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Brain Distractions - Improve Concentration

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

Thinking Brain

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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. Or, you may have ADHD.

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.”

Common distractions include the cell phone, the computer, family friends and your own needs.

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. Most people have difficulty with concentration when they are exhausted.

Study Helps

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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 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?

the-brain-and-distractions-how-to-improve-concentration

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

4 Brain Exercises To Improve Memory

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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 12, 2020:

Hi Lora,

It is not that difficult to make thos changes you listed. Our brains will be healthier by making those simple choices.

Thank you so much for your comments.

Lora Hollings on April 11, 2020:

This is a wonderful article on ways that we can improve our concentration, reduce distractions, and thereby increase our memory retention, Pamela. These are practical recommendations that we can easily implement every day, improving our performance at work and our relationships too. I also loved the video on the four brain exercises to improve memory. We don't need an app. We can do these just by focusing more on what people are saying, doing mental math, and using our own brain creatively as a way to learn and remember. Thanks for this great information!

Lora Hollings on April 11, 2020:

Such a great article on improving our concentration and reducing distractions, Pamela. You offer some wonderful suggestions for paying better attention and how we can improve our memory retention. I love the video on the four brain exercises to improve memory. We don't need an app. If we practice these exercises, we can apply these skills to our everyday lives and learn to focus more on our work and improving our memory! Thanks for these practical ideas that we can easily implement.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 11, 2020:

Hi Peggy,

It is important to concentate on important and so easily to get distrcted. Thanks for commenting, Peggy.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 11, 2020:

These are all excellent suggestions about not letting distractions rule our life. Concentrating on the most important things is vital because, as you mentioned, we are not guaranteed tomorrow.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 09, 2020:

Hi Eric,

Maybe that is simply following your muse. I enjoy your articles regardless. Thanks for commenting.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 08, 2020:

Pamela, this is great. I got to it through my "popular" notices. In writing sometimes if something distracts me from my intentions I just go follow it. Had some good work done that way.

But generally I will try to incorporate these.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 22, 2013:

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

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on July 21, 2013:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 09, 2013:

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

CMHypno from Other Side of the Sun on June 09, 2013:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 25, 2013:

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

hulah cagen on May 25, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 08, 2013:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 08, 2013:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 08, 2013:

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

Mary Craig from New York on May 07, 2013:

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.

James W. Nelson from eastern North Dakota on May 06, 2013:

Very interesting, Pamela, good job!

breakfastpop on May 06, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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

lesliebyars on May 05, 2013:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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. :)

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2013:

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

Faith Reaper from southern USA on May 05, 2013:

Came back to share as I said I would.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on May 05, 2013:

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

Ingenira on May 05, 2013:

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

drbj and sherry from south Florida on May 05, 2013:

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! :)

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on May 05, 2013:

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!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on May 05, 2013:

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

Michelle Liew from Singapore on May 04, 2013:

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

Nell Rose from England on May 04, 2013:

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!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 04, 2013:

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

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on May 04, 2013:

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

RTalloni on May 04, 2013:

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

agapsikap from Philippines on May 04, 2013:

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

carol stanley from Arizona on May 04, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 04, 2013:

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.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on May 04, 2013:

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....

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 04, 2013:

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.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on May 04, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 04, 2013:

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.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on May 04, 2013:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 04, 2013:

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.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on May 04, 2013:

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.

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