Does your mind drift away too often? Do you find it rather difficult to remember little details? Does your mind not always cooperate with you when you really need it to?
These aren’t problems that are alien to humans because the mind is a crowded place and things can often get lost in there.
Humans are said to use 10% of their total brain capacity. And while this might seem like a rather small number, look at how much we’ve accomplished with just that much! And this is a testament to the fact that we all have a brain that can do so much more, but its potential is limited due to a variety of reasons. Due to this, we end up missing out on opportunities, making stupid mistakes and by-passing details that are essential.
Why does one lose concentration? Or have a depleting memory? It could be
- Bad time management
- Unorganised thoughts
- Lack of prioritization
- Divided focus
- No train of thought
The list can go on and on, and the result is a mind that has the capability to be more and do more but is unfortunately bound by these limitations. If you need to know more numbers then you can take a look at this infographic.
So, let’s take a look at 15 tips and tricks that can help your mind remember, focus and function better:
Meditation has been the solution to most mind problems for thousands of years. It’s nothing but the art of calming your mind and learning how to focus on your breathing. The brain is a very interesting organ – it not only controls the rest of the body but also has the ability to monitor itself. Which is why, when you learn to meditate and tell your mind to calm itself, it actually works quite well. Many experiments have been conducted to prove the effectiveness of meditation. Dedicated meditation, when performed over a period of time, can show promising results in the cognitive and functional capabilities of the mind.
When your body becomes stagnant, so does your mind. The more the body is involved in physical activity and productive movement, the better is the secretion of necessary hormones in the body. Even the blood circulation sees a significant improvement with continuous exercise. Exercising regularly can help your mind become healthier and function more efficiently because along with your body, your mind gets to breathe too. With a healthy body and brain, there’s no limitation to the growth of your mental abilities!
Learning how to control your breathing is one of the many techniques that yoga instructors focus on. This is because breathing exercises are a brilliant way to train the brain to focus on one thing, rather than unsuccessfully divide itself into concentrating on too many things at once. Breathing is a very natural process, something we don’t often give too much attention to. Just like blinking, breathing comes to us all too naturally. However, when you actually try to focus only on your breathing, you realize how difficult it is because of how crowded the mind is. Hence, breathing techniques increase focus and concentration significantly.
Better time management
Time is money, as the famous saying goes, and time cannot be paused or brought back either. This is probably why lost time or wasted times makes us so jittery. Have you ever thought of an impending deadline and completely shut down? Or counted seconds and minutes in your head and just stressed yourself out? A lot of us do this, it’s in the human nature to overthink things.
The best way to not let a ticking clock make you anxious is to manage your time well. Time management is a skill on its own and is not easy to master. However, once you have found a technique that will work for you and your schedule, things will start falling into place, and your mind will not feel so crowded anymore.
Balance your diet
A balanced diet is not just one of those terms you keep reading in every other book. Balanced diets have proven benefits for both the mind and the body. The body requires certain essential nutrients that cannot be ignored. What a balanced diet does is provide you with all these nutrients, at the right time and in the right quantity, making sure that you are eating healthy and eating right. As tempting as junk food and unhealthy snacks might be, they do not provide your body and brain with the essential vitamins and minerals. As a result, you become lethargic, and your brain starts to function slower, eventually affecting your memory as well.
Keep important lists
Making lists and timetables might seem boring and tedious, but they’re very beneficial in the long run. No matter how trained your mind might be to remember things, it’s only human to forget sometimes. This is when to-do lists come in handy and make sure you complete all your chores and tasks. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so a few lists or a well-constructed timetable could actually save you a lot of time and not let your mind feel too overwhelmed either. So, the next time you have too many tasks on your plate, let a list be your way out!
Give a break to gadgets
With all the surge in demand for technology and advanced gadgets, life does seem to have gotten easier. However, the shift from pen and paper to screen and digital pens have taken quite a toll on our minds. IT’s a fact that using gadgets like mobile phones and laptops on a regular basis can affect your cognitive abilities and actually make your mind feel more tired than usual. This could probably be because of the rays being emitted by these devices. So, while saying goodbye to them would not be feasible, make sure you take well-deserved breaks every now and then, just to let your mind cool off
Learn to de-stress
When you let stress build a mountain inside you, you’re going to succumb to the pressure, sooner or later. And when you do succumb, your mind gives up too, leaving you feeling lost and out of place, and most definitely losing your focus on important things as well. Hence, you must de-stress.
