How to Improve Focus and Concentration

How to Improve Focus and Concentration - Introvert Whisperer

Have you ever found yourself struggling to remember a word or phrase in a conversation? Or focusing on a book or article for any length of time? Or maybe staying awake and alert at work? The problem isn’t necessarily that you’re getting old – it’s that your brain is out of shape. Just like our muscles atrophy, so does our ability to concentrate. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your focus and concentration that don’t require you to take loads of meds or eat can after can of tuna.


It’s Not Your Fault

But first, a reminder to you: it’s not your fault. Long working hours, increasing computer usage, and the hectic pace of modern life all affect your brain. It’s hard to relax and sleep well at night when you’re overworked and under-challenged. Our brains evolved for problem solving and creativity, not for rote tasks and computers. The dopamine-triggering nature of social media and email trains our brains to focus only in short spurts. Fortunately, you can affect how to concentrate and focus at work despite the distracting nature of the job you’re in.


How to improve focus and concentration: Brain Exercises

According to this article by the Wall Street Journal, some brain exercises have been shown to put off dementia. If exercises can improve the brain health of individuals with dementia, imagine what they could do for the rest of us.

The goal is to find exercises that teach you how to practice focus and concentration. These include longer puzzles that go beyond the start-and-stop of a crossword or sudoku puzzle.


The Snake Cube Puzzle

One example of an exercise that works to improve your mental clarity and focus is the Snake Cube Puzzle. Solving the snake cube puzzle isn’t as easy as it sounds. What is the snake cube puzzle? It’s a wooden toy in the shape of a block that, when separated, looks a bit like a snake or serpent.(Think of a “Rubik’s Cube” that comes apart.) You can buy these for around $10, which makes it a far cheaper solution to brain training than taking some pills or buying a software product.

To take it apart and put it back together you have to bend the pieces so that they fit together as a cube. This tests your spatial and geometric awareness and forces you to literally “think outside the box”.


Why It Works

There are a couple of reasons why cubes like this work to train your brain how to concentrate and focus. The first is that it’s tactile. Unlike text on a screen, the block has to be held and manipulated. This triggers the primal parts of our brain, the parts that were activated when we were children playing on the floor and touching everything. We learn through tactile manipulation of our environment, and brain exercises that involve real objects serve to activate those parts. The second reason is because it’s engaging. The physical nature of it combined with the visual beauty of the wood make it so that you can’t just put it down. You’d lose your traction if you put the block down. Instead, you are forced to be engaged until completion, thereby training your brain to focus for longer periods of time.

Improving your focus and concentration doesn’t take a lot of money. It just takes some ingenuity, some time, and a willingness to sit down and work on a puzzle.


Guest Author:

This article was written by Gigi, an inspired writer who researches and writes content for several companies, including SiamMandalay. She’d like to consider herself a freelance writer and traveler. Her topic of interest includes anything related to self-improvement and career development.


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