The Brain and Distractions, How to Improve Concentration

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Are you Easily Distracted?

How easily do you become distracted? Do you ever drive to a location and not remember most of the trip? When you are in a long conversation, have you ever realized you didn't hear some part of what the other person said? This can certainly be embarrassing. It is perfectly okay to ask the person to back up and repeat that last sentence, which is probably better then nodding your head, so they will presume you heard them. Distractions happen in many areas of our lives.

Letting you mind wander is really an old habit for many people. Sometimes people think they are mentally deficient because they have an inability to concentrate for any length of time. Often it is just a bad habit that can be overcome; because, you can learn to keep your mind focused. The power of intention is often used to learn to focus your mind as it is difficult to achieve goals when your mind is cluttered with distractions and negative thoughts.

A Question to a Thought

From Book:
From Book:

What Things Affect Concentration

Sometimes other people cause the distraction. As a writer, especially when you are doing some research related to the article and someone walks in interrupting, do you find it frustrating? I sure do as my concentration is totally broken; plus, it is time lost.

There are ways to cut down on the time you become distracted, and you can improve your level of concentration. While we notice this happening, it is not something we usually think about very often. Comprehension is related to your ability to concentrate. The Miriam Webster dictionary defines concentration as: “the act of concentrating: direction of attention to a single object or an academic major or area of focus with a major.”

There are occasions where concentration is more difficult due to vitamin deficiency, particularly vitamin B. Eating healthy has been shown to enhance the mind. Extreme fatigue is another problem. I believe most people have difficulty with concentration when they are exhausted.

Make Positive Changes

If you want to make some positive changes in your life, these are some practical steps that are easy to follow. Becoming more disciplined in your life activities will help you to become more disciplined in your mind.

  1. Set goals daily and make plans to achieve them. They should be realistic goals, and they need to be prioritized.
  2. Make sure to take at least a few minutes a day for the people closest to your heart. Life is short and we are not promised tomorrow.
  3. A good exercise regimen done a minimum of two to three times weekly will improve your health.
  4. Set and keep standards and boundaries that are comfortable for you. We teach other people how to treat us. Be consistent.
  5. Eat healthy and you will feel healthier over time. Cut out the junk foot and nuture your body.
  6. Live with integrity. Be true to yourself, and always tell the truth as it will line up with your true character. Living with integrity will increase your self-esteem.
  7. Student that are studying often find they get distracted, but they want to be prepared for that big test the next day. There are a few things you can do to help.
  8. Meditation and/or prayer daily will keep you in a state of oneness and peaceful. No matter what your personal beliefs are there is a meditation and prayer that is right for you.
  9. Inventory your talents and strengths if you are making a life changing decision. Your career path should be something that is fulfilling. Choosing a path out of obligation or expectation usually does not work out very well. God back to school or do what it takes to fulfill your goals.
  10. Discipline your mind to live according to the laws of abundance, which means choose to give to others daily and also receive unconditionally. Give with love and receive with gratitude.
  11. Physical surroundings that are kept neat and orderly get rid of the external clutter, thus helping get rid of the internal clutter. You won’t be looking for the paper you just had a few minutes ago. It takes discipline, but you can quickly adopt new habits by practicing them consistently.

Study Helps

Study Times

Suggestions for study times:

  • Stay hydrated, so bring a glass of water with you.
  • Turn off Facebook, cell phones, computer games or distractions.
  • It is ideal to study in a comfortable place with a soothing environment.
  • Get everything organized ahead of time, like books, papers, computer, etc.
  • Sometimes having some scented candles will soothe you, so you will be relaxed versus stressed.
  • Unless you have an exceptional study partner, you are better off studying alone.
  • Eat some healthy food before you study, so you won’t get hungry.

I find that most of these suggestions help with writing as well. People tend to be more productive in the morning and in the evening, so it is important to know what time works well for you.

How do you See Youself?

Flicker
Flicker

Distractions with Driving

There is a list of things that can be considered distraction when driving percent of the people agree. Texting has been outlawed in several states, and it is certainly an unsafe practice with 80 percent of people agreeing. Statistics show that using a wireless device in the number one source of driver inattention. Teenagers tend to be more easily distracted than adults.

