrate. Devang’s Pragyaa is a herbal formulation is a mix of 15 herbal ingredients to increase attention and relax the nervous system.

        7. Practice meditation – Meditation helps relax the mind and enhance concentration to improve learning. Therefore, include meditation in your daily life to augment your focus. Start your day with at least 10-15 minute meditation in the morning and extract a further 10-15 minutes during the day to meditate. This will improve your decision-making ability and help you perform better in your professional life, too. Devang also organizes regular events on Meditation and Yoga for our community.

        These seven tips will help you to increase your concentration and learning abilities resulting in improved performance.

        In addition to the points mentioned above, don’t forget to stay physically active throughout the day.

        “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – these words of Hippocrates are particularly true when it comes to our brain! Let's nourish our brain with food and meditation, and enjoy an improved outlook on life and performance at work.

         

         

        Sources:

        • The Journal of International Medical Research: 2007, Vol. 35, No. 1, 1-19. Available at: http://imr.sagepub.com/content/35/1/1.full.pdf
        • Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008 July; 9(7): 568–578. doi:10.1038/nrn2421. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/pdf/nihms162299.pdf
        • The Nutrition Source. Harvard School of Public Health. Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3-fats/
        • Grewal. Improving Concentration and Mindfulness in Learning through Meditation. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IOSR-JHSS). 2014. Vol. 19, Issue 2, Ver. V: PP 33-39.
        • Calabrese Et Al. Effects of a Standardized Bacopa monnieri Extract on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety, and Depression in the Elderly: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2008; Vol. 14, No. 6, 2008, pp. 707–713.
        • Ilkay Erdogan Orhan. Centella asiatica (L.) Urban: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine with Neuroprotective Potential. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Hindawi Publishing Corporation. Volume 2012, Article ID 946259, 8 pages.
        • Jyotsna Bhargava & Zafar Yab Khan. Comparative Evaluation of the Efficacy and Side Effects in Patients of Depression. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. 2012 April, Vol-6(2): 220-225.

        Leave a comment

        Please note, comments must be approved before they are published