Everyone’s way of destressing is different; some play a sport, some go on a vacation, some make a visit to the spa and others go on outings with their loved ones. Whatever your preferred way to de-stress might be, make sure that you do it. Your mind deserves to take the load off in order to function better.
Find peace through music
Soothing and calming music can do wonder for your mind, which is why so many people give music a lot of importance in your life. Science has proven that listening to music releases hormones like Dopamine in the body, which is known to have a calming and stress relieving effect. So, whenever it is feasible, plug in your earphones or your speakers and listen to your favorite music. In fact, if you have an important meeting or test coming up, listening to music shortly before it can put you in a really good mood and also make your mind sharper.
Reading is an amazing solution to memory problems. Even as kids, we’re often encouraged to read more and also read out loud, because it rightly develops the brain and helps us remember things more clearly. You could have a favorite genre or author, so don’t stop yourself from picking up a book or two. When you read more often, you automatically tend to remember little details like names of places and people, or colors and imagery as well. This is like an important exercise for your brain and it also gets your imagination working. Reading is also known to improve vocabulary, cognitive skills, analytical abilities and emotional quotient as well. So, when you have the time, pick up a new book and start reading!
And also write
You don’t have to be a writer professionally to reap the benefits of writing. The act of writing is nothing but creating something, which requires a good amount of thinking and mental exercise. One of the best ways to write is to keep a personal diary or journal. It helps with expression and also eases your mind from any stress. Another good technique is to just pick a random topic that you’re fine if and write about it. The aim here isn’t to judge how well you write, but to stimulate your mind into thinking and creating something.
Visit a professional
If you have sudden bouts of anxiety when things don’t get done, or you tend to have panic attacks and shut down, seeing a professional might not be the worst idea. It’s important to remember that there is no shame in accepting the existence of a mental illness if there is one. When conditions like anxiety and trauma go undetected it untreated, they can manifest negatively in the mind and cause a lot of mental inadequacies in the future too. A professional will understand your problem better than you can, and will surely give you a solution that will benefit you and make you feel a whole lot better. So, if you feel that a third person can help you sort things out better, you should go ahead and get that help.
Rest your mind and body
Ask yourself one thing: Do I sleep enough?
Many times, with all our priorities and commitments, we forget to give ourselves the right amount of sleep and rest that we deserve. And if you are making the same mistake, it can directly affect your mental focus and functionality. The first step is to recognize your sleep pattern and pick out any flaws in it. The second step is to find out how you can squeeze in a minimum amount of rest every day and not exert yourself beyond a point. After all, you are human and not a machine, so there’s only so much stress that your mind can take. After a point, rest is very essential and when you miss out on it, your mind gives in and you don’t think or function as well as you normally can.
Don’t forget your hobbies
In the midst of trying to get things done and building yourself into something, don’t miss out on the things that truly make you happy. When was the last time you made time to do what you really love? It could be traveling, singing, dancing, playing a sport, painting or taking a long drive. In whichever case, if you haven’t given yourself that space and opportunity to do something that makes you truly happy, you’re also putting your mind in an unhappy place.
So, on your next day off, give time to your favorite hobby and you might notice that a calmer and happier mind is also a better working one.
Having too many thoughts running through your mind at the same time can cause one big commotion in your head. What happens then? You forget to listen and miss out on vital details. This is why focusing on one thing at a time is a sure shot way to not forget things. If someone is saying something, listen. And don’t just listen for the sake of it, listen attentively. Paying attention to detail is what organizes thoughts better in your mind and also helps you prioritize better when the need arises. This way, you know which task is more important and will also manage your time and energy accordingly.
Whatever the problem might be, there is always a feasible solution. The mind is a rather complicated place – difficult to understand and hard to unravel. However, in the end, your mind is yours and if you want it, you can have full control over it and how efficiently it functions. So try out these tips and remember that the goal is to improve how well your brain concentrates and remembers things!