Tag Archives: Short Term Memory

Driven to Distraction: ADHD and Your Environment – Part 2

distracted man with adhdNagging Thoughts That Won’t Quit

It’s next to impossible to focus on the task at hand if you’re worrying about errands you need to run or housework that needs to be done.

Perhaps you’re still thinking about a conversation you had yesterday and it keeps replaying itself in your mind.

Nagging thoughts of any kind can be a powerful distraction that keeps you from achieving your daily goals. The best way to keep nagging thoughts from sticking around in your brain is to write them down.

You can make a list of errands, chores or other tasks you plan to complete later. Save it for review at a later time when you can actually tackle the items you wrote down. Learn to let them go while you give your attention to the present activity.

The Powerful Grip of Stress

As mentioned above, when you feel that you are doing too many things all at once it can be hard to focus on individual tasks.

To make matters worse, stress has a palpable negative effect on your body. You may develop pain in your shoulders, headaches or palpitation, all of which can hinder your ability to concentrate.


To decrease your stress level, you can learn stress reduction techniques, such as meditation. It can make it possible for you to lessen the impact of stressful thoughts so they don’t demand so much of your attention.

Researchers found that people who took an eight-week meditation class were able to significantly improve their ability to focus

Chronic Lack of Sleep

Not sleeping well night after night can lead to daytime fatigue. It can, in turn, make it very tough to concentrate even when you have just a few distractions. There are studies that suggest that too little sleep can permanently diminish your ability to concentrate as well as your short-term memory.

Staying Hungry

It is a well known fact that the brain can’t focus without fuel. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, is a top concentration killer.

Research clearly indicates that short-term memory and attention suffer if you neglect to feed your brain the proper nutrients. The best way to keep hunger at bay and give your brain a steady source of fuel is by always eating breakfast.

In between meals you should eat high-protein snacks like cheese or nuts. Do not rely on simple carbs (sweets, white pasta) to boost your energy and choose whole grain alternatives instead.

A Cloud of Depression

When we think of depression and its devastating effects we tend to think of sadness as its hallmark symptom. However, the National Institute of Mental Health says difficulty concentrating is one of the most common symptoms of ongoing depression.

If you’re having trouble focusing while also feeling empty, hopeless or even indifferent to people and things your cared about before, you may be experiencing depression.

If you think you might be depressed, always seek medical advice. Depression is highly treatable and you could significantly be improving your attention span and ability to complete tasks.

Best Dietary Tips for a Healthy Brain

Coffee Makes the brain alertThere s a great deal of buzz about foods and dietary supplements. The manufactures promise they can do everything, from sharpen focus and concentration, to enhance memory, attention span and overall brain function.

Is there any evidence that they really work? Aging healthfully is key to maintaining proper function of many organs and the brain is one of them. The good news is that you can increase your chances of keeping a healthy brain when you consume some common, yet powerful, foods and beverages.

Caffeine makes you alert…in moderation

There are certain substances, like caffeine, that can energize your brain. It can help you focus and concentrate. It is found in coffee, chocolate and as an additive in some popular drinks. It gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz but the effects are usually short term. Most importantly, overdoing it on caffeine will make you jittery and uncomfortable, so moderation is key.

Sugar feeds your brain…in moderation

There is no doubt that sugar is your brain’s preferred fuel source. However, we are not talking about table sugar, but glucose, which your body metabolizes from the sugars and carbohydrates you consume. Favor complex carbohydrates and healthy, naturally sweet snacks over refined sugar and you are sure to help your brain stay sharper without packing on the pounds.

Always Eat Breakfast to wake up Your Brain

Many studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat breakfast tend to perform significantly better than those who skip it. Best foods to eat in the morning include high-fiber whole grains, low fat dairy, and fruits. However, researchers also found that high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.

Fish and Fish oil keep you brain Supple

Fish is the preferred protein source for a great brain boost. It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, essential for brain function and development. These healthy fats truly are vital for your brain. In fact, higher amounts of dietary omega 3 fatty acids are linked to lower dementia and stroke. They also seem to play a role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.


Avocados and Whole Grains Keep Cholesterol at Bay

Nothing is more important to organs in the body than abundant blood flow. This is especially true for the heart and brain. Eating a diet high in whole grains and fruits like avocados can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower bad cholesterol. Such changes reduce your risk of plaque buildup, thus enhancing blood flow creating a tasty way to fire up brain cells.

Go Nuts and Add some Chocolate too

Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant. Its absence in the diet has been associated with cognitive decline as you age. Dark chocolate not only has very powerful antioxidant properties but it also contains natural stimulants like caffeine which enhance focus and concentration.

Enjoy up to an ounce a day of nuts and dark chocolate to provide all the benefits you need without excess calories, fat, or sugar.

Blueberries Are a Brain Superfood

Research in lab animals shows that blueberries may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals. It may also reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Studies also show that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning and muscle function of aging rats, closing the gap between the older rats and their much younger counterparts.

The main conclusion is that if your diet lacks essential nutrients, it will decrease your ability to maintain a healthy brain. To achieve the most benefit for your brain consistently strive for a well-balanced diet full of a wide variety of healthy, wholesome foods.

References:

Web MD, “Slideshow: Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate” http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/slideshow-brain-foods-that-help-you-concentrate Accessed September 18, 2011.