Cognitive Enhancement: How To Improve Daily Focus
Finding focus throughout the day can be a real challenge, but improving focus and promoting better executive function isn't as far away as you might think. Specific practices and nootropic nutrients can make it possible for you to hit pause on the constant stream of buzzing thoughts to give attention to what's in front of you.
Breaking the cycle of poor concentration and disorganized thoughts can be more straightforward than you might think. Let's talk about why you might feel scattered and disorganized at times and what you can do to regain control and clarity.
What Is Cognitive Enhancement?
Cognitive enhancement is a topic that has had the attention of neuroscience experts for a while. Their discoveries and interventions show that it's possible to make the most of your brain power so you can be in charge of your days.
Essentially, cognitive enhancement refers to the idea that you can boost your cognitive function so that your brain works more optimally when you need it. In the same way that athletes use physical performance enhancement, think of this as mental performance enhancement.
In technical and scientific terms, researchers in this field believe there are physical, biochemical, and behavioral strategies and agents that can help you hack your brain.
The biochemical level of cognitive enhancement essentially refers to the chemical processes occurring within your body and how they affect your cognitive function.
Your nutrition, vitamins and supplements, and prescribed medications all fall into this category. Even the coffee you drink and the air you breathe can impact your cognitive abilities by interacting with the chemicals in your body.
Did you know that many of your daily activities can support neuroenhancement? For example, physical exercise, sleep, meditation, and learning languages all contribute to augmenting brain function in healthy individuals.
In other words, cognitive enhancement aims to enhance your cognitive performance by stimulating your brain. If that sounds complicated, don't worry. It means multiple activities and specific supplements can make it easier for you to increase brain connectivity and kick distractions to the curb.
What Can Cause Trouble Focusing?
Do you often wonder how you end up in the same headspace day after day? You know you have a thousand things on your schedule for the week, but you just can't seem to get organized enough to stay ahead.
Or, maybe you lose your focus during daily tasks or feel like your concentration is not what it used to be.
It can be discouraging to realize your plans aren't going as smoothly as you'd like, but you don't have to blame yourself. This happens even among the most healthy people.
You might feel like paying attention and focusing are nearly impossible for several reasons. Stress from daily life, fatigue, and medical conditions you're dealing with can all affect your mindset and ability to stay present.
Stress can cause you to feel off when it comes to your ability to focus. Even if you don't think you're going through stressful life events, some types of stress can build up slowly and lead to a lack of focus, causing you to feel disorganized or overwhelmed in your thoughts.
Many experiences and events can cause stress, even if you don't realize it. From illness and injury to relationship conflict or work obligations, stress can creep into many different areas of life. Even something as small as an average daily inconvenience can sometimes feel like a larger-than-life stressor when it is stacked against other sources of worry.
Going through stress can make it more challenging to slow down and focus. Luckily, being aware of stress is an essential first step in getting un-distracted and finding well-being.
Being fatigued is more than feeling a little tired at the end of each day. When you're dealing with fatigue, you can feel drained.
Lack of sleep, overworking, taking certain medications, and your nutrition can significantly affect how energized and clear-headed you feel each day. When you're not getting your needs met or exceeding your boundaries, your body may respond with fatigue and an inability to think clearly.
One essential question to ask is why you're experiencing fatigue. In many cases, fatigue can signify that something bigger is going on with your physical well-being, mental health, or lifestyle. If you've experienced long stretches of physical and mental exhaustion, consider speaking to your healthcare provider about why that might be the case.
In addition to stress and fatigue, many medical conditions correlate with brain fog and cognitive decline. In some cases, you might have co-occurring stress and exhaustion from a persistent medical illness.
Various medical conditions may have side effects impacting your memory performance and cognitive abilities, and you should consult your doctor if you suspect there may be a medical condition at play.
Your doctor may ultimately refer you to a specialist to help you develop a medical approach that accounts for your condition.
How Can I Improve My Focus?
Once you can identify the reasons you may have difficulty with focus and attention, you can begin to address these issues in your life and begin to see better days.
Here are a few excellent steps you can take when you're moving onward and upward toward sustained focus.
- Regular Exercise: Getting active is one of the best things you can do to get your mind active. When you move your body, your dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels boost to give you a lifted mood and more sustained focus.
Mindful Meditation: You might think you don't have time in your schedule to meditate or practice mindfulness, but even a few minutes each day can make a difference. It gets better. Researchers have found that meditation can alter your mind's function and structure, reducing stress levels. When you relax with a purpose, you'll begin to feel more centered and mentally prepared for your days.
Whether you have three minutes or 30 minutes, try popping a Lemme Chill gummy beforehand. The clinical dose of ashwagandha is shown in clinical studies to support healthy cortisol levels, reduce occasional stress, and help you make the most of your mindfulness.
- High-Quality Sleep: Sleep deprivation can cause you to feel mentally drained and scattered before even starting your day. Because of that, getting enough sleep is essential for focus. Ensuring your sleep is high-quality can also help you experience optimal clarity and concentration.
- Intentional Breaks: You might think that working hours in a row would help ensure you get the most done with uninterrupted focus, but research shows that isn't true. Taking breaks can refresh your mind to help you finish your to-do lists with less clutter on your mind.
- Vitamin Supplements: Nutrients like citicoline and vitamins including B12 and D3 can have enhancing effects on your brain's overall function. Citicoline can help support your overall focus, attention, and concentration while vitamin B12 works to support cellular energy so you can perform at your best.
The Bottom Line
If you’re feeling like focus isn’t something you can tap into easily these days, the good news is that there are several strategies you can try in order to improve your attention.
Thanks to something called plasticity, your mind can grow and change to help you adopt new habits and mindsets and enhance your focus. By testing out methods of cognitive enhancement, you can train your brain to commit to new habits.
You deserve to step into stress-free clarity that lasts all day — and with a bit of trial and error, you just might find the cognitive enhancement strategy that works for you.