Are you struggling to focus and stay productive? Today’s world is full of never-ending distractions, making it harder for us to concentrate for long periods of time. Improving our mental efficiency often comes down to improving work habits like having a schedule and staying off your phone. However, your ability to focus, concentrate and stay productive is also linked to your health. There are several practices that improve your health this way, helping you optimise your mental efficiency.
Get Enough Quality Sleep
A clear, rested brain has a huge effect on your cognitive function and your overall health. Aim for the optimum number of hours of sleep every night, which is between 7 to 8 hours. Any less simply isn’t enough to function at your peak. Not getting enough sleep affects your pituitary function, which regulates hormones governing your mood, alertness, appetite and your overall resilience.
Seek Regular Mental Stimulation
Research has found that mentally stimulating activities help to develop new connections between nerve cells and may even help the brain create new cells altogether. Any mentally stimulating activity can help build up your brain and improve mental efficiency, from reading and writing to completing puzzles and solving math problems. Activities that involve manual dexterity such as drawing, painting and other crafts are also ideal.
Using your muscles and exercising regularly increases the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the part of the brain responsible for thinking. Exercise also helps develop new nerve cells and boosts the number of connections between brain cells, making you more efficient and adaptable mentally.
Exercise also improves blood pressure, helps blood sugar balance, improves cholesterol levels and reduces stress, all of which help improve brain function. Doing some quick stretches in the morning is a great way to wake up your brain and muscles. It also improves oxygen flow to the brain.
Stress and anxiety have a big impact on the efficient functioning of your brain. We sometimes need a little bit of stress to motivate us, but too much causes adrenal fatigue, affecting both your memory and mood. Meditating for half an hour each day and practising breathing techniques when you feel stressed and anxious can help relieve symptoms and improve cognitive function and efficiency.
Drink Plenty of Water
Hydration is essential for all aspects of your health including cognitive function, so make sure you drink plenty of water. Drinking water is especially important in the morning after you wake up. If you feel tired and groggy after getting up, it’s often because you’re slightly dehydrated. Trying to remedy this with a strong coffee can make it worse as caffeine acts as a diuretic, eliminating even more water from your body. Start your day instead with a big glass of water or a mug of hot water and lemon if you want something warm straight away.
Eat a Healthy, Well Balanced Diet
Good nutrition is essential for your mind as well as your body. Great brain-friendly food choices include eggs, avocado, salmon, spinach, nuts, seeds, unsaturated oils (like olive oil) and berries. Avoid pastries, white bread and sugary cereals, as sugars and simple carbohydrates cause a mental and physical dip a few hours after you eat them. Eating meals at the same time every day also helps regulate your circadian rhythm and digestion, optimising your brain for peak performance.
Looking for More Health Advice?
At Releaf Clinics, our doctors can provide tailored health advice to help you improve your physical and mental health. As a dedicated clinic and dispensary group, we can simplify the consultation process and make it easier for you to access the medicine you need.
Our telehealth consults allow you to access services with Releaf Clinics’ doctors via phone and video chat. Contact us today to chat about how we can help improve your health.