Learning how to improve concentration is essential for a person’s success both professionally as well as on a personal level (relationships, parenting). Concentration is a person’s ability to focus on one single thought or task, without being distracted by factors surrounding that person. Strong concentration is hard to achieve and it can become a real asset in any activity we undertake.

  • Why do we face concentration problems?

The main explanation for the decrease in the ability to concentrate is that the brain changes with age. Older people tend to combine information coming from different sources more than younger people, a phenomena also known as sensory integration. This makes it harder to avoid distractions and reduces the ability to concentrate. Moreover, multitasking is becoming the rule to our daily activities, further undermining our concentration capacity.

  • How to improve concentration

The saying “You are what you eat” generally applies in practice and it is proven that following a healthy, balanced diet will lead to significant improvements both in concentration and memory. One should also consider some nutritious foods which improve concentration. Blueberries are a good choice, because they contain antioxidants which prevent brain damage and delay the aging effect on the brain. Whole grains and fruits improve blood flow, which is as important for the brain as for any other organ in the human body. A diet that is rich in fish – which contains omega 3 fatty acids – greatly improves the functioning of the brain. Sugar and coffee are also good energizers that help improve concentration – however, with a short-term effect. Moreover, these substances can trigger addiction and will damage our health on the long term, so do not abuse them.

Meditation was proven to be the best exercise to improve mental capacity and concentration. Techniques from Buddhist meditation classes can teach people how to improve their concentration. A good start to meditation, if you cannot attend such classes, would be to try to focus on your breath and to observe it. With time, this helps you avoid focusing on too many things at the same time.

Focus games such as crossword puzzles, word games and Sudoku improve both memory and concentration capacity.

Knowing how to maintain and how to improve concentration will help you stay in control of your actions in situations you face daily, and it will help you succeed in everything you do.