Our lifestyles are increasingly packed with sources of stress and distraction, from the pressures of social media to the 24/7 news cycle.
Subsequently, it can be hard to focus on specific tasks at the best of times, never mind when you’re dealing with the dramatic hormonal changes of puberty.
Many teenagers struggle to concentrate at times, but they may be able to boost their mental focus with dietary supplements that contain essential nutrients.
Concentration supplements are dietary supplements designed to boost your cognitive power with vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts. In contrast to stimulants like caffeine, most of these supplements are designed to support overall brain health and cognitive function rather than providing a short-term energy boost.
These supplements are known by many names, like nootropics, brain boosters, and brain supplements, but all purport to improve your cognitive abilities by addressing nutritional deficits or stimulating improved brain function. While the idea of concentration supplements may seem a little far-fetched, there’s a growing amount of evidence to suggest that dietary supplements may improve the cognitive function of teenagers (and adults too).
How Do Supplements Help with Focus and Concentration?
Dietary supplements may improve your mental facilities by providing essential nutrients (like vitamins, minerals and amino acids) linked to healthy brain function. Studies show that supplementing with certain nutrients (especially if you are suffering from a deficiency of said nutrient) can have surprising benefits for your cognitive performance.
Teenagers are more likely to suffer from nutritional deficits as puberty causes the body to grow and change, so they may benefit more from taking concentration supplements than an average adult. Additionally, many of these supplements for concentration also contain herbal extracts such as ginseng and Rhodiola Rosea, which have been proven to improve cognitive function.
Ways to Improve Concentration
While concentration supplements are great at giving your body the nutrients it needs to maintain healthy brain function, they won’t help you develop the techniques you need to focus on your tasks. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve concentration and help you stay motivated on the task at hand, whether that’s writing a book report, studying for a test or staying awake in class.
The following techniques to improve concentration and focus are simple, free and 100% natural:
Use Earplugs (or sound-cancelling headphones)
Random noises can wreak havoc on our focus, so rather than trying to work through the distractions, try to block them out (where appropriate) with earphones. Unless you’re in a situation where you need to listen to your surroundings, such as class, blocking out the surrounding noises will help you focus on your tasks.
Our brains need good circulation to function at peak performance, so getting the blood pumping with some quick aerobic exercises can improve memory and concentration. If you find it tough to focus on a specific task, doing some quick jumping jacks could give you the mental energy you need without relying on concentration supplements.
Take a Break
As we all know, focusing on a single task for hours at a time can be painfully boring, so stopping to do something else will help recharge your mental energy. Even stopping to do a quick task (like responding to a text message) in the middle of a task can help break up the monotony so you can concentrate on the important things.
Try to Get More Sleep
Getting enough sleep is vital for mental focus, and getting a healthy 7-9 hours of sleep a night will do more for you than 90% of concentration supplements. Unfortunately, your parents may have been onto something when they told you to turn off your phone and games console before bed, as blue light from screens can disrupt your circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall into a restful sleep.
Take it one step at a time
If you’re facing down a huge school project or have a dozen things you need to do, break it down into manageable chunks and tackle it one step at a time, so you won’t feel overwhelmed. Focussing on one task at a time decreases the odds of you getting distracted and can help you feel like you’re accomplishing more, especially if you keep a checklist of what you’ve completed.
Cut out Distractions
While this is easier said than done, you should cut out as many distractions as possible when you’re trying to concentrate. Find a quiet place to focus, turn your phone on silent, and you may find it easier to focus on a task than you thought, even without the need for concentration supplements.