Other drivingdistractions include:

  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Putting on makeup
  • Combing your hair
  • Talking to a passenger can be a distraction.
  • Reading a map while driving
  • Adjusting a navigation system
  • Adjusting the radio, CD or MP3 player

1 Brain Exercise for Better Mental Concentration

Improve Concentration - Be Observant

Think about Sherlock Holmes. This world famous fictional detective is the “quintessential unitasker in a multitasking world.” As he is presented with a new case, he will sit in his leather chair with his eyes closed and is silent. He captures mindfulness, which is a term psychologist use to describe cognitive thought. While many ancient religions, such as the Buddhist, use mindfulness in a spiritual way, Sherlock seems to quiet his mind, take in every detail, and he can dismiss any distraction. That is the difficult part for most people. We tend to be people of action.

You often see in movies and on TV how the FBI or other law enforcement can walk in a room, and within seconds they can recount every detail. They are trained to do this job. Normally, most people do not train themselves to be that observant, and they are working out problems in their heads while cleaning the house or driving somewhere. Would we not be more productive if we focused more carefully on details?

Don't Worry - Be Happy

People generally worry about many things that never happen. If you are a worrier, write down all your problems on paper and put the paper in a jar. Check the jar a week or two later and you will find that most of those worries never happened. Live in the moment.

© 2013 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 49 comments

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

I can't agree with your more, Pam. I always say I will remember something and I never do. I have gone to carrying a small journal in my purse to write things down now so I don't forget. And, also to write down observations I make for writing later on. Sometimes, at the most inopportune moment I get a great flash for a writing subject or topic and now I just pull out my journal and jot it down for later. This is an excellent hub with excellent advice and suggestions. Well done and well said.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Suzette, I have starting making more lists and I even keep things in the notebook on my iPhone. Thank syou so mcuh for your comments.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Thanks Pamela for the great article here! I think we all could use some advice on concentrating a bit better in this busy world in which we live. I know I need to write things down to help me remember for later. There is so much to distract us nowadays, therefore, harder to concentrate and focus. I like to shut my office door and sit in the quiet to focus and not have so many distrations.

Voted up +++ and sharing (will come back to share, my buttons are not showing at the moment)

Blessings, Faith Reaper


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Faith, I have a hard time at home finding a place without interruptions. I have really been trying to focus completely on whatever task I'm doing as I realized I was losing a lot of time due to my mind being distracted also. Thanks so much for your comments and the share. God Bless.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Pam, boy do I need this hub. I have gotten very bad lately. Especially while driving which scares me. And it's not that I'm talking or texting (never) or eating or anything like that. It's more that I like to look at things; the scenery, the foliage, birds, etc., and it drives my wife crazy. Even when not driving my attention span can vary greatly and you may have hit on a few reasons why, being tired for one. I also wonder about the vitamin B deficiency? Something to think about.

Thanks for sharing this. Great job. Voted up and shared.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

bdegiulio, I hope this hub helps. I realized I was getting distracted easily and I know being tired is one of the reasons. I want to try the plan in the video to strength my concentrations abilities. Thanks so much for your comments.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

I love this suggestion, ' Live in the moment ' I do find that i get distracted more easily when tired. Meditation is a great stress reducer. I think i will do one of your brain tests. Thank you for sharing....


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Ruby, Live in the moment makes for a happier life. I have trying to take a little more time on meditation and I think that helps. Glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

i do lots of what you have written about..Now I really feel good. I do write down problems, I organize my day and exercise and eat healthfully.and more Great hub..Voting up and Pinning.


agapsikap profile image

agapsikap 3 years ago from Philippines

Hello, Pamela99! I love reading your hub. Its 99.9 % useful and awesome. Thank you for sharing.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

Your positive changes are super suggestions and following this guide would indeed be helpful to writers!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Pam,

This is very well written and I surely can relate, especially in this world of so many distractions.

Like you, I really need order and peace in the environment I am working. I believe in the scented candles and staying hydrated with water as essentials every day. The older I get, the more value I see in a good night's sleep as well.

Very well written with universal and useful suggestions.

Voted UP & UABI. Hugs, Maria


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well, Pamela, this is certainly useful information as I approach my sixty-fifth year. I will file this one away and definitely follow the suggestions. Thank you!

bill


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi Pamela, I totally agree with you, the one thing I do is exercise or go for a walk, and meditate or set aside a prayer time is great for concentration. And yes I totally agree with the distraction of someone interupting us when we are studying or writing, drives me insane! lol!


