Focus. It’s something that seems to be in short supply and that we could likely all use a little more of in our lives. When we’re feeling stressed, tired, or overwhelmed, it’s not uncommon to struggle with issues like memory retention, brain fog, and general mental fatigue. Luckily, there are a few delicious foods, brain-loving herbs, and simple lifestyle hacks you can incorporate into your daily routine to help increase your focus, naturally!
1. Green Tea
A lot of people turn to coffee for a hit of caffeine to help improve their energy and focus. Unfortunately for some, that short-term spike in focus leads to a crash that can leave you feeling tired and jittery. Avoiding this rollercoaster is one reason I love green tea so much. While it contains caffeine, it also contains a compound called L-theanine, which works synergistically with caffeine to enhance brain function. L-theanine increases GABA production in the brain to help calm the nervous system and prevent those caffeine jitters, so you’re left with all of the focus and none of the side effects!
When it comes to improving focus, supporting brain health is going to pay off in the long term. That’s why I love incorporating foods that are rich in brain-loving omega-3 fats! Plant-based sources of these healthy fats are a great addition to the diet, since they typically also contain antioxidants, protein, and fiber, which can keep blood sugar stable, another crucial foundation for focus! Walnuts even look like a little brain! If walnuts aren’t your favourite, you can enjoy hemp hearts, almonds, or flax seeds instead and still get tons of similar brain-boosting benefits. If I need a quick and easy omega-3 boost, I also love having Genuine Health’s Better Focus Omega-3 Think fish oil capsules on hand. They’re made with easily absorbed, fresh, pure, and ethically sourced fish oil.
In order for our brains to function optimally and stay focused, we need to be consuming adequate amounts of B vitamins, which also support mitochondrial function and improve our stress resilience. Salmon contains a wide variety of B vitamins plus anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats for even more brain support. Other great sources of B vitamins include eggs, beef, seafood, and liver.
If you’re living a plant-based lifestyle, don’t worry; you still have lots of nourishing foods to choose from! Legumes like edamame and chickpeas, and leafy greens like spinach or romaine lettuce, are loaded with an array of brain-loving B vitamins.
Stress is one of the major contributors to mental fatigue and lack of focus and unfortunately as a society we seem to be getting more stressed every day. That’s where Ginseng can help improve your energy and focus. It’s part of a class of herbs called adaptogens, which are natural substances that are non-toxic and non-habit forming over the long term. Generally, they help the body adapt to, and cope with stress, while normalizing other bodily processes. Ginseng in particular is a great adaptogen to incorporate into your daily routine if you struggle with focus and memory and need a little help when it comes to improving your stress resilience.
5. Try a Micro-workout!
I know the last thing you probably want to do when your brain is feeling foggy is put on your shoes and go to the gym. Luckily, you don’t need to lace up for an hour-long workout to reap the benefits of physical activity. When I'm working a long day at my desk and feel my focus fading, I like to stand up and do a little micro-workout that only takes about a minute to complete. There’s no hard and fast rule of what your micro-workout needs to look like, but I enjoy mixing it up by doing a couple rounds of squats; then later I might do some jumping jacks, and when I take another break, sometimes I hold a plank or do some pushups. The key here is to get your blood pumping so it can move through your body and up to your head to nourish your brain and help you refocus on the task at hand.
6. Get Some Fresh Air
If you’re working inside all day or staring at a computer screen, it’s no wonder you can’t stay focused! Humans are part of nature and science has found that even something as simple as keeping plants in your office can help improve concentration and productivity. If you can get outside for some fresh air and nature immersion during your day (maybe you take a short walk at lunch or eat outside!), you’ll feel even more refreshed, energized, and able to focus.
7. Break Up with Multitasking!
In today’s busy world it’s not uncommon to be working on multiple things at once, like talking on the phone while trying to send emails while thinking about an upcoming presentation. While we may think this makes us more productive, it can actually split our focus and increase the length of time it takes to complete any single task, while also lowering the quality of our work. So if you want to immediately improve your focus, productivity, and work quality, it’s time to break up with multitasking! You can also try combining a mindfulness practice with a single-task approach and see how it impacts your focus. You may find yourself feeling calmer since you’re not drawn in multiple directions!
Bonus: Try a Natural Supplement!
Sometimes we need a little helping hand when it comes to improving our mental energy and concentration. If that’s the case, try a supplement that has been clinically proven to support calm focus and mental clarity. Genuine Health’s Clear Focus contains brain-loving Lion’s Mane mushroom, adaptogenic red ginseng, calming L-theanine, and energy producing B vitamins. This powerful combination supports cognitive function, improves focus and attention, reduces mental fatigue, and increases your overall resiliency and resistance to stress. It can be a great choice for people who:
- Have trouble thinking clearly
- Jump from task to task
- Find it hard to get into a productive zone
- Feel overwhelmed
- Have difficulty remembering things they normally would
- Want to invest in long term brain health
Try taking 2 capsules with food to help clear brain fog and fire up your brain cells for the day ahead.
I hope these 7 foods, herbs, and habits help you create a foundation of joyous health and focus for many years to come!