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

I love all these tips, especially Tip No. 11. Thanks for sharing, Pamela!


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Ironically, my disability keeps me highly aware of distractions. I cannot walk and chew anything.


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

I really enjoyed this hub Pamela. Concentration is a problem for me, espeically recently. I have a new office environment where it is much more difficult to concentrate. It's interesting that you focus on things like diet and exercise and meditation, which are seemingly unrelated, but, I think there is a connection, as if we are stressed or physically unwell, it will make it even harder to concentrate. Voting up and sharing!


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Excellent suggestions, Pamela - wow, look at that bird - to improve one's concentration - I wonder if those clouds mean it's going to rain - and eliminate distractions. I believe I need help! :)


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 3 years ago

Using Sherlock Holmes' as a model to improve concentration is cool, since I enjoyed reading the stories. A good example indeed.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Well done, Pamela. It is funny that I came across this today as my sister and I were just discussing mental exercises and memory techniques to use to keep our brains healthy.

Overall general mental and physical health definitely is in order. Thank you so much for sharing this and reminding us how we can improve our power of concentration.

Angels are on the way :) ps


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Came back to share as I said I would.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Carol, It sounds like your great choices are paying off and I appreciate your comments and the sharie. Have a great day.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

agapsikap, I am glad you found the hub useful and thanks so much for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

RTalloni, I'm glad you appreciate the suggestions. Thanks so much for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Maria, I have definitely notices some changes as I have gotten older also. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and appreciate all the praise! Hugs to you too Maria.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Billy, I wish I had followed some of these suggestions when I was younger, but better late than never. Thanks so much for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Nell Rose, I'm glad I'm no the only one that goes nuts with a lot of distractions. Sounds like you are doing well though and your hubs are always good. Thanks for the comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Midget, I'm glad you liked the tips, and thanks for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Mhatter, Some disabilities change everything, but sometimes we learn how to work despite them. I have some disablilites also, so I know what you mean. Thanks for your comemnts.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Crystal, I agree with you. Each of those things you mention make an impact on our bodies. I especially notice fatigue is a big propblem when I am trying to be productive. Thanks so much for your comments and the share.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

drbj, Yes, help may be just the thing. Distractions can sure be over the littliness things, and not necessarily bad things. Little birds are nice:) Thanks for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Ingenira, Thanks for your comments. I thought about him as he seemed to be able to solve problems and recall events with practically np physical action on his part.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Patricia, It always seems so funny to be when I have something on my mind and up pops something directly related to what I was pondering. I;m glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments. Thanks for angels and back to you also. Hugs. :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Thanks again for the comments and share. I actually just got back home from traveling to Atlanta, so I am answering most of these comments all at the same time.


lesliebyars profile image

lesliebyars 3 years ago from Alabama

The brain tests and all the other information is fabulous. Keep up the great work. Voted up and shared.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

lesliebyars, I'm glad you liked the hib. I appreciate your comments and the share.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

lesliebyars, I'm glad you enjpoyed the hub. Thanks for the comments and the share.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 years ago

Thanks for this great advice. I am at the point that I have to write everything down. If I don't I forget about what I have to do. Up and awesome and useful, very useful.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 3 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Very interesting, Pamela, good job!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

I can only add, "ditto", to everyone's comments ;) I think our biggest issue with concentration is that we tend not to pay attention. Our mind wanders instead of listening or paying attention to the task at hand.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

POP, Glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

James, Glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for the comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Terrye, I think you are exactly right. I am working on being more focused as this drives me crazy. I appreciate your comments.


hulah cagen profile image

hulah cagen 3 years ago

Thank you for this article. You make some very good points. In this day and age with so many technological gadgets surrounding us, it is indeed a challenge to stay focused. But if one is resolute even a few minutes a day goes a long way.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

hulah cagen, It really is a challenge. I am glad you enjoyed the article and I appreciate your comments.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 3 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Thanks for this great hub Pamela99. I have only recently learned the benefits of writing lists. My great challenge now is now is not writing things down on lots of post-it notes that get scattered all round, but on maintaining on master list


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Cynthia, I do the same thing and I hate to have those notes everywhere. I appreciate your comments.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Very much appreciated info! My mind wanders a lot. You make me feel more normal. LOL!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Rebecca, I think you are just normal like most of us. I appreciate your comments.

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